Beeb dweebs II

Beeb dweebs II
: Giles Ward says there was even more wrong with the BBC’s What the World Thinks of America (below) than meets the eye and ear.

Giles says that the BBC’s international mission as a taxpayer-supported service is to report the facts.

However, the

  • sara

    I saw the poll in BBC, and wonder what’s the source for these people to know americans? their local media?
    when i talk with my friends or family who live in america they say americans are very kind and friendly, but when i talk with friends in europe (west) they say europen are unfriendly and cold and even racist! i saw some clip that french racist beat a chinese to death! i dont know can i beat someone after s/he’s bleeding even i believ s/he has a poor race.
    one of my family in america who visits europe say they are very uncultured!
    that’s all i know about american and european.

  • I think you’re wrong about the world not caring about what America would think about it. From what I can see, the rest of the world seems absolutely obsessed with what America thinks about it. It’s Americans who don’t really care (except for a minority of Concerned Intellectuals) what we are thought of in foreign places. Most of the people who are here came here (or are descended from those who came here) to escape the rest of the world and what it thinks about everything.

  • That should be “how we are thought of in foreign places.” Excuse my grammar glitch.

  • “In retaliation, I was going to suggest that an American network should create What the World Thinks of Europe but the truth is, the world couldn’t care less.”
    That’s exactly right, at least for the part of the world that doesn’t tilt left-centre. The BBC is being revealed to be the just another mouthpiece for the Left-leaning Liberal elites, just like the CBC and NPR.
    Actually, it’s probably even worse than that. It almost makes NPR look like Foxnews in comparison.
    But the most annoying aspect is that their preeminence is most likely due to their being coddled with public funding from British tax payers. Maybe all we can hope for is to see the British public forcibly wean them off of the nipple of their tax subsidized milk bottle and force them to compete with the private media in Britain (do they even exist?).
    Apparently PBS/NPR is up to about 90% self-funding now, if that’s any consolation.
    The last good thing to come out of the BBC was the Beatles broadcasts from 1962-1965. In my humble opinion.

  • balbulican

    As a member of the left leaning liberal…well, not elite, but whatever…I can assure you that the Canadian left think of the CBC as a pretty right wing broacaster, given the amount and quality of coverage they devote to environmental and labour issues. Of course, the fact that they cover those issues at all convinces the right that the CBC is a cesspool of closet bolsheviks.
    I cannot share Giles Ward’s shock and dismay that a program entitled “What the World Thinks of America” relies on opinion polls as a key source…difficult to think of another approach, really. Best suggestion, Giles, is not to watch programs with titles like that.

  • scott

    It’s interesting to check out the e-mail comments regarding the show on the BBC site.
    While many are vitriolic and many are grossly ill-informed caricatures of Americans, the sum impression from reading them is unmistakeable:
    It’s teenagers groaning about their parents.
    It’s nerds resenting the fact that the captain of the football team gets the pretty girl.
    While some comments may contain a grain of truth, the critique on a whole is essentially one of highly unserious and utterly juvenile envy.
    Just as most Americans would have assumed even without the keen insight of the BBC faithful.

  • Dan Schmelzer

    The Pew Center for the People and Press puts out a good report about what the rest of the world thinks about the US.
    Personally, I find the point of view from the BBC poll a little odd. Why would the BBC spend so much time in polling what people think about the US? I can understand somebody like the Pew Center for the People and the Press (an American organization) being quite interested in the subject.

  • Dan Schmelzer
  • Barbara Skolaut

    Pollster to American: What’s your opinion of the rest of the world?
    American (except elitist snobs): Who?

  • ginny

    The BBC asked for comments; mine weren’t brilliant, but because I’d gone to the bother I checked back over the next few days. During that time I didn’t see any more entered (not just not mine, which I could understand – it was a bit long-winded, though hardly vitriolic and certainly not vulgar or obscene). I got the feeling that the BBC didn’t really care what other people thought – just what they thought.

  • ginny

    The BBC asked for comments; mine weren’t brilliant, but because I’d gone to the bother I checked back over the next few days. During that time I didn’t see any more entered (not just not mine, which I could understand – it was a bit long-winded, though hardly vitriolic and certainly not vulgar or obscene). I got the feeling that the BBC didn’t really care what other people thought – just what they thought.

  • Ginny,
    Don’t be surprised. I’ve found that the BBC has never put up a comment of mine that didn’t jibe with its’ preferred political stances – America is Evil, Bush ia an Idiot, the Euro is a Good Thing, Nation-Staters are Xenophobes, GM Food is Terrible, etc, etc.
    That British TV owners are forced to subsidize such a blatantly politicized organization to the tune of $180 a year is a travesty, and why I simply refuse to buy a television set.

  • balbulican

    Abiola, do you find that your lack of a TV is an impediment to forming an accurate picture of the BBC’s editorial stance?

  • Jeff, This is the second time you’ve put misleading information up on your blog about this pol. As you know, it was an international collaboration, not a BBC sole production. The CBC also had a one hour special on the poll, as, I think did the Australian Broadcasting company.
    As I said in your las tpost, i thought the poll was very useful in this age of American hypernationalism. It allows Americans to compare the differences in how they are percieved in Indonesia, Korea, or Canada.
    As for Giles complaints that polling in not a suitable subject for newsmedia, I think he’s a little late in that Jihad. Polls have been “news” for years. Public opinion is news.
    Anyway, you should probably correct the errors in this post and the last one.

  • Ikram: There are no “errors” in my posts. There are opinions. I watched the show and I stand strongly by those opinions: The BBC show was eagerly anti-American. And you know what: Americans can be offended by insults just as readily as Muslims can or Jews or Russians or French or Germans or…. Americans are humans, too. And this show was a horrid insult to Americans. It set out to insult Americans and it did it with a blunt edge.

  • Craig

    I’ll note that, IMO, anyone who thinks the CBC is right wing is fooling themselves.
    If your definition of “right wing” is “In favour of taxation, massive spending increases, government mandated and financially supported multiculturalism, mandatory bilingualism, immigration, gay marriage, universal gun control and near bans on gun ownership, unions, Kyoto [exception: Rex Murphy], the ICC, criminalized hate speech, and Castro; against the war on Iraq, against privatization of government industries, against government spending cuts, and anti-American in general” well, then, maybe you can argue that the CBC is right wing. Admittedly, not every one of those positions is inherently tied to a one-dimensional left/right analysis. But taken as a totality, it’d be hard for anyone to identify the person or organization as anything but left wing.
    The issue is not just what the CBC reports on, but how they report on it. If you say the CBC doesn’t report on the environment, try naming the last time a CBC program advocated a private sector solution to any problem instead of a governmental one.
    One can, admittedly, argue that the CBC is the house organ of the center of the left Liberal party, and not the further left Green and NDP parties, and that it excludes those parties and their primary issues (particularly the Greens) from its coverage. This may be related to the number of seats the Greens have won in Federal elections (0), but might also be related to a Liberal party bias that sees the Liberals as “rightful spokesmen” for the left, and ignores other voices.

  • balbulican

    My point was that the CBC, like most public broadcasters, is neither left wing nor right wing. Their mandate is to reflect the broadest possible range of opinion, and thus they infuriate everyone at one point or another. As I said, the left (NDP/Green) truly does believe that the CBC represents the Liberal party, as you point out: the Alliance/Conservatives see them as unrepentant anarchists.
    But don’t pretend they’re structurally leftist. I wake up every morning to Business Digest, twenty minutes of corporate information. There is no comparable daily series on the environment, labour issues, or the NGO sector. Peter Mansbridge was Mulroney’s buddy and dinner companion, not Alexa McDonagh’s.