beforewisdom wrote:Who are the "red tops" and why do they have that name ( it is a gasoline station here )?
It is slang for sensationalist tabloid newspapers like The Sun and The Daily Star. They have their title in red, hence the name.
From what Americans and people I know who've spent time there have told me, I gather you have two types of newspapers; the serious ones that are sober and carefully written and focus on telling you what is going on (albeit almost totally US based news) on the one hand, and the silly ones full of stories about celebrities, alien abductions etc. on the other.
In Britain, we have three distinct types of newspaper:
The serious ones printed in large format that are generally called Broadsheets. These have UK and international news, coverage of grown up subjects like the economy and political debate. These are either broadly left wing (The Guardian, The Observer), broadly right wing (The Times) or full-on unapologetic right wing (The Telegraph) there's also The Independent, which claims to be neutral, though many see it as more left wing than The Guardian (in a good way).
The most popular papers are the tabloids, which are printed in smaller format and have much more soft news/celebrity news/human interest stories and sports coverage. These also have cartoon strips and some have a Page 3 girl; a topless woman on page 3. These papers get nicknamed Red Tops and range from the full-on right wing (The Sun, The Daily Star) to the vaguely left wing (The Daily Mirror). Politically neutral ones don't exist. Their typical reading intelligence age is around 7. There's also a really weird tabloid paper called the Sport / Sunday Sport, which is like your American UFO abductions type papers.
Then there's a third type of paper which is sinister, because it has the hysterical politics of the tabloids, combined with the serious look of the broadsheets. The Daily Mail is the most famous example. This tries to pass itself off as a grown-up paper (you certainly won't see any topless women in it), but the writing style is aimed at people with very limited intelligence and worldview, who want to be fed rants. They will take seemingly wide-ranging and interesting topics and feed them through a kind of fear-mongering, set-people-up-against-their-neighbours filter. These papers are full of scare stories about our way of life being threatened by such things as science, homosexuality, immigrants and a vaguely-defined group of people called "do-gooders" (basically, people with socialist beliefs who try to use them by doing things like campaign against wars in Iraq, rather than just moan about everything.)
I get the impression that you don't have this third kind of paper in America, so a website like the Daily Mail will, at first glance, come across like serious news and analysis.
The BBC traditionally straddles the gap between this third type of news reporting and the serious broadsheets, though in recent years it is said to be getting more tabloid in its approach, with lots more cheap content like reality TV, stuff about dancing etc. and less science, sport etc.