What's wrong with every Pussy Riot interview on TV?

Irish TV host Brendan O'Connor gives a masterclass in how not to interview two feminist activists

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Are you ready for the most awkward interview you'll see all week? On Saturday, Irish TV host Brendan O'Connor interviewed Pussy Riot in their first European interview since they were released from prison, and it was a trainwreck in every sense of the word. 

Filmed for Saturday Night Show, an Irish chat programme, it's basically a masterclass in how not to talk to prominent political activists and avowed feminists. First, he repeatedly refers to Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina as "girls", and asks them to describe their life in prison because "obviously, we have one idea of prison here, but the prisons you were in were probably more akin to the gulags of old that we've read about". Sensitive!

Then, during an exchange between Tolokonnikova and her husband and translator, Peter, O'Connor cries, "No time for a domestic, particularly not in Russian!" The entire interview finally climaxes in farce when he asks them what they think of Madonna, and if they believe she's a freedom fighter "like them". 

If you're not familiar with O'Connor, he initially came to fame with his short-lived comedy act, Father Brian and the Fun Lovin' Cardinals (their joke single "Who's In The House?" reached number three in the Irish charts).

It's not the first time Pussy Riot have been subjected to inane chatshow banter. For some reason, it seems like everyone on television is incapable of interviewing Pussy Riot like actual people and not the activist equivalents of Celebrity Big Brother contestants. 

When they were released in December, their first interview was with TV celebrity Ksenia Sobchak, widely described as Russia's "answer to Paris Hilton". Beside comparing Tolokonnikova to Beyonce and asking if she would "go solo", she also came up with this gem: "I can't not ask the most important question — what's up with your eyebrows?" 

Meanwhile, in America, it's been rumoured that NBC hosts have been asked not to say the group's name on-air.  

Needless to say, Irish Twitter users were less than impressed with O'Connor's addition to a long line of painful Pussy Riot interviews:

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