Today in America it has been a momentous day. For the rest of the interested English-speaking global community, it has been a culmination of over-drooling, over-hyping and over-speaking, especially by the BBC.

I was hopping mad when the presenters on TV BBC1 had the temerity to constantly talk over the progression of the ceremony. As a result, I did not know the identity of the lady in grey who sang in soul sound till about half way through; then I discovered it was Aretha Franklin. The first few musical phrases of John Williams’ piece, being played by some exquisite performers, was totally lost with BBC unwanted chat. Then the presenters drowned out the introduction and nearly the words of the swearing-in of the vice president.

There was an excellent mistress of ceremonies in Ms Feinstein, who was a very good speaker, why on earth did others feel they needed to pitch in and drown out her and the main performers?

After all, it was an English language ceremony, the watching English-speaking public did not need voice-overs or translators. The reporters obviously had a need to demonstrate the relevance of their presence, to justify the costs of their jamboree to the license payer.

Thank heavens the commentators managed to shut up for Obama’s superb and important oration and for the final presentation by the elderly Pastor who gave a message of hope that all could relate to, with grace and humour.

Yet for all that, you could hear the commentators had real problems containing themselves; they were almost wetting themselves, trying to get the first wise words of analysis out into the media. Save us from the BBC press corp!


  1. It happpend over here too. As much as I didnt watch a lot the part I really wanted to hear as his speech and had to watch it three times before I could hear the whole thing. Lord help us with the news casters

  2. I agree the BBC often regard their own oration as taking precedence over the subject. After all, there’s no point in being a commentator unless you adore the sound of you own voice

    Whilst being somewhat cynical about the whole event (remember 1997 when Blair came to power and all the hysteria surrounding his ‘inauguration’) I wish the Americans well. Given the alternatives, some would argue they had no choice but to elect this one.

    History is, unfortunately, not on their side.

  3. It was just too awful. No doubt, commentators would voice-over Zadok the Priest and any other bits of a British Monarch’s coronation, including words intoned and orated by the Archbishop of Canterbury!!

    (This is an example rather than a case for current discussion šŸ˜‰ )

  4. You had it bad too. Really, it is beyond the pale. What is it with these newscasters? Don’t they have a sense of propriety – actually I don’t need to answer that, we know the answer to it, don’t we. As you say, Lord help us with newscasters!

  5. You know FW I would add to loving the sound of ones own voice, a disgusting super-ego. The arrogance of BBC, and probably other newscasters’ self-belief system and behaviour, is breathtaking.

    I take your point about the euphoria of Blair’s day of accession. This is a bit different, Blair isn’t Black-African so, physically and psychologically, did not represent a large swathe of the British population.

    It was good to hear Obama make a real attempt to reduce the almost out of control- messianic-type – expectations of him. It is also refreshing to hear someone who can put three words together and speak them well. It is even more refreshing to be presented with an American leader who has a knowledge of where countries are geographically placed in the world plus he has a good grasp of domestic and world history. There are other interesting features with this man. Let’s see how Obama is able to use his undoubted attributes.

    I find your comment regarding the choices in this election, most interesting. On the other hand, reading between the lines, I would add, Obama appears to be using his initial hand of cards, some of the other choices, some would argue, in a very useful way.

  6. I think I have banged on before about the vast number of BBC journos spending the licence fee on junkets abroad! One from Radio 4 sent out plus several local correspondents, several from BBC News 24, probably several from BBC1 News – why not make do with 1 or 2?

    You’d have laughed at our local news though, desperately searching for an Obama story. They came up with some woman in the southwest who breeds labradoodles and has called one puppy ‘Illinois’ as it was born on the day Obama was confirmed as president elect. “Ooooh, I’ve written to the President to see if he’d like to adopt it” she trilled.

  7. Oh Yes Lois, the number of individuals that get sent from one organisation, to cover a story, is unreal and of course, these little treats get paid for by us, take it or leave it! Then, on top of that, they use spoiling tactics, to prove their worth… We had a similar conversation yesterday, one that’s been had many times before in this house. Is it that, for example, James Naughty from Radio 4 news programmes (and book club, thank heavens he wasn’t reviewing and compĆ©ering that at the same time)can’t be seen to be commentating for BBC TV news, that it has to be their proprietorial presenters? The resident correspondent works with both types of media, so do others. There is so much money expended where it does not need to be.

    The couple the media came up with last night who had supported McCain, illustrated every reason why Americans couldn’t afford to put another problematic waif into the White House.

    Obama “Adopt Illinois”; Illinois adopted him already. Somebody should tell the dear inconsequential soul. Oh dear, it does get a bit desperate, doesn’t it.

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