A world-famous newspaper journalist wants to know what all the fuss is about when journalists are beaten up by autocratic regimes.
His controversial views follow criticism of corporate authorities in Azerbaijan as it gears up to host the Eurovision Song Contest.
Reports emerging from the capital, Baku, suggest that journalists critical of the regime have been subject to beatings by organisations with 'vested interests' in the country.
"Oh come on," says Norbert 'Nobby' Pitman-Shorthand, who made his name with his reports from the riots surrounding the Kipper Wars of 1983/4. "What's a little beating here and there? It never did me any harm.
"Look, it was an odd day if I got out of the Finance and General Purposes Committee of Wakefield Council without a clip round the ear from the chairman when I was a cub reporter.
"You accepted it. It went with the job - and it made a man of you. Oh yes!"
He remembers getting a "right going over" by the local legal professionals after "friendly" drinks with court clerks, solicitors and barristers.
Nobby even regrets the passing of the times when young reporters were subjected to ritual humiliation by organisations like the Women's Institute.
"Oh what an education! I remember the first time I covered the WI on my patch - my news editor gave me no warning of what to expect. But once they finished reading the minutes of the last meeting, they welcomed 'the new lad from the Clarion,' descended on me, whipped my clothes off and chased me round the village green with sticks and brooms!"