Why Is This Lying Bastard Lying to Me?: 25 Years of Searching for the Truth on Political TV by Rob Burley
11 May 2023
Why Is This Lying Bastard Lying To Me? – a question famously asked by grand inquisitor Jeremy Paxman – is Rob Burley’s deliciously irreverent and gossipy insider’s account of 25 years working at the very top of British political television – and the unique insight he’s gained on the country’s politicians on the way.
In this unique book Rob Burley sets out to explore the state of democracy and accountability in an era when voters have come to expect untruthfulness from their leaders. Taking us inside the negotiations, intense preparations and tense encounters between heavyweight interviewers and politicians, Burley reveals why those who lead us are so reluctant to speak the truth and how they try to – and often succeed in – getting away with it.
Framed across 12 key political interviews of the past quarter of a century, from Thatcher to Johnson via Corbyn and Cameron, Rob asks why, in the space of 30 years, we have gone from a situation in which prime minister Margaret Thatcher sits down for an hour on primetime TV and answers every question thrown at her, to one in which prime minister Boris Johnson hides in a fridge to avoid questions from journalists. And what can be done about it?