I once interviewed a Scientologist on my phone in show. It was in the early days when we were still sort of finding our feet with it. In fact it might even have been way back when I used to stand in for Diana Luke, so that'd be really early on, pre-Lucio or Tom Binns*. Anyway, I remember talking to this person about Scientology and I'm afraid to say that he didn't annoy me.
I knew nothing about Scientology and had done no research at all. He came on and told me they were a nice charitable organisation and that I should come down and have a look sometime. I just let him chat for a bit and then moved on to the next call. Like I say, we were finding our feet a bit at the time.
However, it's interesting to note that I came to the whole thing with no pre-concieved notions and therefore did a normal interview. This is unlike the bloke who featured in tonight's documentary by John Sweeney about Scientology... who looked like a bit of a dick in this YouTube video:
Now, the only reason I tuned in to watch the documentary is because I saw the YouTube clip a few days ago. It was posted up by Scientologists who filmed Mr Sweeney as he was making his film "Scientology and Me" which was brodacast as part of the BBC's Panorama. It wasn't a great film and it was a little embarrasing to see the reporter lose it so obviously at the end. What fascinates me here though is that this is yet another instance of the internet's power to bite back when confronting the mainstream media. They had to include the clip in the Panorama episode, even though it looked and felt tacked on. They had no choice but to make their own reporter look like a tw#t because a large portion of the audneice would have felt short changed had the clip that most of them came to watch been left out.
It's like the Kramer Kontroversey in that the internet has set the agenda and the mainstream media is chasing behind it. I think this is a trend which will eventually become the norm. It'll be interesting to see how the mainstream copes as it becomes more and more fractured like this.
*Only a real radio anorack would understand this sentence. Diana Luke, Tom Binns and Lucio were all previous presenters on the late night slot on Hallam FM. I would occasionally stand in for both Diana Luke and Lucio when they were away on holiday. When I stood in though I would refuse to play any records and do a full speech show. Something they didn't do. Probably why I ended up getting Scientologists on air.