19 October, 2011

TV in Porto

When we were at the apartment in Porto we had a very nice flat screen TV. I asked if there were any English channels and Fernando, whom I secretly call Freddy because I kept wanting to call him Ferdinand, confirmed.  Yes, there were many English channels, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Al Jazeera, France 24 in English and French, RT (Russian TV) and Fox News.  So I have the world news at my fingertips. But like in the US and in Europe, there seems to be little news outside of Europe, Libya, Syria and the US. I am always amazed that nothing happens in South and Central America and very little in Africa. 

So what do you do with a plethora of news stations?  You compare the way the news is presented, of course. There are the demonstrations in New York city. They are peaceful so we are told, but Russian TV shows the same policeman beating the demonstrators with his night stick over and over again. As does Al Jazeera. 

What about the war in Afghanistan?  You can imagine how Russian TV and Al Jazeera present that. 

What about the civil war in Libya?  Al Jazeera talks about the plight of the rebel against the government, CNN talks about how dangerous it is for the journalists to take photos. "This is a dangerous road to run in and we must be quick," says the journalists as he runs across the road. I'm thinking he must be an idiot just to be there.

Fox gives more news about the daily life in the US. A child is allegedly abducted from a house in North Carolina. They talk about mothers against abortion, the movement against gay marriage. 

And the most important topic for CNN and Fox news is the upcoming presidential election, each station beating the bushes for or against candidates. It made me realize more than ever that we need open primaries, so we don't end up with a raving religious candidate in the Republican Party. I know that by the time the election takes place I will be sick to death of listening to it.

The only station that had a movie or sitcom was France 24. It worked out well, because though I can't follow French well enough to understand everything that is going on, the station had subtitles in French. One of the movies was in Canadian French, which of course, no Frenchman can understand without subtitles, and even a French movie, where some of actors are speaking in a French dialect. So I could actually get most of the dialogue.

So it was interesting. Of course, except for Russian TV and France 24 we can get all the other channels in the US. Maybe I will have a Porto day occasionally.

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