journalism uk v usa

Every morning I walk down to the Westbourne Park tube to begin my detested journey of public transportation (PT). Along the way there is a little newsstand where free copies of the tube newspaper – the Metro – sit waiting for me. And I refuse to pick it up. At least most days I refuse to pick it up. Because let’s be honest about the fact that I am not very consistent about most of my lame beliefs or opinions (ie, how I used to loath Uggs and swear I’d never wear them and now you can’t pry them off my feet).

So, why dont’ I pick it up? What superstitious belief keeps me from taking a free rag? Why don’t I want to be entertained on the boring tube?

Why? Because the Metro is the newpaper equivalent of toilet paper. And I’m not even referring to Charmin (or Andrex).

It reminds me of a quote from the movie Billy Madison (which is also the film equivalent to loo roll):

“Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

Yes, the Metro actually makes you stupider. Really. It is a proven fact.

In fact, most of the news that people read in the United Kingdom is probably even worse. I have never seen a culture more caught up in the drugged out life of Pete Doherty and Kate Moss, than, well… my own culture.

But what is the difference? What is the point here?

Americans are fed (through a straw) our tabloid infested shite. We are given regular doses of this junk on television. The serious people read the news. The newspapers are serious.

And here? Well, the television news is serious. The BBC is serious. There are serious documentaries and discussion shows on during primetime on BBC1 and the other primetime stations.

I find it odd. Brits like to say – geez, your American news is such Hollywood crap (with a condescending air about them). Well, I just want to say in our defense – British mainstream newspapers are CRAP!

(but at least they know HOW to read…damn, they have us on that one)