Over two years since I started this blog, three things consistently make me feel like an outsider in the US. You can’t be a Brit in this country without being shocked by the tenor of the abortion debate, the frequency of shooting massacres, and the patronising inefficacy of most TV news anchors.

More and more, I blame the last one for the other two. Without someone like Jeremy Paxman or (radio, but still) John Humphrys to hold the commentariat to account, instead you have news anchors simply passing the metaphorical microphone back and forth. And as a result, the loud voices of the lobbies don’t see the need to speak the truth.

This week, as the dust settles on the budget battleground, the spotlight has grown brighter on Arizona senator Jon Kyl. As neatly dissected here, he told the Senate that “You don’t have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesterol or your blood pressure checked. If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.”

It’s actually 3 per cent, but when asked about his 87 point margin of error, his office responded that it was “not intended to be a factual statement”. Kyl’s due to retire soon; how lovely of him to give such great parting gifts to Colbert, Stewart, Maddow and co…