Television interviews can be as illuminating and informative, but they are often also a form of entertainment.
When Jeremy Paxman takes on a government minister or opposition spokesperson, viewers may find themselves witnessing a battle of wills and egos.
It must be frustrating in some ways to politicians who have arrived in the television studio with a clear message they want to pass on to viewers.
But the intention of Mr Paxman and his colleagues is to ensure politicians tell the public what’s really going on – and not just what they want us to know.
In the case of poor old Chloe Smith, the Minister savaged by Mr Paxman, it became clear under questioning that she really had no idea what her own government was up to. Her interviewer cannot really be blamed for that.
Mr Paxman and his Radio 4 colleague John Humphrys are not perfect. They may get it wrong sometimes. They may even be a bit rude.
But better that than the tame spaniel MP Daniel Kawczynski seems to be calling for.