Donald Trump and UK politician Nigel Farage in Trump Tower, New York, November 2016

On Tuesday night, the hard-right British outlet GB “News” broadcast a 25-minute campaign ad for Donald Trump, in the guise of an “interview” at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.

The “interview” was conducted by hard-right polemicist Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party who has worked for Trump and his campaigns since summer 2016.

He provided the leading questions for Trump to push polemic, insults, misinformation, and lies. Most issues, such as Trump’s legal and financial problems, were not mentioned. Those that were mentioned — migrants and asylum seekers, Ukraine, and Trump’s threat to withdraw the US from NATO — were only as platforms for more falsehoods and invectives.

The encounter was shown only a day after the UK communications regulator Ofcom cited GB for breaking the rules on impartiality, allowing politicians — like Farage — to host programs pushing their attack lines.

On Tuesday afternoon, before the interview was broadcast, GB asked me to appear on Wednesday morning. I think the producers believed I would analyze the performance as a serious interview, thus giving it legitimacy even if I criticized Trump’s remarks.

What the producers got was something far different. The opening question from smiling presenters Andrew Pierce and Bev Turner, “What did you think?”, was the ideal set-up.

Well, it wasn’t an interview. It was one politician, Mr. Farage, handing over your channel to another politician, Mr. Trump — for whom he has worked and for whom he might work this year — so Trump could put out his posturing, his insults, his misinformation, and, yes, his lies.

Turner tried an upbeat “It was good, in terms of NATO, to have some clarification”, prompting me to burst the balloon by pointing out that the “clarification” was actually more Trump lies — trying to hide the threats throughout his Presidential term to leave the bloc as well as last month’s invitation to Russia to attack American allies.

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Then Pierce — unwittingly, I think — set me up, “Is [Trump] sounding more Presidential to you than Joe Biden?” As both he and Turner looked uncomfortable, I replied:

He gave many of his scripted answers that were set up beforehand. The interview was edited to make sure that there were no glitches. So, yeah, Donald Trump was on safe territory to say whatever he wanted to, with Nigel Farage nodding.

If that softball discussion and campaign advertisement constitutes being “Presidential”, so be it.

With that, the interview abruptly ended. Turner tried a rescue operation, hailing GB “News” as the home of “full and frank” conversation.