Published  05/09/2001

Goodbye Culture

The latest blow is the emasculation (yes, Germaine) of critique on television. Mark Lawson is a current victim. Because it’s Edinburgh Festival and Fringe Time, Kirsty Wark replaces Collings as the presenter of the Newsnight Arts Review. The assumption that if one is a commentator one is qualified to commentate on anything from art to Zimbabwe prevails. It is how one presents the critique, rather than its actual content, that counts. So, why not let Professor Germaine take over? She would raise the ratings, that is for sure. Better still, restore Mark Lawson, or indeed, Waldemar Januszczak to the chair, or Matthew Collings. At least on Friday 31 August, it was Tom Paulin who finally, superbly and utterly trashed Rushdie’s new novel, ‘Fury’, to the oblivion it deserves. Wark looked alarmed, as if ‘control’, that vital media press button, had somehow broken down. Come back Lawson, come back Greer.

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