Mark Regev mauled on Channel 4 News again

LAST UPDATED AT 15:04 ON Fri 23 Jan 2009

The Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev must be getting heartily sick of Channel 4 News, having been mauled by two of its presenters in the space of a fortnight. On Thursday night the slick spin doctor for PM Ehud Olmert found himself being quizzed by Jon Snow, the programme's veteran anchor, about the Israeli Defence Forces' use of phosphorus munitions.

Snow's combative interrogation of the usually unflappable Regev caused the Israeli to lose the plot. Regev accused the show of running a "methodologically flawed" report about the IDF's conduct in Gaza, and suggested that reporter Jonathan Miller had been duped by Gaza residents when they claimed to have been injured by Israeli weapons.

A clearly flustered Regev even suggested that Gazans had been wounded by phosphorus ordinance launched by Hamas, not the Israelis, and proceeded to lecture Snow - a journalist for more than three decades - about journalistic integrity. When Snow attempted to challenge this point Regev shouted him down, losing any semblance of cool.

Two weeks earlier Alex Thomson, another C4 News anchor and well-respected foreign correspondent, had given Regev a terrible kicking. Interviewing him on location in Jerusalem, Thomson grilled the spokeman mercilessly about IDF troops disrupting Red Cross missions in Gaza.

"In the name of humanity, what is Israel doing?" Thomson demanded, before the pair had an unseemly verbal set-to about whether Israeli troops had come under fire.

Some observers of C4 News suggest that Snow might have felt the need to match the rottweiler-esque actions of Thomson, who is widely seen as the long-term replacement for Snow, the frontman of the news show for a remarkable 20 years. · 

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