It's probably not as cool as when the Beatles led the first British Invasion but the second British Invasion is well underway. Then it was the Beatles, Freddie and the Dreamers and Manfred Mann. Today it's the BBC, The Guardian and The Times.
Facing increasing competition at home, Britain's leading media groups are crossing the Atlantic in search of new revenue and advertising streams. But, if the motivation is commercial, the implications will be cultural and political.
The most successful British exports to America - The Guardian and BBC - lean towards the liberal-left in their worldview. Both, for example, have an institutional respect for multilateral institutions like the United Nations, are supportive of a Kyoto-based approach to climate change and are biased against small government solutions to socioeconomic challenges. A BBC journalist for 25 years, Robin Aitken, has written about his former employer's biases here and BritainAndAmerica's Joe Loconte documented them during his six month stay in the UK.
A previous post on this site showed that the BBC and Guardian - in terms of online readers - were already competitive with the likes of the Washington Post.
The Guardian, in particular, deserves credit for providing regular ammunition to America's left-wing netroots. It ran a campaign in 2004 to encourage voters in Ohio to vote for John Kerry. That campaign backfired but the newspaper has not been discouraged. Some estimates suggest that GuardianOnline now has as many readers in America as in Britain. The Guardian is determined to increase its US penetration further and has today launched 'GuardianAmerica'.
Underneath a post about the launch of GuardianAmerica, one commenter writes: "I give it 6 months before Cheney demands you be bombed." That comment betrays the average Guardianista's view of the Bush administration but my guess is that the initiative will be a problem for Republicans.
The White House and Republican candidates need a strategy for this second British Invasion. While it's certainly the case that the BBC and The Guardian will largely appeal to already left-leaning Americans - and will take some traffic from, for example, the New York Times - these UK platforms may appeal to a wider audience, too.
The White House, amazingly, does not have a staffer dedicated to the international press. That was unforgivable with the international press being so important for winning hearts and minds in the war on terror. Now that the British media is set to become a big player within the US population it's poor domestic politics, too.
Related link: British media could swing the next US election
Related video: The BBC's invasion of America