The BBC, especially. But everyone, PLEASE, stop asking for listeners'/readers'/viewers' opinions on things. We know shit, absolutely nada, and cannot be trusted. Haven't you worked that out already?
'Call in, write in, email us with your views' should never, ever, be heard on the airwaves again. If I want to whiff the ignorant, ill-informed, lienteric stools of the great incontinent masses, I'll hit the blogosphere, thanks a heap. :-)
When I listen to the BBC -- the BBfuckingC, fer Christ's sake! -- I want insight. Analysis. People with letters after their names. Respected leaders, movers and shakers, nattering on, explaining things. Even if they themselves are full of shit, I want to hear them spew that shit themselves. (Line up government ministers, bankers, regulators... the lot.) I don't really want to hear, nor particularly trust, Nick Robinson or other self-important reporters, but they, for now, are inevitable. What I certainly don't want is 'You, the Viewer.'
It's not that I'm elitist. It's not that I think I know more than everyone else. I don't call/write in to these things because I know that I know nothing, and I don't want to take up the very limited airwaves with my own uninformed drivel. That's why God invented the Internet and the blogosphere -- a public lavatory for ideas. And it's not like I believe everything I'm told by experts and specialists -- on the contrary, I don't believe most of it. But I want the chance to hear what I don't believe at least from someone who has some illusory pretext for having said opinion, who has thought about it for more than the minute of that particular news story. Especially when we're talking about this financial crisis. I don't get it all and, as I've argued elsewhere, I'm not sure that the banker-boys get it either, but I have no doubt whatsoever that 'Jon from Hackney' and 'Sue from Gateshead' know absolutely squat.
Ok. I think I've done all this before, and, like, within the last two or three months. Which shows I've either run out of things to say, or that this is one of things that especially pisses me off. If I don't write here ever again, you'll know why.
And here are Mitchell and Webb on the same issue. See? Experts do things much better. I'll keep my amateurish bile in cyber-space, so long as the pros do this good a job...