Bernadette Devlin on Firing Line

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donnie
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Bernadette Devlin on Firing Line

Post by donnie »

I'm not sure how I ran across this. It's a rerun of a 1972 episode of the old Firing Line show with the conservative thinker and analyst William F. Buckley. He is interviewing the Northern Irish Activist Bernadette Devlin about the crisis and violence in Northern Ireland at that time.

These issues are (mostly) thankfully moot now, but she's such an intriguing figure and it was such an interesting conversation, I ended up watching the whole thing. :) Things got pretty heated toward the end without any real agreement.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFUKV5_EwdA

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Kitty
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Re: Bernadette Devlin on Firing Line

Post by Kitty »

I have never heard of this program. Although I have heard the name of William F. Buckley, I am a little ashamed to say that I thought he was British until they started comparing things in America. I guess this is due to his professional way of talking.
Unfortunately, I am only vaguely aware about the problems in Northern Ireland at the time, so most of this was above my head, but I watched this to the end, nonetheless. Because I don't know enough and obviously can't relate, I am unsure what her stance is, and can't say if I agree or not with her in her overall political stance.
I could relate and understand when he talked about issues in America. It was a glaring contrast between when she was doing the interview, and the professional way they treated each other and the (press?) who questioned her at the end. That one guy with the glasses couldn't stop talking, not even letting her speak at times, and what was that comment about Irish being a 'problem' in America? Seems to be an Irish hater, really. Miss Middleweek unfortunately couldn't get as much in as her male colleagues, but I loved her dress. Mr. Buckley's introduction in the beginning was extremely reminiscent of Dick Cavett's glowing introductions to many of his guests. Maybe that was a thing of interviewers of the era? I really respected the way Miss Devlin was treated during the interview, though I feel that Buckley didn't agree with all her points, and he even lit her cigarette for her, which to me signified that this was just a professional talk. I don't feel like there are shows like this anymore, straight interviews without obvious cutting and producing. I love the sit in a room conversation feel, which is probably the reason I love Dick Cavett so much.

For a printed copy of this program send 25 cents ---- Does that mean to get a printed transcript? That's pretty cool, actually!
You trying to tell me you didn't hear that shriek? That was something trying to get out of its premature grave, and I don't want to be here when it does. - Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

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donnie
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Re: Bernadette Devlin on Firing Line

Post by donnie »

This was kind of interesting, wasn’t it? :) I didn’t understand some of the references, myself, either. As to her stance, she took a pretty hard line on the Catholic side of the conflict (“extremist”? —maybe), and felt that the way the Catholics had been treated at the hands of the Protestant majority together with the British left no recourse but to violence. There are still hard feelings in Northern Ireland today, but thankfully, not the horrible violence (on both sides) there was back in that time period.

Agree or not with her points, she was certainly knowledgeable and articulate. She wasn’t making any headway with that panel of interviewers, obviously. (And wasn’t going to.) And yes, the guy with the glasses made no secret of his hatred of all things Irish. :roll:

You're right, there just isn't much of a place anymore for extended, detailed conversations like this. Everything is rush-rush, hype, and soundbites. I think that's one of our problems: we don't sit and talk at length and open-mindedly about problems we face. (Although there arguably wasn't much open-mindedness here, I guess.)

And yes, that meant a printed transcript. I think a lot of the network news interview shows used to do that, too, and may still provide a pdf on request.

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