|Live from the European Parliament|
The European Parliament has confirmed that the troubled Europarl TV is to be passed on to the US media giant, known for following a robust agenda, amid accusations that officials are desperate to rid themselves of the controversial broadcaster before the budget discharge is complete.
The parliament’s TV station has been accused of costing ofer €4 million, yet the website only draws a handful of viewers. One MEP said, “It would work out a lot cheaper if Buzek visited each viewer personally.”
New officials had been drafted in to the station, but viewing figures have not improved and, as austerity measures are being implemented throughout Europe, the Parliament’s Bureau decided that the project was no longer viable in its present form. One official, close to the deliberations, spoke to New Europe, “It was just terrible. We can’t afford it and can’t admit it is a failure.”
New Europe has seen extensive documentation that shows officials asking and then pleading for other news networks to take over the channel. However, many simply refused to consider the offer. A BBC spokesperson said “superficially, it sounds like a good investment, but we have our programme, The Record Europe, which goes out for half an hour each week and the viewers simply are not interested in more news from the Parliament.”
A leading Italian channel was interested, but was found to be too close to the embattled Italian President. “French broadcasters said they would consider it, but the Parliament had to base itself full time in Strasbourg, to lower costs.
It is understood that Fox News approached the Parliament with “a very serious offer” which was accepted at a Bureau meeting late last night. Some MEPs have been angered by the perceived right wing bias, but S&D Leader, Martin Schulz said he had been reassured by the channel’s slogan, “Fair and Balanced”.
US insiders said that it was likely that controversial host, Glen Beck was likely to be the main anchor, “he has shown a considerable interest in explaining European politics to viewers and he is ideal for the role. “ A Fox executive said.
He added, “One thing that really helped was our projected series, ‘Sarah Palin’s Europe’ where the Alaskan former Vice President candidate will tour the continent, explaining politics and what’s really important to Europeans as well as go hunting.” This is being seen as an attempt to improve her foreign policy experience ahead of a possible Presidential run.
“Sarah is really keen on this exciting project,” one of her staff told New Europe, “she’s already learning Belgian.”