Sunday, June 21, 2015
The BBC (...eye roll)
I was watching a brief Niel Cavuto piece on -- the dreaded -- Fox News the other day and his notably casual and likable manner caused me to consider a network I don't watch - the BBC.
I've often contemplated the relevance (or greatness?) of the BBC, Britain's mega-billion dollar media empire. I view it's articles often through links but I never intentionally seek out its brand of journalism. I don't avoid it because it's not a high quality professional news organization (it obviously is) or because I have anything against British accents (except when they're being used by people who aren't British thinking they sound more sophisticated if they talk in the style of the King James Bible).
I avoid the BBC because of how others often show their admiration for it. I avoid it because I deliberately wish to retain my credentials as a "philistine simpleton" with blue-collar roots. Many people I've known reference the BBC the same way they reference the current U.S. president. I sometimes think their motivation has more to do with a need for hero worshiping than any genuine appreciation for quality information. Kind of like a teeny-bopper groupie for the approved rock band of intellectual snobbery.
Today's scathing critique on intellectual snobs will not address issues of the BBC's bias or the fact that it receives tax-funding, valid issues for debate in themselves.
What motivated me to write these comments today was simply -- as noted -- watching Niel Cavuto on "the dreaded" Fox News. I'm not a fan of his or anything but I couldn't help but note that his personable manner was so unlike the aura which surrounds the BBC and those who admire it so. I'm sure there are plenty of likable decent people at the BBC but, having grown tired of the haughty manner of so many professional intellectuals and armchair philosophers (i.e. snobs), it's refreshing to have people (FOX) report and comment on the news of the day in a style that's -- for lack of a better phrase -- friendly and down to earth. I realize that may sound ridiculous when one considers that it's really just basic information one hopes to glean from a network, but...
On more than one occasion I've had to hear the arrogant sneers and condescension from holier than thou progressives as they insult the coverage of important events that non-FOX networks manage to miss. The U.N. Oil for food scandal, Benghazi, the I.R.S. targeting private citizens the President and his party disagree with, etc. etc. Is it really so bad that one major News network looks skeptically on the party in power? I dare suggest that, if not for FOX we'd be ever so much closer to one party rule (of course, the Demo-comms immigration policies will achieve that end).
I doubt that the average country bar patron in middle America watches much of the BBC (okay, they probably never watch it). It's likely as well that the BBC and its staff would not like the average country bar patron in middle America. Wine or beer? K-Mart or Cartier? Nascar or Polo? There is something to be said for a common brand, especially in a time when the ideals of philosopher kings are being rammed down our throats on every front. Simple may not be "better" but it's often more palatable to sound judgement and common sense.
Though attempts are often made to denigrate FOX News as somehow being less than a true outlet of news, one would be shying from objectivity to suggest that Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, Juan Williams, or Harris Faulkner are less than competent and professional journalists. Like other news outlets, Fox has it's pundits and commentators but an inquiry into the quality of FOX's news reporting has nothing to do with Hannity or Bill O'Reilly (admittedly, I cringe with embarrassment when I occasionally hear my viewpoint coming from Hannity's overly strident mouth). Personally, I think Greg Guttfeld runs rings around any mainstream propaganda points that John Stewart can crouch in comedic terms. And, along with the wit, some common sense insight.
I'll continue to read BBC links sent to me from friends or linked to on web sites and I'll continue to acknowledge that it offers a professional format, but I'll also continue to roll my eyes up when someone makes a dramatic proclamation that their media outlet of choice is the heroic bastion of cosmopolitan global professional tight-asses.