By: Lianne Kolirin, UK Express
Never one to shy away from controversy, the self-styled revolutionary used his appearance on Newsnight to elaborate on a view expressed in his new book entitled Revolution, in which he sets out his call for political change.
Pressed by presenter Evan Davis on comments about the destruction of New York’s Twin Towers in 2001, Brand refused to rule out the possibility that the American government was behind them.
He then went on to accuse the BBC of promoting an “anti-Islamic narrative” in its coverage of this week’s attack by a gunman on the Canadian parliament.
“I think it is interesting at this time when we have so little trust in our political figures, where ordinary people have so little trust in their media, we have to remain open-minded to any kind of possibility,” said the actor and comedian.
“Do you trust the American government? Do you trust the British government? What I do think is very interesting is the relationship that the Bush family have had for a long time with the bin Laden family.
“What I do think is very interesting is the way that even the BBC report the events in Ottawa to subtly build an anti-Islamic narrative. I think that’s very interesting.”
He then appeared abruptly to change tack, saying that he did not want to discuss “daft” conspiracy theories.
This is not the first time that Brand has clashed with a Newsnight presenter. Last year Jeremy Paxman took him to task in a high-profile interview over his ideology and his claim that he has never voted.
This time around, millions of viewers on live TV and later on internet replays watched in amazement as a very animated Brand engaged in a fractious exchange with Davis, who is the new anchor of Newsnight.
While repeatedly touching the presenter’s knee, Brand accused the former BBC economics correspondent of being “mates with like CEOs and big businesses” and of “cosying up” to London mayor Boris Johnson.
During the course of the interview, Brand repeatedly cut across Mr Davis’ attempts to press him in detail about his views telling the presenter: “Mate, I don’t want to follow you down blind alleys about silly administrative quibbles.”
When he was able to get a word in, Davis asked Brand if he would consider standing as an MP at next year’s General Election.
Sidestepping the issue, Brand, 39, reiterated his mistrust of politicians and said that he simply hoped to “amplify” the voices of those who choose to take “direct action”.
In the hours that followed the interview, Russell Brand became one of the top talked about subjects on Twitter. While some merely posted clips of the interview, others expressed their amazement at the footage.
“Would you vote for this man? Rude, ranting, ridiculous… Russell Brand,” said @MatthewStadlen.
Another user, @MichaelPDeacon, tweeted: “Now I think about it, I’ve come to realise I don’t hate Russell Brand. I only hate absolutely everyone who likes him.”
[email protected] described him as a “loud mouth and a bully”.
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