Susan Michie refuses to answer Madeley's Communist Party question
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During Monday morning’s Good Morning Britain, ITV hosts Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid spoke with Professor Susan Michie and Dominique Samuels about whether people should continue to wear a covering after the restrictions are lifted on July 19. However, the interview soon sparked a backlash from viewers when Madeley asked Professor Michie whether her judgement was based on “science” or whether it was influenced by her membership in the Communist Party.
At the time Professor Michie shut down Madeley and explained she had been invited onto the programme in her capacity as a professor of psychology and not to talk about politics.
The segment also sparked a strong reaction from viewers online, with many complaining about Madeley’s line of question.
It has since been revealed that 145 people made a complaint to TV watchdog, Ofcom about the segment.
Taking to social media, one viewer branded the interview “embarrassing” while another questioned why Madeley didn’t ask Samuels about her political views.
A third penned: “Richard Madeley raising the political beliefs of the scientist is an absolute embarrassment and really poor journalism.”
A fourth wrote: “Disgraceful that Richard brings up the Prof’s politics, she’s a prof on sage!
“Anyone mention Rich’s politics, or Whitty’s or this new head of the NHS in tan jacket cropping up everywhere? It’s science and health, don’t try to politicize mask-wearing.” (sic)
“That was a really unbalanced interview made worse by Richard muddying the waters by questioning the prof on her politics,” another raged. “Not relevant at all to what was being debated poor performance all round.”
Speaking to the Professor about her political views, Madeley began: “There’s a point I really have to put to you and you’ll be aware of this because there’s been a lot of commentary about this in the British media about you and it’s to do with your politics and you know what I’m going to ask you.
“You’ve been a member of the Communist Party for about 40 years now, you’re still a member, and we know that they’re statist.
“We look at Communist countries around the world and we see that they are tremendously top-down dominant and controlled societies that they rule over.
“I just wonder – and I’m putting this question on behalf of those who wonder about your politics – if your politics actually informs your sense of control?”
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“It’s not just the medical arguments, but you have a kind of a political bent to want the state to tell people what to do?” he continued.
Professor Michie hit back: “I’ve come on your programme as a scientist, as do all people who come on to your programme as scientists.
“They come on to talk about the evidence, relevant theories, how we approach our scientific disciplines, and you don’t ask other scientists about politics so I’m very happy to speak about science which is what my job is and to limit it to that.”
The presenter added: “So you’re saying that your politics doesn’t inform your opinion on this subject?”
“I’m saying that I agreed to come on this programme as a scientist,” Professor Michie reiterated.
“And I’m very happy to talk to you about the issues that you’re raising as a scientist which is the same for other scientists that you invite on to the programme.”
Following her appearance on the show, Professor Richie told her 35,000 followers she had also made a complaint to Good Morning Britain.
Responding to one of her followers who praised the Professor for handling the interview so well, she said: “A complaint has been submitted and a public apology requested.”
Express.co.uk has approached ITV for a comment.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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