Today and yesterday, it has been wall-to-wall TV coverage of the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. For Britain's state broadcaster, the BBC, and its normally lighter-footed and better focused rivals, Independent Television News (ITN) and Sky News, it would seem that the world has stopped and there is nothing to report or talk about except the 9-11 anniversary.
And what about 9-11? Do these super money wasters have anything new to say? New insight or new angles, perhaps?
None whatseoever. All very predictable stuff hashed and rehashed, debated and redebated over, and over, and over again. It is a complete and utter poverty of the imagination and intelligence.
And why is this, you might ask?
One reason is the traditional British sycophancy towards the Americans. Any primarily American story has to be mangified many times over and treated as if it were a supremely important global story.
Another reason is commercial. The BBC, for example, is trying to make inroads into the American market with its commercial BBC World News channel and BBC.com website. It wants American audiences and American advertisers, whatever the cost to its credibility and to the quality of its programmes. It is aping American channels and will do whatever it takes to dumb down to a level where it will register with American audiences as one of their own and with American advertisers as a channel that is low enough to reach the deepest, darkest corners of the average American six-pack Joe's bowels.
This is what happens when you allow bean counters to take over a public broadcaster. In all of this, the BBC has forgotten that it would not exist had it not been for public funding – the TV licence fee. The poor people who are compelled to fund it and who are force-fed its 9-11 extravaganza nonsense deserve better than this. I hope that yestarday's and today's self-indulgences produce a public backlash that will teach BBC managers and editors a lesson they will never forget.
Finally, a word about 9-11 itself. Of all the hundreds of broadcast hours and the thousands of coloumn inches that have been devoted to the tenth anniversary, I have seen just three articles that are worth reading. Two of the articles are on Scott Lucas's Enduring America World View website – the titles speak for themselves:
And the third is on Al-Jazeera's English-language website: