I was an at Important Academic Event today and something happened that rather annoyed me. So, as is usual, I'm laying it out here.
It was a seminar-type situation where one person was presenting. There were a couple of professors and junior scholars, including a good friend of the presenter. When it came to Q&A, the Good Friend kept on finishing the presenter's lines/arguments and jumping in when she (presenter) was asked a challenging question or asked to follow up/explain.
It got to the point that the presenter looked at Good Friend, GF jumped in and voila! Later, GF was making a lot of comments about how "tough" the presenter had had it and how the Q&A was unfair.
I was wondering what academics or academics-in-training would make of this? I found it insulting but then I'm the sort to prefer making an arse out of myself solo (and have a regrettable tendency to become highly sarcastic when publicly-challenged/pushed). But, still, I can understand a supervisor/advisor helping out if/when their student is under fire* but a Friend? Especially one who jumped in without the presenter actually being in trouble?
* I'd like to make it clear, though, the general view was the the Presenter was not under fire and the questions, while wankerish in their repetition, were straightforward ones, asking for clarification.