Sunday, 20 January 2008

Stop it. You're embarrassing yourselves.

Now, I'm not so dull witted that I cannot see the relevance of the US elections to us. Certainly, I'd be concerned if the British media decided that they weren't worth bothering with, but I am getting fed up with the fourth estate's treatment of them as if they were happening here and that they themselves are somehow a part of it.

The West Wing wet dream that is the presidential primaries is something that our most prominent journalists are losing all sense of perspective over, or indeed shame. There they are, mainly from Channel 4 News and BBC Newsnight, standing in the Iowa snow or some nameless midwest town, trying to be the equal of the oh-so exciting DC set they so desperately want to be a part of.

As Lionel Shriver has written, it's "embarrassing". So why do they bother?

Yes, it is important, and of course they are seduced by the romance of US politics, but there is something else. For the metropolitan media elite someone else's politics is, like the proles, always much more attractive than your own.

I can accept this prejudice - that's just life in the UK in the 2000s. It's the lack of embarrassment and self awareness that gets me. The US election coverage is making me cringe. When US networks only toss a cursory glance in the direction of our own polls, it's all a bit unseemly to be fawning over them in the very, very early stages of theirs. Like county cricket matches, I'm sure as hell interested in the final outcome, but I'm not sure I want to sit through the whole contest.

AND IN OTHER NEWS . . . Bristol lost. We're out of the Cup. Time to focus on the league.

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