Skip to comments.BBC, Under Criticism, Struggles to Tighten Its Belt (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Posted on 04/23/2011 4:49:02 AM PDT by abb
DAVID CAMERON, the British PM, was in Brussels meeting the press last October when he took a few moments to make fun of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Good to see that costs are being controlled everywhere, Mr. Cameron said as he directed a mocking glance at three BBC correspondents, each from a different BBC program, covering his news conference.
Were all in this together, Mr. Cameron said sarcastically, reciting his governments favorite austerity slogan, and then added, including, deliciously, the BBC.
Why would the British premier celebrate the financial woes of the BBC? The corporation is the biggest, oldest and most revered public broadcasting company in the world, a centerpiece of the British brand, as essential to Britains view of itself as the National Health Service or the royal family.
The BBCs news broadcasts, whether on the radio or on television, exude authority and command respect around the globe. The corporation has also made cultural contributions to Britain over the decades, through nurturing talent, sponsoring major musical events and broadcasting television shows like I, Claudius, Monty Pythons Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers. Britons call it, affectionately, the Beeb, and sometimes Auntie, for its traditional role as the last word on everything.
But despite that, or perhaps because of it, the BBC seems to be an all-purpose whipping boy, an easy target for casual joking and at times naked derision from the countrys political establishment.
As Mr. Camerons Conservative-led coalition government embarks on a grueling austerity program, it has accused the BBC of extraordinary and outrageous waste.
Much of the criticism has to do with the license fee of £145.50 (about $240) that is levied annually on British households with a television set. The fee brings in £3.6 billion a year, about 80 percent of the BBCs total income.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Why do we mock the BBC? Uh, because they’re a bunch of Israel-hating hard-left socialists and Marxists who extort $240 from every television set in the UK every year to ram their propaganda down the throats of the world?
On the other hand...commercial-free “Top Gear.” Hmm. Hard choice.
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Without doubt. They floated similar ideas a couple of years ago when several newspapers folded, but got their brains beat out in the Marketplace of Ideas.
I think you’ve summed it up just perfectly.
Programs from 30 years ago, it might be added.
Why would the British premier celebrate the financial woes of the BBC? The corporation is the biggest, oldest and most revered public broadcasting company in the world, a centerpiece of the British brand, as essential to Britain's view of itself as the National Health Service or the royal family.Maybe because David Cameron is the Prime Minister, not the Premier?
It's not a tax. Really. Even though you must pay it, or pay an expensive fine, or go to jail. You can't simply block out the channels, or buy a TV set which doesn't contain he channels in the tuner. Nope. You must pay the bloody fee or else. And no, it's not a tax.
I lived in Britain for for six years and had the above discussion every time a friend cringed over U.S. commercial television and in return I gigged him about their TV tax.
The corporation has also made cultural contributions to Britain over the decades, through nurturing talent, sponsoring major musical events and broadcasting television shows like I, Claudius, Monty Pythons Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers.
The Beeb has plenty of offsetting duds over the years. Think of a state run media with a massive budget that is trying to please a panel of bureaucrats and political appointees.
The Beeb doesn't grind out much quantity either. They would come on about 5.00 pm and sign off at around 10.00 pm seven days a week. Subtract the time for the news (national, of course; almost no local) and that's it. There were two channels when I lived there: BBC1 featured general entertainment and BBC2 featured "educational" material similar to PBS. Both were about 50 percent original content and 50 percent reruns. Furthermore, a significant portion (maybe 30 percent) of their "original content" consisted of licensed U.S. TV productions.
One other wrinkle: the Beeb would wrap up one program and start another at odd times such as 7.05 and 8.40. You needed to check the schedule if you were not constantly glued to the screen.
Mr. Camerons Conservative-led coalition government ... has accused the BBC of extraordinary and outrageous waste.
Based on what I saw during the time I lived there, I heartily agree.
If you go back and read some history of early radio in the 20’s, the BBC model is what many of the “best and the brightest” had in mind for U. S. broadcasting. They felt the masses needed “culture” and “education” and that it needed to be force-fed to them via radio.
They had a conniption fit when advertising (first called ‘toll broadcasting’) hit the airwaves. Of course with advertising, ownership of the content was private and did not belong to government.
They’ve not gotten over that defeat to this day, and that is their ultimate goal.
I'd like to know where can a get a long version of the instrumental piece they use for this countdown?
The music was composed by David Lowe, if that helps. You can go to YouTube, and type in "BBC countdown," and you'll see many versions, some by BBC, some remixes and extended versions by others.
Here is something released by BBC, titled BBC World: The Music, which is along the same lines as the countdown theme.
Jane Harman is worth about half a billion. She’s 65 years old and a widow. If she had any sense she would simply retire totally and enjoy her grandchildren and her golden years.
And Dr Who episode LOL!