From Beeb to Boob


It’s sad. I remember when the BBC was a light in the wilderness, how all my friends — local and visitors — in South Asia hung on its every word. Yes, there was Voice of America — but it was slower, clumsier, not really a news organization, one felt.

But listening to the “world news hour” rebroadcast through our NPR station the other morning, I heard how the might have fallen. The broadcast was dominated by an interview with someone — never did catch the name, but an old environmentalist reporter or a professor in some of the arts — who blathered on about climate change. He harangued the audience, and the interviewer who kept asking the same questions, for much too long. It gave new meaning to circular reasoning: the gentleman said that it didn’t really matter whether there was a human factor in climate change, although he thought there certainly was, climate was changing and we should do everything we could to work against it because of what human beings were doing to produce climate change. Hello!

Then there was a discussion of the current economic situation in the U.S. and in Euroland. The person again being interviewed [I believe he was a guru from Reuter’s]– hard to know as they hardly ever do the necessary thing of reidentifying him or her throughout the interview — was so partisan that he took a rather Pollyannish view of the just published dismal U.S. statistics and really seemed unaware that Europe was going from one crisis to conference to another crisis.

That inquiry into the partisanship — leftwing dingbat nonsense — which was undertaken some months ago came through with more integrity than one would have expected. But it is obvious, I am afraid, that it will have no effect.

Yes, from Beeb to Boob. But it has taken several decades and I suppose that is a natural pocess of integrations.

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