Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Watching television

I have never really thought about the idea of politically partisan weather reports before, but when I think about it, it is actually fairly obvious. What do TV weather reports use? Maps. And maps are a traditional way of showing partisan politics. Many Basque nationalist signs and posters of all kinds show an outline of a map of what their ideal independent Basque nation would be. It consists of the three provinces of the autonomous Basque region of Spain, the Spanish province of Navarra, and the Basque area of southern France. (Navarra is Basque in perhaps the same way Vallencia is Catalan. The Basque language is spoken there, but in a different dialect. The two regions have been politically quite distinct for a long while. Navarra was a separate kingdom for centuries. Plus there are more non-Basques living there than in the area around Bilbao and San Sebastian. All this means that separatism is weaker there than here. And separatism is weaker in France than here, largely because the Basque people were never repressed by General Franco there. However, Basque nationalists see some future greater Basqueland consisting of the whole three areas.

Thus the weather report. The maps behind the weather girl showed the weather in the greater Basque area I described, including Navarra and southern France. This area was in a dark colour with everything else white, just as on the nationalist posters. There were no political boundaries shown in this area. And there were no weather reports for anywhere else. As I said, a politically partisan weather report.

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