Writing in The Guardian, the Newsnight presenter compared the broadcaster to "an ageing uncle who's seen it all".
"I have never, ever, anywhere in the world, heard anyone say a bad word about the World Service," he said.
"How many millions listen to the World Service in some form? A mere 241 million people, they say - the figures are so vast as not to mean very much.
"But it must be many more than will ever clap eyes on William Hague, listen to an ambassadorial speech or attend a Foreign Office leadership conference."
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has cut the funding that it awards to the BBC World Service by 16%. Responsibility for funding the World Service will be met exclusively by the BBC from 2015.
Last week, the National Union of Journalists said that the cuts were "a brutal attack on a valued and vital national service".