The Disgrace of the BBC

Inspectors from the TV Licensing Agency patrol neighborhoods using wireless detectors to attempt to pick up the “local oscillator” signal from a television in use. Anyone caught using a TV without a license is subject to a fine of up to $1,600. It doesn’t matter if you watch TV once a month; it doesn’t matter if you heartily disapprove of the BBC’s editorial direction (or, indeed, its existence); it doesn’t matter if you think the Beeb hasn’t produced anything worth watching since “Fawlty Towers” went off the air in 1979: You still have to pay. | What do you get for your money? —Josh Chafetz
The Disgrace of the BBC  (Weekly Standard)

BBC correspondent Andrew Gillian sounds like the Iraqi information minister:

[O]n April 3, after U.S. troops had taken control of the Baghdad airport, Andrew Gilligan (remember that name) reported on the BBC World Service and on the BBC website, “Within the last 90 minutes I’ve been at the airport. There is simply no truth in the claims that American troops are surrounding it. We could drive up to it quite easily. The airport is under full Iraqi control.” That was Gilligan’s story, and the BBC was sticking to it–until another correspondent pointed out that Gilligan was not, in fact, at the airport, but U.S. troops quite clearly were.