I was listening to an interview with a woman who was trying to arrange of all the church bells in Britain to be rung to mark the centenary of the end of World War One. Suddenly, the interviewer, Dan Damon, asked if bells had been rung in the United States to mark the Armistice in 1918. The woman didn’t say it but the tone of her voice suggested that she hadn’t a clue and didn’t really care. Mr Damon explained that the BBC World Service has a lot of listeners in the United States. So?? Does every item on the BBC World Service have to mention the United States from now on? Mr Damon’s approach is both patronising and muddle-headed. Not all Americans are obsessed with their own country to the exclusion of all others. And the Americans who listen to the BBC do so to get away from the self-obsessed American media which believes if no Americans are involved in a given event then it might as well not have happened. I live in Canada at the moment and we get a lot of American news, way more than we deserve. It’s cheaper for Canadian broadcasters to take feeds from the US television news than cover actual events in Canada. I’ll tell you how bad it can get. Back in 2013 a runaway train carrying oil exploded in the middle of a town in Quebec killing 47 people. The event rated barely a mention on the evening news I watched that day. But we did get seven minutes or so about two people being killed at an airport in the United States. By the way, Mr Damon was part of the BBC’s Team Clueless which covered the Scottish Independence referendum. The Barr-ass!!
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