Feature

United Kingdom: Schlock TV, courtesy of taxpayers

Why is the government asking us to bail out a television channel that airs <em>How to Look Good Naked </em>and other tripe?, asked Stephen Pollard in <em>The Times.</em>

Stephen Pollard
The Times

If my tax dollars are going to be used to fund television, I at least want the programs to be edifying, said Stephen Pollard. But the government now wants us to pay to bail out Channel 4, the publicly owned broadcaster that airs such reality shows as How to Look Good Naked and such documentaries as The Gangster and the Pervert Peer. Channel 4 is currently “on the skids” because it can’t attract enough viewers and advertisers to cover its costs, even though it airs plenty of Friends reruns and Steven Seagal movies. In a rational world, it would either have to cut spending to make up its $140 million annual shortfall or go bust. Yet Culture Secretary Andy Burnham apparently can’t bear to deprive us of such “intellectually challenging and democratically essential” programs as Boys and Girls Alone, a reality series that shows kids ages 8–11 crying as they try to survive at a camp with no adult supervision whatsoever. If he has his way, “someone else” will be forced to pay to keep this tripe on the air—“and that someone is you.”

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