The screech of Fox News deafens America. Will the U.K. suffer a similar din?
I could agree with many ideas expressed in this article. However, the culture war is fought by two sides. This article represents the point of view of one side only and the presentation is not honest because the writer is claiming to be a non-combatant, but he is clearly from one side! What about the increasing influence of American woke culture on the British Left? To de-escalate, you have to ask the troops on both sides to stand down. Otherwise, it is just a plea for one side to unilaterally disarm themselves, which is not going to happen. I agree, however, that an American style culture war would be disastrous for UK. Very soon, substantive discussion of all political, economic, social and cultural issues would be drowned out by culture war rhetoric. Politics will be about identity, not ideas and not policy.
"Impartial" as a watchword should be replaced with "reasonable." A reasonable BBC approach could be to relentlessly expose the follies of both right and left-wings. I'm not sure if that's politically viable in Britain. But reason is under assault in the West from all sides. The center needs to hold somewhere.
I used to think the same about Fox News as well, but in the last couple of years, it has somehow veered from its usual hyperbole to a place where it is more factual than it was in the past (not hard), while being less ridiculous. This is undoubtedly a reaction to having identified the literal nonsense of the woke left. Not that I watch Fox, but we are now in a place where (say) CNN and Fox are arguably rough equals in partisan narrative, and the hyperbole of the left (e.g. MSNBC) is plain for all to see.
I gave up on the TV licence 6 months ago because the BBC had become so bad. Andrew Marr, supposedly the flagship critical interview program is hopeless, failing each week to ask any big questions, to call the current utterly hopeless government to account (and in the Corbyn era, failing mostly to even hold that equally useless version of the Labour party to account). This is because today's journalists don't seem to know any real history or political philosophy, or have any coherent understanding of how societies work (or don't).
Andrew Neil, although I am not a particular fan of his style, is pretty merciless with the incompetents of both sides of politics, and does actually have a better handle on the big questions than people like Marr.
The other BBC programme that is lamentable in its quality is Question Time. I used to turn it off half-way through, the discussions were so illiterate. Dimbleby was not bad as moderator, but compare QT to e.g any French political interview show (watch On n'est pas couche, for example) - QT is just a joke.
There is a bigger problem evident in the Anglo news world in general: the lack of philosophers, cultural critics, and indeed people simply capable of critical thinking in news & current affairs. There are many in the UK, but we hardly ever see them, whereas the likes of Luc Ferry, Pascal Bruckner, etc appear regularly on popular French TV. Result: discussions in places like QT go on for an hour on a completely absurd and simply incorrect premises.
Newsnight is probably the best of a bad lot, and although I have not seen it for nearly a year, is the only thing I would save in the current affairs category.
BBC media / news has not been a serious proposition for at least 5 years. If people want to complain about the likes of Andrew Neil setting up his own kind of organisation, they need to have a critical look at the real reason first - the abysmal quality of BBC news and current affairs. Personally, I'd be interested to see what he does. He at least has a habit of tearing down illogical, fact-free BS, even if he's not too friendly in doing it.
Echoing Sinchan, while not sharing his assumption of bad faith, I do think it’s impossible to understand this non holistically. The polarization game is tennis not solitaire. To ignore that the left (and transparently, the bbc) along with much of corporate life, education, etc have become in thrall to an unelected minority set of cultural norms that literally often sneer at ‘unenlightened Britain’, and making it about them big bad to rise with their Fascist style politics is to fundamentally misunderstand the problem and give almost superhuman powers to political strategies that would clearly have crashed and burned only a decade ago. Clearly it isn’t the moves of the right wing alone that can explain what is going on here.