Notwithstanding their numerous half-truths, inconsistencies, Janus-faced positions & shameless fabrications, the media on this side of the Atlantic can be a rather different creature to their US counterparts. Opinions are stated & headlined as such, generally speaking; op-ed pieces are not normally inserted into the news pages of the Guardian, nor would the BBC dream of allowing one of its news presenters to give a personal, highly-partisan opinion on any issue.
In the US, as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart brilliantly reminds us, things are a little different.
Rupert Murdoch's Fox News this week gave neo-con shill Bill O'Reilly carte blanche in criticising Bruce Springsteen for appearing at Pete Seeger's 90th birthday concert (http://mediamatters.org/clips/200905050042 ).
Believe it or not, O'Reilly suggested that part of a successful strategy for a Republican recovery in US politics after last November's election defeat should include a condemnation of Springsteen for his "snide reference to America".
Characters like O'Reilly now call the shots in the US Republican party. If all they can offer is reheated McCarthyism, with a continued faith in free market capitalism & social & racial bigotry thrown in, they fully warrant at least a generation of political isolation & irrelevance.