Picture: Monarchy - Press Photo - 07.07.10
Television broadcasters in the U.K. came under withering criticism from several commentators today (Monday) for Sunday's coverage of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee pageantry that included an estimated 1,000 boats accompanying the Royal Barge along the Thames River. In the Daily Mail, columnist Jan Moir remarked that "something died" during the BBC's coverage. "It was the BBC's reputation as a peerless television broadcaster of royal events," she wrote. "It just could not survive under an onslaught of inanity, idiocy and full cream sycophancy uttered, muttered and buttered on thickly by a team of presenters who were encouraged to think that they were more important than the events unfolding around them." Graham Smith, who heads the group Republic, which advocates the abolition of the British Monarchy, charged, "Rather than act as an impartial commentator, the BBC has become cheerleader-in-chief for an institution that is controversial and contested." Britain's Guardian newspaper noted that at one point, Sky News suddenly cut live to an announcer, Eamonn Holmes, displaying the "shocked glare" of a rabbit caught in the Headlights, who then provided this obviously unnecessary commentary "There's some sort of barge going past. ... There's a bit of steam, horns going off ... It's some sort of river boat, well, that just about sums it up." On Twitter, British comedian Stephen Fry asked, "Has the BBC ever presented a more mind-numbingly tedious program in its history?" British MP Rob Wilson tweeted "Low Grade, celebrity driven drivel. How did Beeb get it so wrong?" Several U.S. reviewers were equally put off by the adulatory remarks by CNN broadcasters, in particular Piers Morgan. The Hollywood Reporter quoted Morgan as saying at one point that he doubted he would "ever do anything bigger or better in TV than co-anchor this glorious event to celebrate my queen."