Is it just me, or do you think the tabloid press is acting more like a rabid dog running out of control wildly intent on causing destruction whatever the cost, then normal?
I only say this because we've had a spate of mad media events in the last few weeks staring with the Ross/Brand affair and culminating last week with the John Sergeant debacle. (I have blogged ad nauseam about that at the other place, so won't witter on about it anymore). In the middle of which we had the seriously tragic story of Baby P, which has had the tabloids howling for blood. Unable to actually say the people who did this are the ones we should blame ,the tabloids have been wildly lashing out at any one who had anything to do with the case. Sack 'em all I say. And then there'll be no one to look after the next Baby P that comes along.
Baby P probably deserves another post entirely of his own, but the Ross/Brand and Strictly stuff has really made me stop and think about whether there is a really malevolent campaign underway to destroy the Beeb (mind you Auntie's ridiculous responses to these situations don't really help her). As each of these (tabloid manufactured and totally over the top) "scandals" have broken there is an inevitable howling about what we pay our license fee for.
We can all complain about the relevance of the license fee in this day and age of free downloads and iplayer watching (now you can watch TV on your computer how the hell are they going to enforce it?) and TV as we know it is clearly changing frantically fast, so the license fee may well be an outmoded way of funding the Beeb.
However. We don't subscribe to Sky because we quite frankly find it hard enough to keep up with what we do want to watch on the terrestrial channels, but if we did, I wouldn't have a problem paying for it. And equally I don't have a problem paying for the BBC.
As it happens I think I get my moneysworth.
As a regular listener to Radio 2 (and Five Live when I'm on the school run - Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo are worth the license fee alone, I reckon) - I get a huge amount of pleasure from my radio. Given that I spend most of the day on my own while the sprogs are at school, I find the radio a great source of stimulus and comfort on lonely grey days like today when otherwise I might be contemplating slitting my wrists.
So the radio makes it worth it for me, but I'd say the TV does too. Since the launch of BBC3/4 there've been a whole host of interesting programming because suddenly the commissioning editors have slots to fill, which means they've had to come up with something other then reality tv and cooking programmes.
In the last year on BBC3 we've enjoyed Pulling and Gavin and Stacey , as well as the one offs like Being Human (yay! they're making a series) and the fabulous Mrs Inbetweeny (which deserves a series) and are currently watching Spooks a week ahead because I go out swimming when the BBC1 episode is aired. On BBC4 we also loved Stephen Fry's programme about the Guttenberg press and the rest of the mediaeval season (including a rare rerun of The Hour of the Pig which we've only seen once) and I am sure I will enjoy Edington and Einstein when I get round to watching it.
On Saturday night I was torn between videoing Edington and Outnumbered (maybe the latter is only of interest if you have more then two children but I think it is the best funniest depiction of modern parenting I've ever seen) as I am sadly obsessed with I'm A Celebrity at the minute. Outnumbered is repeated on Wednesday (damn, just realised I'm going to be out) so I videoed Edington. We had earlier watched Strictly (despite being very cross about John Sergeant - I have to say I am on the verge of quitting on the Strictly front, well done BBC), and Merlin, which is great family viewing. I wasn't sure about Merlin to begin with, but it's really grown on me and this week's episode was cracking. And later on we saw Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Given that we don't often get out on Saturday nights these days,that made for an entertaining evening in - I can remember a veritable famine of good evening entertainment a few years ago when the sprogs were all small. Now I'm more likely to feel I'd rather stay in.
Last night there was an equal feast of riches. We watched the Strictly results show while videoing Top Gear and then watched the first episode of Survivors, which though a tad uneven in places was sufficiently gripping for me to want to return to it next week. Nos 1, 2 and I have also been glued to Little Dorrit,which is helpfully repeated on Sunday in case (as we keep doing)we've missed it.
So I'd say that the Beeb actually offers rather good value for money. And however we have to pay for it in the future, I don't begrudge them the money if they keep providing such topclass entertainment as this (even the dross on the Beeb is better then dross elsewhere).
I have a feeling if the screaming tabloid hacks who are currently baying for the Beeb's blood did get their way and we didn't pay for it anymore, we'd really live to rue the day.
Yes they get it wrong a lot. Yes, there is too much inhouse backslapping camaraderie about the place (I like Jonathan Ross, but sometimes it seems he's just interviewing his mates), but on balance I like what Auntie has to offer.
So I'm going to keep watching (though maybe not Strictly Come Dancing anymore...)