I admit it: this conservative likes the BBC, in spite of its self-confessed left-liberal bias. Maybe it’s a nostalgic attachment to the Beeb’s role in World War II, when their overseas radio broadcasts would begin “This is London calling,” bringing a message of liberty, hope, and resistance to people trapped in the Nazis’ empire. Or maybe it’s just a natural reaction to the reassuring aura of authority that comes from a posh London accent — at least for the Anglophilic among us. (Another confession.)
But, much as I like Auntie Beeb, I don’t want to give her US taxpayer dollars:
BBC World Service to sign funding deal with US state department
The BBC World Service is to receive a “significant” sum of money from the US government to help combat the blocking of TV and internet services in countries including Iran and China.
In what the BBC said is the first deal of its kind, an agreement is expected to be signed later this month that will see US state department money – understood to be a low six-figure sum – given to the World Service to invest in developing anti-jamming technology and software.
The funding is also expected to be used to educate people in countries with state censorship in how to circumnavigate the blocking of internet and TV services.
It is understood the US government has decided the reach of the World Service is such that it makes investment worthwhile.
In other words, we’re in a fiscal crisis with a looming entitlement crash and a massive deficit, we’re seriously thinking of defunding our own quasi-national broadcaster, and yet Foggy Bottom thinks it’s a good idea to give money to the British Broadcasting Corporation? Six figures may be chicken feed in DC, but spending even a dime of our money on this is nonsensical. Granted, London is massively cutting defense spending and is imposing what amounts to (for them) an austerity budget (including cuts to the BBC), but they can fund their own darned radio service, if they think it’s so worthwhile.
And may I remind State that we ourselves have a pretty well-respected overseas news service, the Voice of America? Sending the money their way would accomplish the same goal while directly serving American interests.
Oh, wait. I forgot. It’s the State Department we’re talking about. Never mind.
I’ll give Fausta the final word on this mini-farce:
Let me get this straight, the US is broke, borrowing money from China, and will be funding the BBC to broadcast in China?
I’m sure it makes perfect sense inside the Beltway.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)