11 February 2013

Thank You BBC

There are some days I am just embarrassed by American television.  I don't mean the purposefully stupid stuff like "reality" TV.  I mean the news.  This morning I was getting dressed when a buddy texted me that the Pope was giving up the Holy See.  I flip on the TV and go to news channels. NOTHING.  MSNBC is accusing some senator of wanting to kill kids with machine guns.  Fox is accusing some accusing some representative of wanting to kill every child yet to be born.  Not a single word is being spoken about the Pope.  Next, I try EWTN, the Catholic Channel.  Surely it will have switched from its normal fare of impressive masses and substandard programming for something this important.  Nope.  Some guy is standing in front of a green screen, putting on a show I could probably do in my living room.  Where do I finally find the news?  The BBC.

Thank goodness for the BBC. Everyone else can go on babbling about useless, meaningless stupidity and label it news, but no one seems to have told the BBC that actually doing news on news shows isn't in vogue anymore.  I watched a solid hour of well reported stories on what is happening, why Pope Benedict XVI is stepping down, and putting it in historical perspective.  Then, as the day went on, I kept checking the news on Flipboard (where I follow several news sites) and the BBC was doing a thorough job of analyzing the situation and covering the reactions around the world.  Everybody else?  Maybe one or two stories. Maybe.

I've been a fan of the BBC ever since I was waiting in a tent for the Desert Storm to kick off.  I had the most expensive short wave radio that the PX sold in my ruck sack and I spent hours chasing down English language newscasts from around the world.  In the end, while it was fun to listen to broadcasts from Japan and Germany and Finland and the Vatican, the only worthwhile channel to listen to was the BBC.  Heck, most of the time the BBC would tell us more about what was happening than the official briefs that came down from the chain of command.  I am here to tell you that if you play the Greenwich time signal you will still get my attention every time.

Anyway, thank you BBC and bravo for your sustained ability to actually cover the news.  Somebody's got to because it's pretty clear our Yankee news channels won't.

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