History Main / NonAnswer

25th Nov '16 3:30:39 AM Vir
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* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode ''Homer vs. The Eighteenth Amendment'', Homer is using hollow bowling balls to smuggle illicit beer.

to:

* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode ''Homer "Homer vs. The Eighteenth Amendment'', the 18th Amendment", Homer is using hollow bowling balls to smuggle illicit beer.



--> '''Juhani Kontiovaara:''' What the hell are you blaming the media for? Are you menstruating or do you simply want to live in [[{{Ruritania}} Albania]]?
--> '''The male interviewee:''' Yes.

to:

--> '''Juhani -->'''Juhani Kontiovaara:''' What the hell are you blaming the media for? Are you menstruating or do you simply want to live in [[{{Ruritania}} Albania]]?
--> '''The -->'''The male interviewee:''' Yes.
25th Nov '16 3:29:26 AM Vir
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The NonAnswer is a response to a question that is so generic or vague that it's not really an answer at all. Usually, not only is the answer very vague, it is very ''[[CaptainObvious obvious]]'' as well. This may be because there is no better answer, or the askee simply doesn't want to answer the question. Other times, the askee is bluntly trying to redirect the questioner's attention to what they consider to be the more important consideration. For instance, "because I said so" may not be considered an answer by a junior officer, yet the senior officer may be trying to reinforce the importance of following orders.

to:

The NonAnswer Non-Answer is a response to a question that is so generic or vague that it's not really an answer at all. Usually, not only is the answer very vague, it is very ''[[CaptainObvious obvious]]'' as well. This may be because there is no better answer, or the askee simply doesn't want to answer the question. Other times, the askee is bluntly trying to redirect the questioner's attention to what they consider to be the more important consideration. For instance, "because I said so" may not be considered an answer by a junior officer, yet the senior officer may be trying to reinforce the importance of following orders.



** Karen Armstrong claims that the Biblical "I am that I am" is a NonAnswer. However, monotheists understand this as an expression of the idea that God exists by himself for himself, and is the uncreated Creator who is independent of any concept, force, or entity.
** Similarly, some view "Thou sayest it," the answer {{Jesus}} gives to Pilate's question "Art thou king of the Jews?", as a NonAnswer. Does Jesus mean "Yep, you said it; you got that right," or "That's what ''you'' say; ''I'' never made that claim"? (''Music/JesusChristSuperstar'' understands it in the latter sense.). However, this does have to be weighed against his other statements (that he existed before Abraham, that seeing him is the same as seeing God, that he could forgive sins, that he is the judge, that he can grant eternal life etc.)
** "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's" (as an answer to whether the Jewish people should pay taxes to the Romans) is considered by some as a NonAnswer. The questioners were trying to trap Jesus into making a statement either way, at which point they would either declare him to be a Roman sympathizer to the Jews, or declare him to be a Judean revolutionary to the Romans. A more detailed examination reveals a deeper meaning (especially noting his question regarding whose image is on the coin that's used to pay the tax). Thus: It is fine to pay taxes (i.e. render the coin unto Caesar, since it has his image on it), but we should devote our whole lives to God (since we are made in God's image). Even Jesus' enemies were impressed at how he avoided that rhetorical trap.

to:

** Karen Armstrong claims that the Biblical "I am that I am" is a NonAnswer.Non-Answer. However, monotheists understand this as an expression of the idea that God exists by himself for himself, and is the uncreated Creator who is independent of any concept, force, or entity.
** Similarly, some view "Thou sayest it," the answer {{Jesus}} gives to Pilate's question "Art thou king of the Jews?", as a NonAnswer.Non-Answer. Does Jesus mean "Yep, you said it; you got that right," or "That's what ''you'' say; ''I'' never made that claim"? (''Music/JesusChristSuperstar'' understands it in the latter sense.). However, this does have to be weighed against his other statements (that he existed before Abraham, that seeing him is the same as seeing God, that he could forgive sins, that he is the judge, that he can grant eternal life etc.)
** "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's" (as an answer to whether the Jewish people should pay taxes to the Romans) is considered by some as a NonAnswer.Non-Answer. The questioners were trying to trap Jesus into making a statement either way, at which point they would either declare him to be a Roman sympathizer to the Jews, or declare him to be a Judean revolutionary to the Romans. A more detailed examination reveals a deeper meaning (especially noting his question regarding whose image is on the coin that's used to pay the tax). Thus: It is fine to pay taxes (i.e. render the coin unto Caesar, since it has his image on it), but we should devote our whole lives to God (since we are made in God's image). Even Jesus' enemies were impressed at how he avoided that rhetorical trap.



* A classic Zen-Buddhist answer to the Confucian ArmorPiercingQuestion[[note]] Every iteration/wave of Confucianism has been very much anti-religion and anti-claptrap, being focused on strict law-based governance and morality rather than wishy-washy feelings and philosophy. Consequently, Confucianism has gotten along about as well with Daoism (a wishy-washy vaguely spiritualistic and pantheistic religion akin to Hinduism, Shinto, and classic/original European Paganism) and Chinese-style Buddhism as you'd expect.[[/note]] (since ''everyone'', even the lowest peasants, seem to have 'aspects of the The Buddha's nature' as far as all these newfangled prayer-mongerers are concerned) "Do ''dogs'' have Buddha-nature too?" The Buddhist answer Wú or Mu, in Classical Chinese and Japanese respectively, is a cross between a NonAnswer and a MathematiciansAnswer. In Classical Chinese 'wú' is a 'negator-of-existence', i.e. there is no or there is nothing of whatever noun comes after it in the sentence... but it's a one-word answer, and it's not clear whether 'wú' refers to the question or the answer (it ''does not'' refer to the possession of Buddha-nature because it's a noun-negator, not a verb-negator). The implication is that [[StealthInsult it doesn't matter because both the question and the answer are meaningless]]. Consequently the reply is often translated as "It's meaningless". A philosophical STFU to an ArmorPiercingQuestion. TheOtherWiki has a better discussion for those interested.
** It's also allegedly the ononomatopoeia in Chinese for the sound of a dog's bark, which, if true, injects a pleasant dash of JustForPun into the NonAnswer.

to:

* A classic Zen-Buddhist answer to the Confucian ArmorPiercingQuestion[[note]] Every iteration/wave of Confucianism has been very much anti-religion and anti-claptrap, being focused on strict law-based governance and morality rather than wishy-washy feelings and philosophy. Consequently, Confucianism has gotten along about as well with Daoism (a wishy-washy vaguely spiritualistic and pantheistic religion akin to Hinduism, Shinto, and classic/original European Paganism) and Chinese-style Buddhism as you'd expect.[[/note]] (since ''everyone'', even the lowest peasants, seem to have 'aspects of the The Buddha's nature' as far as all these newfangled prayer-mongerers are concerned) "Do ''dogs'' have Buddha-nature too?" The Buddhist answer Wú or Mu, in Classical Chinese and Japanese respectively, is a cross between a NonAnswer Non-Answer and a MathematiciansAnswer. In Classical Chinese 'wú' is a 'negator-of-existence', i.e. there is no or there is nothing of whatever noun comes after it in the sentence... but it's a one-word answer, and it's not clear whether 'wú' refers to the question or the answer (it ''does not'' refer to the possession of Buddha-nature because it's a noun-negator, not a verb-negator). The implication is that [[StealthInsult it doesn't matter because both the question and the answer are meaningless]]. Consequently the reply is often translated as "It's meaningless". A philosophical STFU to an ArmorPiercingQuestion. TheOtherWiki has a better discussion for those interested.
** It's also allegedly the ononomatopoeia in Chinese for the sound of a dog's bark, which, if true, injects a pleasant dash of JustForPun into the NonAnswer.Non-Answer.



* The answer "Later" or "In a while" is an ''especially'' egregious NonAnswer when responding to a question asking "When?" about something, ''especially'' when the question is being asked in order to weigh whether to stand and wait or to go and do something more productive while waiting which might only be a good idea if the "while" is a specific (and long) timespan, which a vague NonAnswer of "a while" does '''less''' than nothing to clarify.

to:

* The answer "Later" or "In a while" is an ''especially'' egregious NonAnswer Non-Answer when responding to a question asking "When?" about something, ''especially'' when the question is being asked in order to weigh whether to stand and wait or to go and do something more productive while waiting which might only be a good idea if the "while" is a specific (and long) timespan, which a vague NonAnswer Non-Answer of "a while" does '''less''' than nothing to clarify.
8th Oct '16 4:25:03 PM DustSnitch
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* ''Creator/ThisIsIt'':

to:

* ''Creator/ThisIsIt'':''WebVideo/DontHugMeImScared'':
5th Oct '16 3:34:53 PM JenBurdoo
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Added DiffLines:


''Deep Trouble'': HMS ''Goliath'' has just accidentally torpedoed the USS ''Nimitz'', and reporters aboard the Goliath wonder what's going on.
-->'''Commander Fairbanks:''' Right, any questions?
-->'''Dunn:''' Yeah. Harry Dunn, ''Daily Mail''. What it is, is about twenty-five minutes ago, me and Phil Baines of the ''Observer'' --
-->'''Baines:''' Hello.
-->'''Dunn:''' -- we were getting some coffee and we heard two very loud sounds, like rockets, followed by this explosion thing, and we were told this wasn't supposed to be a live-firing exercise, can you confirm that?
-->'''Captain Wade:''' I can confirm that this wasn't supposed to be a live-firing exercise. Next!
3rd Oct '16 7:39:42 PM TheUnknownUploader
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Added DiffLines:

* Used on ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBros'' every time someone asks why [[TheUnreveal the Monarch hates Dr. Venture so much.]]
-->'''Kevin''': [[LampshadeHanging Why can't we just get a straight answer?!]]
19th Sep '16 10:55:36 AM Odacon_Spy
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* Used dramatically in ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird'', during Cyrus Temple's press conference introducing the STAG Initiative. Cyrus responds to serious questions like "How long will the STAG occupation last?" and "How will it affect the average citizen's daily life?" with rhetoric and double-speak, before launching into a jingoistic MotiveRant and abruptly ending the press conference.
* One panelist on a segment of ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCity's'' [[Radio/GTARadio VCPR]] is Florida's state congressman and, like any good caricature of a [[SleazyPolitician slimy 80's politician]], refocuses the topic until it helps his reply, along with reassuring platitudes and campaign slogans, some InsaneTrollLogic and a liberal dose of Ad Hominem against host Maurice Chavez's career. He even outright says that he's going to do this when Chavez brings up a strong point against him near the end:

to:

* Used dramatically in ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird'', during ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird'': Cyrus Temple's Temple may be a capable military commander but he is absolutely terrible when it comes to public speaking. At his press conference introducing the STAG Initiative. Initiative, he proved incapable of handling even the most basic general information questions, trying to dodge them by arguing the semantics of the question and responding with promotional rhetoric. When Jane Valderamma presses him for a straight answer, Cyrus responds to serious questions like "How long will breaks down at the STAG occupation last?" podium and "How will it affect the average citizen's daily life?" with rhetoric and double-speak, before launching launches into a jingoistic MotiveRant and steeped in MissingWhiteWomanSyndrome before abruptly ending the press conference.
* One panelist on a segment of ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCity's'' [[Radio/GTARadio VCPR]] is Florida's current state congressman and, and whenever he is fielded a serious question he, like any good caricature of a [[SleazyPolitician slimy 80's politician]], refocuses the topic until it helps his reply, along with reassuring platitudes and campaign slogans, some InsaneTrollLogic and a liberal dose of Ad Hominem against host Maurice Chavez's career. He even outright says that he's going to do this when Chavez brings up a strong point against him near the end:
5th Sep '16 4:25:11 PM ading
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Added DiffLines:

* In the first episode of ''Series/BarKarma'', when Dayna asks James where he thinks Doug is, James answers [[ShapedLikeItself "Somewhere between the beginning and the end."]]
21st Aug '16 6:44:58 AM Silverblade2
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* Overused joke for [=MMORPGs=], "What killed him?" "Ran out of HitPoints" (Not enough hit points, etc.)
15th Aug '16 4:08:43 AM 06tele
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* News presenter Jeremy Paxman once interviewed Home Secretary Michael Howard and when faced with an evasive answer, proceeded to repeat the same question ''12 times''. The government had carried out an inquiry into a series of prison escapes, and in advance of publication Howard had been very critical of the prison service and blamed it for the escapes (rather than, say, admit that the prison service was underfunded.)
-->'''Paxman''': You stated in your statement that "The leader of the Opposition had said that I" -- that is, you -- "personally told Mr Lewis[[note]]Director of the prison service[[/note]] that the Governor of Parkhurst should be suspended immediately, and when Mr Lewis objected, as it was an operational matter, I threatened to instruct him to do it." Derek Lewis says "Howard had certainly told me that the Governor of Parkhurst should be suspended and had threatened to overrule me."
-->'''Paxman''': Are you saying Mr Lewis is lying?
-->'''Howard''': I have given a full account of this and the position is what I told the House of Commons, and let me tell you what the position is--
-->'''Paxman''': [''interrupting''] So you are saying Lewis lied.
-->'''Howard''': Let me tell you exactly what the position is. I was entitled to be consulted --
-->'''Paxman''': Yes.
-->'''Howard''': --And I was consulted. I was entitled to express and opinion, I did express an opinion. I was not entitled to instruct Derek Lewis what to do, and I did not instruct him what to do.
-->'''Paxman''': Well, his ver--
-->'''Howard''': And you will understand and recall that Mr Marriot was not suspended. He was moved, and Derek Lewis told the Select Committee of the House of Commons that it was his opinion, Derek Lewis's opinion, that he should be moved immediately. That is what happened.
-->'''Paxman''':-- Mr Lewis says "I told him what we had decided about Marriot, and why. He" -- that is, you -- "exploded. Simply moving the Governor was politically unpalatable. It sounded indecisive, it would be seen as a fudge. If I did not change my mind and suspend Marriot, he would have to consider overruling me."
-->'''Howard''': Mr Marriot--
-->'''Paxman''': You can't both be right.
-->'''Howard''': Mr Marriot was not suspended. I was entitled to express my views, I was entitled to be consulted.
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': I was not entitled to instruct Derek Lewis, and I did not instruct him. And
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': -- the truth of the matter is that Mr Marriot was not suspended.
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': Not -- I did not overrule Derek Lewis --
-->'''Paxman''': Did you ''threaten'' to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': I took advice on what I could and could not do --
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him, Mr Howard?
-->'''Howard''': And I acted scrupulously in accordance with that advice. I did not overrule Derek Lewis --
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': Mr Marriott was not suspended --
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': I have accounted for my decision to dismiss Derek Lewis --
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': -- in great detail, before the House of Commons.
-->'''Paxman''': I note you're not answering the question whether you ''threatened'' to overrule him.
-->'''Howard''': Well, the important aspect of, of this, which is very clear to bear in mind --
-->'''Paxman''': I'm sorry, I'm going to be frightfully rude, but I -- [''laughs''] Sorry, it's a quite straight yes or no -
-->'''Howard''': You can put the question, and I will give you -
-->'''Paxman''': It's a straight yes or no answer. Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''':- [''Beat''] I discussed this matter with Derek Lewis. I gave him the benefit of my opinion. I gave him the benefit of my opinion in strong language. But I did not instruct him, because I was not entitled to instruct him. I was entitled to express my opinion, and that is what I did.
-->'''Paxman''': With respect, that is not answering the question of whether you threatened to overrule him.
-->'''Howard''': ...It's dealing with the relevant point, which is what I was entitled to do, and what I was not entitled to do. And I have dealt with this in detail before the House of Commons and before the Select Committee.
-->'''Paxman''': With respect, you haven't answered the question [of] whether you threatened to overrule him.
-->'''Howard''': Well, you see, the question is, what was I entitled to do, and what was I not entitled to do? I was not entitled to instruct him, and I did not do that.
-->'''Paxman''': ... Right. We'll leave that aspect there.

to:

* News presenter Jeremy Paxman once interviewed Home Secretary Michael Howard and when faced with an evasive answer, proceeded to repeat the same question ''12 times''. The government had carried out an inquiry into a series of prison escapes, and in advance of publication Howard had been very critical of the prison service and blamed it for the escapes (rather than, say, admit that the prison service was underfunded.)
-->'''Paxman''': You stated in your statement that "The leader of
) The result was the Opposition had said that I" -- that is, you -- "personally told Mr Lewis[[note]]Director of political interview as OverlyLongGag. See the prison service[[/note]] that the Governor of Parkhurst should be suspended immediately, and when Mr Lewis objected, as it was an operational matter, I threatened to instruct him to do it." Derek Lewis says "Howard had certainly told me that the Governor of Parkhurst should be suspended and had threatened to overrule me."
-->'''Paxman''': Are you saying Mr Lewis is lying?
-->'''Howard''': I have given a full account of this and the position is what I told the House of Commons, and let me tell you what the position is--
-->'''Paxman''': [''interrupting''] So you are saying Lewis lied.
-->'''Howard''': Let me tell you exactly what the position is. I was entitled to be consulted --
-->'''Paxman''': Yes.
-->'''Howard''': --And I was consulted. I was entitled to express and opinion, I did express an opinion. I was not entitled to instruct Derek Lewis what to do, and I did not instruct him what to do.
-->'''Paxman''': Well, his ver--
-->'''Howard''': And you will understand and recall that Mr Marriot was not suspended. He was moved, and Derek Lewis told the Select Committee of the House of Commons that it was his opinion, Derek Lewis's opinion, that he should be moved immediately. That is what happened.
-->'''Paxman''':-- Mr Lewis says "I told him what we had decided about Marriot, and why. He" -- that is, you -- "exploded. Simply moving the Governor was politically unpalatable. It sounded indecisive, it would be seen as a fudge. If I did not change my mind and suspend Marriot, he would have to consider overruling me."
-->'''Howard''': Mr Marriot--
-->'''Paxman''': You can't both be right.
-->'''Howard''': Mr Marriot was not suspended. I was entitled to express my views, I was entitled to be consulted.
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': I was not entitled to instruct Derek Lewis, and I did not instruct him. And
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': -- the truth of the matter is that Mr Marriot was not suspended.
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': Not -- I did not overrule Derek Lewis --
-->'''Paxman''': Did you ''threaten'' to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': I took advice on what I could and could not do --
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him, Mr Howard?
-->'''Howard''': And I acted scrupulously in accordance with that advice. I did not overrule Derek Lewis --
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': Mr Marriott was not suspended --
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': I have accounted
Quotes page for my decision to dismiss Derek Lewis --
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': -- in great detail, before the House of Commons.
-->'''Paxman''': I note you're not answering the question whether you ''threatened'' to overrule him.
-->'''Howard''': Well, the important aspect of, of this, which is very clear to bear in mind --
-->'''Paxman''': I'm sorry, I'm going to be frightfully rude, but I -- [''laughs''] Sorry, it's
a quite straight yes or no -
-->'''Howard''': You can put the question, and I will give you -
-->'''Paxman''': It's a straight yes or no answer. Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''':- [''Beat''] I discussed this matter with Derek Lewis. I gave him the benefit of my opinion. I gave him the benefit of my opinion in strong language. But I did not instruct him, because I was not entitled to instruct him. I was entitled to express my opinion, and that is what I did.
-->'''Paxman''': With respect, that is not answering the question of whether you threatened to overrule him.
-->'''Howard''': ...It's dealing with the relevant point, which is what I was entitled to do, and what I was not entitled to do. And I have dealt with this in detail before the House of Commons and before the Select Committee.
-->'''Paxman''': With respect, you haven't answered the question [of] whether you threatened to overrule him.
-->'''Howard''': Well, you see, the question is, what was I entitled to do, and what was I not entitled to do? I was not entitled to instruct him, and I did not do that.
-->'''Paxman''': ... Right. We'll leave that aspect there.
transcript.
15th Aug '16 4:06:08 AM 06tele
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* News presenter Jeremy Paxman once interviewed Home Secretary Michael Howard and when faced with an evasive answer, proceeded to repeat the same question ''14 times''. And 14 times Howard gave increasingly non-committal replies.

to:

* News presenter Jeremy Paxman once interviewed Home Secretary Michael Howard and when faced with an evasive answer, proceeded to repeat the same question ''14 ''12 times''. And 14 times The government had carried out an inquiry into a series of prison escapes, and in advance of publication Howard had been very critical of the prison service and blamed it for the escapes (rather than, say, admit that the prison service was underfunded.)
-->'''Paxman''': You stated in your statement that "The leader of the Opposition had said that I" -- that is, you -- "personally told Mr Lewis[[note]]Director of the prison service[[/note]] that the Governor of Parkhurst should be suspended immediately, and when Mr Lewis objected, as it was an operational matter, I threatened to instruct him to do it." Derek Lewis says "Howard had certainly told me that the Governor of Parkhurst should be suspended and had threatened to overrule me."
-->'''Paxman''': Are you saying Mr Lewis is lying?
-->'''Howard''': I have given a full account of this and the position is what I told the House of Commons, and let me tell you what the position is--
-->'''Paxman''': [''interrupting''] So you are saying Lewis lied.
-->'''Howard''': Let me tell you exactly what the position is. I was entitled to be consulted --
-->'''Paxman''': Yes.
-->'''Howard''': --And I was consulted. I was entitled to express and opinion, I did express an opinion. I was not entitled to instruct Derek Lewis what to do, and I did not instruct him what to do.
-->'''Paxman''': Well, his ver--
-->'''Howard''': And you will understand and recall that Mr Marriot was not suspended. He was moved, and Derek Lewis told the Select Committee of the House of Commons that it was his opinion, Derek Lewis's opinion, that he should be moved immediately. That is what happened.
-->'''Paxman''':-- Mr Lewis says "I told him what we had decided about Marriot, and why. He" -- that is, you -- "exploded. Simply moving the Governor was politically unpalatable. It sounded indecisive, it would be seen as a fudge. If I did not change my mind and suspend Marriot, he would have to consider overruling me."
-->'''Howard''': Mr Marriot--
-->'''Paxman''': You can't both be right.
-->'''Howard''': Mr Marriot was not suspended. I was entitled to express my views, I was entitled to be consulted.
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': I was not entitled to instruct Derek Lewis, and I did not instruct him. And
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': -- the truth of the matter is that Mr Marriot was not suspended.
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': Not -- I did not overrule Derek Lewis --
-->'''Paxman''': Did you ''threaten'' to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': I took advice on what I could and could not do --
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him, Mr Howard?
-->'''Howard''': And I acted scrupulously in accordance with that advice. I did not overrule Derek Lewis --
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': Mr Marriott was not suspended --
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': I have accounted for my decision to dismiss Derek Lewis --
-->'''Paxman''': Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''': -- in great detail, before the House of Commons.
-->'''Paxman''': I note you're not answering the question whether you ''threatened'' to overrule him.
-->'''Howard''': Well, the important aspect of, of this, which is very clear to bear in mind --
-->'''Paxman''': I'm sorry, I'm going to be frightfully rude, but I -- [''laughs''] Sorry, it's a quite straight yes or no -
-->'''Howard''': You can put the question, and I will give you -
-->'''Paxman''': It's a straight yes or no answer. Did you threaten to overrule him?
-->'''Howard''':- [''Beat''] I discussed this matter with Derek Lewis. I
gave increasingly non-committal replies.him the benefit of my opinion. I gave him the benefit of my opinion in strong language. But I did not instruct him, because I was not entitled to instruct him. I was entitled to express my opinion, and that is what I did.
-->'''Paxman''': With respect, that is not answering the question of whether you threatened to overrule him.
-->'''Howard''': ...It's dealing with the relevant point, which is what I was entitled to do, and what I was not entitled to do. And I have dealt with this in detail before the House of Commons and before the Select Committee.
-->'''Paxman''': With respect, you haven't answered the question [of] whether you threatened to overrule him.
-->'''Howard''': Well, you see, the question is, what was I entitled to do, and what was I not entitled to do? I was not entitled to instruct him, and I did not do that.
-->'''Paxman''': ... Right. We'll leave that aspect there.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.NonAnswer