Meet Jon Snow. No, not that Jon Snow, but the Jon Snow who has presented Channel 4 News in the United Kingdom since 1989. The 68-year-old television journalist is highly respected in his field, and he never misses an opportunity to speak his opinionated mind — like when American journalist Neil McCabe, who works for Armed American Radio, came on the program to discuss gun violence in the United States. It didn’t go well.
For starters, when Snow introduced McCabe’s place of employment, the British news anchor emphasized the word “armed” — almost as if he knew his audience wouldn’t believe such a thing exists. Meanwhile, McCabe sported an incredibly awkward smile as soon as “Armed American Radio” got its namedrop.
And that’s just the first 10 seconds of a four-minute segment. The real fun began when Snow subsequently asked McCabe if he was “proud of a country that manages to see the deaths of 13,338 people from gunshot wounds, from guns fired by civilians… in one year?” After a slight chuckle, McCabe said he didn’t know how to answer Snow’s question, and instead claimed he was a proud veteran of Iraq. He also said he was “proud of this country in every way you can possibly imagine,” but didn’t feel he was “responsible” for the statistic given.
Of course, Snow didn’t ask McCabe if he’d felt “responsible” for the numbers, and this second misstep led to another three minutes of clumsy cultural exchanges between an American pundit and a British television news anchor.
“It happens, and in a free country these things happen. There’s always going to be risks, there’s always going to be situations,” said McCabe. “It’s just part of life, I think.”
“No it’s part of death, Mr. McCabe. That’s death. That’s dead people, people who’ve died as a result of guns,” responded Snow.
Like many modern cable news programs, the odds were definitely not in McCabe’s favor. Like most talking heads, Snow has a penchant for interrupting his guests and loudly interjecting his counterpoints. However, the number of times Snow interrupted McCabe paled in comparison to what American audiences have become accustomed to.
Then again, let’s not give Snow too much credit for his journalistic decorum. This is the same man who, back in 2013, argued with Charlie Brooker about whether the Lego Marvel Super Heroes video game was too violent.