A way to check our perceptions and intuitions against those of other people. Are we frightened? And so on.
The Guardian and Radio 4 manufacture a certain section of the middle class in the same way The Sun manufactures a certain section of the working class. You get a instantly identifiable standardised product.I definitely suffer from that snobbishness toward The Guardian - despite reading some of their reporting myself - that you were on about with Mark, although not to the point that I'd read The Times out of spite. I just see anything with a Guardian, New York Times etc endorsement and roll my eyes. It reminds me of my aunt who's always reading whatever's currently being billed as the book you have to read by them.