Imagine that – as a freelance news ‘snapper’ – you capture the moment when the carefully controlled insanity of Raubritter Soros-Schwab von Davos suddenly snaps, and thrusts a sharp blade into the neck of recently freed Julian Assange…but the press title that buys your piccie runs a piece underneath the shot headlined ‘Defenceless old bald bloke forced to defend himself from frenzied attack by crazed Trump fan’.
The headline commits two cardinal sins: a complete lack of geopolitical Great Reset context, and a blatant misrepresentation of what took place. Is this an unfair attack on MSM reporting? The Slog puts the theory to the test…..
Let us, for example, breeze through the “opinions” being expressed in today’s Daily Telegraph: Tory rebels will haul Raab over the fire on Chinese slave labour issue, Tories accuse Labour of political stunt over Universal Credit, the pettiness of the vindictive EU, Biden’s stimulus package will dwarf that of the EU, Trump didn’t evolve as President, 13 little Lockdown helpers to cheer you up, and Will Sunak slash council tax and stamp duty.
Does any of it inform? The questions I’m left asking are: do Tory rebels honestly give a flying duck about slave labour in China, does anyone care about Universal Credit or even understand how it works, has the Torygraph only just noticed Brussels nastiness, will any form of stimulus render Biden normal, was Bill Clinton’s evolution from dodgy Governor to cigar abuser a good thing, how silly can Lockdown debate get, and how on Earth will Sunak cutting taxes address the Black Hole in UK finances?
How about The Times: China must learn from Covid not pay for it, Biden has no time for needy Western allies, We could all do with a breath of fresh air, Time for a public interest defence in the Official Secrets Act, and Now is the time for small businesses to innovate.
Queries here include why should China want to learn, how many European allies could Biden list if asked, is virtual house arrest a question of fresh air/how silly can Lockdown debate get, and how are small businesses likely to innovate the experience of bankruptcy?
And in the Mail: What’s gone wrong at Liverpool, Why Widows’ pension rules are unfair, We are leading the World in the fight against the virus, We need entrepreneurs to drive the economy forward, and Why Harry and Meghan are coming off social media.
I do realise we’ve gone down a branch on the evolutionary tree here, but anyway…in order: Why ask Peter Crouch that question, aren’t 3.65 million embezzled female State pensions a tad more important, are two conflicting vaccines, £4.2 trillion of lost gdp, £200 million blown on useless pop-up wards and repeated attempts to slash the care home population what it takes to lead the World, do entrepreneurs have a car to drive let alone an economy, and on the whole wouldn’t we all rather not know about Harry and Meghan’s coming off thing?
None of the comment featured above gets far beyond the Daily Star meets Hello level. I look back over my seven decades on Planet Earth, and wonder (not for the first time) how the contemporary media pack might have handled the major issues of my life.
Perhaps it would’ve gone something like this:
“VE-night knee-tremblers account for 92% of baby boom,” says man not all that good at sums; Will this harsh Global Freezing winter overwhelm our new NHS?; “Dewey goes out wearing women’s clothes” says top Democrat; Greek gold-digger snares Our Foxy Princess Liz; “Get on Yer Bike Ike” says top Democrat; Nasty Nasser “will dump store trolleys in UK canals if he isn’t stopped”; Asian flu set to wipe out everyone not wearing NHS glasses; “Nixon hides slave labourers under his 5 o’clock shadow” alleges top Democrat; Failure to nuke Cuba confirms suspicions that JFK has done secret deal with mass murderer Kruschev; “Kennedy shot Governor Connally then turned gun on himself” says Curtis LeMay; Massive new Limey strain of Beetles at large in New York; Premier Heath took little boys aged 37 on his yacht; TUC leaders to legalise eating people; “Nixon will put all radicals up against wall” says top Democrat; 25 ways your kid could die in Nam….
This is the kind of fake news those in charge of finding news fakers really get off on; but equally, it’s riddled with what I call ‘Point Missing’. The Telegraph writes about the pettiness of the vindictive EU, but not what a fiscally mad Withdrawal Agreement BoJo signed. When Libby Purves at The Times writes that We could all do with a breath of fresh air, she omits to say that reactive anxious depression to Lockdown is going to result in serious mental problems. And pompous State stroking by Geordie Grieg’s lamentable Mail (leading the World in the fight against the virus) is going to look seriously sick if the short cuts on vaccine trials suddenly give us a 21st century thalidomide problem.
To go back into history again, it’s as if the Daily Dispatch in 1937 had gone with ‘Got those Dachau correction-centre blues? Ten tips to help you say ‘Nuts’ to the Nazis’. Some of you may find that offensive – in which case we’re even, because trust me, I find the MSM’s lazy, narrow, arse-covering and generally angels-on-a-pinhead approach to our Western cultural problems deeply offensive….especially given all the BS I’ve been handed over two decades about “brave and meticulous investigation” by hacks knocking the blogosphere. Journos with a spine (and a head for figures) are more rare than hen’s teeth today.
The sad fact is that press journalism has largely degenerated into opinionated Sunday supplement lifestyle drivel making post-empirical observations that could be blown away by anyone with access to the simplest market research. We’ve been told there are ‘Radical chics’, ‘Sloane Rangers’, ‘Yuppies’, ‘Islamophobes’, ‘Nineties Men’, ‘Neets’, ‘Ladies who lunch’ and “Bohemian bourgeois’ – but beyond the immediate metropolitan areas of the West – while they may be archetypes – they are in reality near-extinct stereotypes within a few years of their airheaded invention.
Among the cardboard cut-outs working at Sky News, the BBC, the Independent, The Guardian and CNN, things are even worse: in these privileged ghettoes, nonsense is assumptively dished out with all the arrogance of ignorance. One moves on unwillingly from idealised ‘trendy’ Tatlerism to a full-on politicised style that reads, with every year, more like the Izvestia and Iskra Party line syntax put out by the USSR. For “Peace-loving peoples of Soviet bloc” read “Islam is the religion of Peace”. There is no difference at all.
Effectively, there are right-leaning media on the one hand giving prognoses based on symptoms – and on the other, left-leaning media telling the patient he isn’t ill at all, it’s “all in your head, old boy” because the sicko is in fact really the consultant. The same applies whether the subject is the Dow index, voting for Biden, trusting in Boris, assessing eurodebt or analysing the chances for Brexit under the thumb of a commercially untutored political class.
George Orwell wrote, ‘Journalism is the publication of things the Establishment does not want the Citizen to know. All the rest is just PR’.