Saturday 25 July 2015

Another post about 'Dateline'

Today's Dateline London was a classic of its kind. Were I Rod Liddle I'd used the phrase "bien pensant" at this point to describe its five participants (presenter Gavin Esler and his four guests).

They discussed Turkey's policy towards the so-called so-called-Islamic-State, Jeremy Corbyn and U.S gun control.

The idea behind the programme - which, as I've said before, is an excellent one - is meant to bring a varied, worldwide perspective on events. Unfortunately most of the people on Dateline guest list, wherever they come from in the world, share a surprisingly similar outlook (with very few exceptions, mostly from the UK), 

So if you're having a discussion on, say, U.S. gun control, everyone will take the 'liberal position' (in U.S. terms) and agree that President Obama is right to want to tighten gun America's gun laws, and that America's gun laws, as they presently stand, seem irrational and need changing, 

Were Dateline truly committed to giving us a full range of opinions, they might feature a U.S. conservative among their guest list from time to time. They've featured many U.S. guests over the years (usually openly 'liberal'). In all the time I've been watching (seven years or more) not once have they featured a conservative U.S. voice on their guest list. 

And, I predict with some confidence, they never will (willingly). The thought of a U.S. conservative guest, of the kind who might stick up for Americans' right to bear arms or support the Tea Party, seems to be so far beyond Dateline's comfort zone that it will surely never happen. Ever.

Mina Al-Oraibi, who doesn't get a namecheck in this post but who appeared today

To be fair to Gavin Esler today, at least he did essay a 'devil's advocate' point from the other side at one point - though, on the downside, in doing so he also gave us a possibly telling insight into BBC thinking (or groupthink, if you prefer).

Now, I may not myself approve of America's gun laws either, but I think I'm sufficiently open-minded not to find it that hard to understand where those Americans who do support the right to bear arms are coming from.

I have to say, however, that I'm not wholly surprised to hear that someone so infused with the BBC's mindset as Gavin Esler might, in contrast, find it very difficult to relate to such an alien attitude.
I mean, do you get it? I was over there for quite a while. It took me a few years to understand the issues in a way that many Americans do, that this is really important,'s fundamental about citizenship in the United States.
Now, would it have taken you "a few years" (especially if you were a reporter) to "understand the issues in a way that many [pro-guns] Americans do", even if you strongly disagreed with them? 

1 comment:

  1. Today, its Trump the liberal consensus is tearing apart. When will this politically correct cabal focus on the Clintons!


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