In a sideways comment, the brilliant blog Sit down man, you're a bloody tragedy puts some stuff shaking broadcasting in the U.K. just now in to perspective.
In a post entitled 'The Archaeology of Popism', the blogger lists Channel 4 alongside the New Universities and New Labour in a world of 'popism'.
The post describes 'Popist' moves as
the consummated and unconsummated affairs between intellectuals, the avant-garde and mass culture
and describes a history
that gradually degenerates into mere cheerleading for capitalism
I hadn't ever linked Channel 4, independent production, Big Brother and all with the likes of Warhol, Venturi Scott-Brown and Archigram.
But now Kerplunk!
Well maybe one of the reasons why the Channel gets rapped so hard for its combination of pop and public service is because cultural snobbism can't bare the combination of the two.
Or maybe market fragmentation and cultural evolution dictate that the two today can neither meet nor match.
The answer matters not just for media navel-gazers.
For if pop is now just another category and mass culture no longer exists, where will intellectualism, the avant-garde and popular culture meet? And do we care?
And is this what film director - and deputy chairman of Channel 4 - David Puttnam was grappling with when he said that the station needed a new remit to make sure programme makers, currently obsessed with controversy, were also responsible and respected.
In a segmented market, is it impossible for innovation and controversy to line up beside responsibility and respect? I hope not.