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Anti-Corbyn media bias

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 pm, July 19th, 2016 - 77 comments
Categories: journalism, making shit up, Media, uk politics - Tags: , , ,

A London School of Economics study has found significant bias against UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

As media and communication scholars we have been troubled by the problematic way in which the British media has systematically attacked Jeremy Corbyn ever since he came to national prominence in the summer of 2015. At the same time, we also acknowledge that the media needs to fulfill an important watchdog role in a democracy. Indeed, we expect and value our media to be critical and to ask difficult and probing questions of those in positions of power.

Jeremy Corbyn is an unconventional party leader in a British context, more leftwing than previous leaders of the Labour Party, contesting the neoliberal common sense and promoting an anti-austerity and anti-war agenda. The question we pose here is to what extent this warranted the acerbic and overtly aggressive media reaction he has consistently received over the last year? Is it acceptable for the media to delegitimise to such an extent a legitimate democratic actor who is the leader of the main opposition party in British politics?

This study, undertaken by the LSE’s Media and Communications Department, set out to empirically analyse the nature of the media representation of Jeremy Corbyn in 8 British newspapers from 1 September – 1 November 2015. First, it distinguishes between critical reporting and what we call antagonistic reporting. Second, it aims to demonstrate and assess the ways in which the British press systematically delegitimised Jeremy Corbyn as a political leader.

The results of this study show that Jeremy Corbyn was represented unfairly by the British press through a process of vilification that went well beyond the normal limits of fair debate and disagreement in a democracy.

The papers studied were The Sun, The Daily Express, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, the Evening Standard, the Independent, the Daily Mirror and the Guardian. Of the papers studied, the Independent is the only one showing in google as having reported on the study.

The Guardian has an opinion piece that asks “where’s the harm?”

But I wonder if that really is what the British people want? Do they hunger for unbiased political coverage? Do they want politicians treated with respect?

The authors of the study published an article on the study on Open Democracy UK.

77 comments on “Anti-Corbyn media bias”

  1. adam 1

    Great post weka, thanks.

    • mosa 1.1

      Great analysis Weka.
      Unlike the UK we have never had left leaning newspapers to balance the suffocating right wing view point on everything as we dont do balanced reporting , it has too always be a one sided view point.
      Interesting with the Daily Mirror , they were always anti tory but after waiting 18 years too finally see Tony Blair and his NEW LABOUR certainly NOT old Labour come back in for a 13 year stint i think they forgot about the socalist ideals they once supported and were happy just too have a sort of Labour government was better than the Tories.
      From what i have read in the Mirror they have not given Corbyn any support at all yet he is like the old socalist Labour leader Michael Foot they had in the early 80s who was up against Thatcher who the Mirror and its readers despised.
      Feels like the Mirror has jumped on board the neo lib ship that has even moved the UK Labour party right and cant see that Corbyn articulates what they used too believe was the gospel and the truth.

      • mosa 1.1.1

        I have found the Canary on line too be a real informative news outlet about real left issues in the UK and very pro Corbyn and quite scathing of the current Labour party and does some great investigative work on how current polices are hurting Britons.

  2. Richard Christie 2

    There goes LSE future research grant funding.

  3. AmaKiwi 3

    A warning to the rich and powerful:

    Silence your moderate, democratic opponents and only dictatorial extremists will remain to overthrow you. And overthrow you they eventually will.

    I grieve for Turkey because this is the path Erdogan has taken. Erdogan prosecutes democratic opponents and journalists as terrorists. Soon the only opponents who can survive will be clandestine and violent, i.e., murderous terrorists.

    Democracy REQUIRES full and informed debate. Take note NZ’s main stream media.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Erdogan has just suspended 41,000 educators and fired ALL university heads.

      It’s turned to utter madness. He’s had purge lists prepared all this time. Sultan Stalin Erdogan.

    • Gosman 3.2

      Nothing is stopping full and informed debate. You are free to start up a media company and the country has a wide range of media outlets including a non commercial State news radio station.

      • weka 3.2.1

        “You are free to start up a media company”

        That’s daft. It’s not free to start a media company, and not everyone has the resources to do so, therefore by definition there is no full and informed debate.

        Besides, the point of the post was that the MSM have a public duty that is not being well met currently. If you think they don’t, then by all means put up the argument for how democracy can function without the MSM fulfilling that duty.

        • Gosman

          I didn’t state it would be free or easy to set one up. But you are free to do so. You need to convince similar like minded people to get together and put in effort and/or money. Of course you could take the typical leftist response to such challenges and just expect the State to force others to do this for you.

          • weka

            In other words, you don’t believe that the MSM has a public duty but you can’t make an argument for why.

            ‘free to do so’ in your mind means that there is no law stopping someone. But free to do so in real terms for most people would include whether that’s even possible in the real world, which obviously it isn’t. So feel free to carry on with your neoliberal fantasy and now be ridiculed for it on a left wing blog (or put up an actual argument).

            Obviously if I did start my own MSM outlet the issues raised in the post still wouldn’t be addressed, because one outlet isn’t going to balance all the others. If you can make some political argument around that please do, but otherwise you comments are starting to look like a derailment.

            • Gosman

              I know and that is the problem. Despots always bang on about ‘Balance’ and ‘Fairness’ in the media. Then they set up government controlled bodies to ensure that they get the sort of ‘Balance’ and ‘Fairness’ they want. I prefer to have diverse range if media and let people choose where they get information from. Much like the UK has got now.

              • maninthemiddle

                You make some good points Gosman, but even with my antipathy towards Corbyn’s politics, this level of apparent bias is concerning. I saw it in Australia with Julia Gillard. I had no time for her politics either, but the way the media treated her was a disgrace, and there was no balance.

                • Gosman

                  So how would you suggest you get ‘balance’ then? If it involves a government that controlled body you just have another way the state can restrict free speech and control the media.

                  • McFlock

                    Firstly, “balance” is a well-known word used in this thread in its conventional sense. All your single-quoting does is demonstrate your unfamiliarity with basic English.

                    Secondly, “government funded” does not mean “government controlled”.

                    Some specific points on your question:
                    The government should fund a news agency that has a mandate towards balance and accuracy, and the standards (including balance and accuracy) should be reviewed by an agency as independent as possible.
                    News content should be clearly distinguishable from editorial opinion, entertainment, and advertising, and content should even be labelled as such. Complaints about any news organisation should be made to the above independent agency. The complaint resolution process should be public.

                    Civics and critical thinking should be core curriculum in secondary school.

                    I’d much rather that sort of system than some fucking equity firm controlling the media. They’re worse than our government.

                    • Gosman

                      Funnily enough that is what people have with RNZ National and the BBC and still a number if lefties think they are biased.

                    • McFlock


                      Actually, no it’s not, not quite.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Must we educate Gosman? A simple Google search can link him to any amount of material that might enlighten him, and yet here he is, asking his innocent questions as though he’s useless and lazy.

                    Anyway fuck it, there’s no such thing as society, apparently, so why anyone would give a toss about maintaining its fragile institutions is beyond me. Pass the moonshine and shotguns.

                  • maninthemiddle

                    Definitely NOT government controlled media. In fact my position is the government should have no ownership of any media enterprise. Your question is a good one, and I don’t have conclusive answers, but surely the answer is with the public saying ‘no’ to this sort of media bullying.

                • leftie

                  ‘this level of apparent bias is concerning” ….it’s also happening here under the Nats.
                  The 2014 general election was msm’s vicious worst that I have ever seen. The shocking treatment dished out to David Cunliffe by John key’s dirty politics and the role msm played in that was more than just disgraceful.

                  • maninthemiddle

                    That’s nonsense. The media in NZ is all over the place, but there is no ingrained bias one way or another. I remember throughout the Clark years the right moaned about pro-Labour media…it was bs then and your comments are bs now. Cunliffe made terrible mistakes. He was unelectable. End of story.

                    • mac1

                      No “ingrained bias” in the NZ media, you say, maninthemiddle?

                      Who said this yesterday?

                      “Despite what the left (and the compliant media) says, I was just as busy during the Clark administration.”

                      Bias-‘prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.’
                      Compliant-‘inclined to agree with others or obey rules, especially to an excessive degree; acquiescent.’

                      Compliance results in bias in this context.

                      Bugger, eh?

                    • Maninthemiddle []

                      I’m not sure what your point is. My point was the media is all over the place. There is bias both left and right.

                    • leftie

                      And that’s utter bullshit Maninthemiddle. How one eyed and hypocritical you are. Typical.

                    • mosa

                      maninthemiddle you cant be serious, i have written and so have a lot of other bloggers on this site and TDB responding too posts that refer all the time too the ingrained bias of the right wing MSM and what we see and hear every day we are not imagining it.
                      MSM is corporate media with the following contributors all right wing.
                      1 Fairfax
                      2 Media Works
                      3 TVNZ
                      4 Associated press
                      5 American news networks
                      6 NZ Media and Entertainment-owns the NZ Herald
                      7 The radio Network-Newstalk ZB
                      There has not with the exception of RNZ( so called red radio) been a left leaning news outlet in this country which is why Martyn Bradbury formed Waatea fifth estate so incensed he was at the one sided right wing bias in our media which has worsened scince the National party gained government and the appalling tripe offered up too kiwis every morning and night that are just magazine shows with no real in depth stories free of bias and giving New Zealanders the real truth in what is happening in our country.
                      David Cunliffe you are right made mistakes but he was on a hiding too nothing by the dirty tricks campaign being waged behind the scenes and those tactics were used and supported by the MSM most notably by Gower who called Cunliffe a liar live on tv when he knew that Cunliffe was innocent of involvement with Don Wah Lieu unlike their boss John Key and party members and there has never been a pro Labour media only in the imaginations of the right wing who could never understand why the media were not getting the boot in too Helen and her government but they actually were just not with the viciousness they were expecting, that came post 2003.
                      The outrage when Tv one presenter Shane Taurima was found too be a paid up Labour party member and forced out yet you can have Nat party sympathies which is a pre requiste to being employed in these news organisations if you want too get ahead.
                      These are the facts and to quote your term not bullshit.

                    • Maninthemiddle []

                      I don’t care what you’ve written. Media bias is a reality, but it works across the political spectrum. You are sensitive to Labour figures being subject to this bias, and blind to the same bias directed against their opponents. This is your own bias being revealed.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Piffle – even John Armstrong was ashamed of the dishonest media campaign against Cunliffe as you know perfectly well.

                    • Wensleydale

                      Don’t argue with him, people. He thrives on the attention. Like most right-wing trolls he’ll lie and obfuscate and deny until the end of forever, because it’s not about the truth. It’s about perception, and reshaping reality through endless repetition until it conforms to the falsehood. Like arguing with a religious zealot, it’s not worth the frustration-induced stomach ulcer.

                      Just nod and smile and say “Yes, dear.” And then move on with your life.

                    • Halfcrown

                      “Don’t argue with him, people. He thrives on the attention. Like most right-wing trolls he’ll lie and obfuscate and deny until the end of forever, because it’s not about the truth. It’s about perception, and reshaping reality through endless repetition until it conforms to the falsehood. Like arguing with a religious zealot, it’s not worth the frustration-induced stomach ulcer.”

                      Couldn’t agree with you more. I had a run in with this dick a few weeks ago ended up him writing that I implied something that was completely the opposite to what I had written.
                      Like others I thought he was as thick as two short planks or a manipulating fucking liar or both, so I can’t be bothered to read what this dick writes.
                      He’s not the only one that does it I have noticed Gosman and Slylands also resort to the same tricks
                      I have come to the conclusion that it must be in the Neo Lib instruction book somewhere.
                      The other thing I find amusing any journo who has opposite views that upsets their cosy fuck you Jack world they class them as communist or with Marxist views.

                    • Maninthemiddle []

                      Translation…”I can’t handle my opinions being exposed by smart and articulate people, so I ignore them”.

                    • mac1

                      Wensleydale and Halfcrown, you are wise. I will take your advice.

                      maninthemiddle veered between insults, self-contradiction, Right-wing theory, and dishonest straw man arguments.

                      A man in the middle of the political road he was not.

                    • Halfcrown

                      “Translation…”I can’t handle my opinions being exposed by smart and articulate people, so I ignore them”.

                      SMART! You smart and articulated! Nah mate you are more your actual smartarse
                      Now run along and visit Abdullah the Taxidermist and on your way google smartarse for the description..
                      End of any discussions with you dickhead.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Now run along and visit Abdullah the Taxidermist and on your way google smartarse for the description..”

                      And there it is again.

      • AB 3.2.2

        “You are free to start up a media company”
        Translation: “it is not illegal for you to start a media company”.
        i.e. a typical right-wing minimalist definition of freedom as nothing more than the absence of legal sanctions.
        But a real-world definition of freedom would in this case acknowledge the financial barriers to entry, competitive pressure, the resistance of potential advertisers (your revenue source) to non-orthodox opinions, etc.
        These linguistic tricks from the neolibs are SO exhausting because they so dishonestly repeat the same crap over and over and over. It is highly aggressive agitprop.

      • Psycho Milt 3.2.3

        Nothing is stopping full and informed debate. You are free to start up a media company…

        Sure. And with most libertarian ideas it sounds fine in theory but in practice it means the people with the most money end up controlling the outcomes. The reasons why people on a left-wing blog won’t be satisfied with that are self-explanatory, so what’s your point?

  4. Tory 4

    Why not ask Andrea Vance, “darling of the left and ex gutter press journo” for her opinion? She appears to have transformed herself from one of those daily rag reporters to someone many on this site like to quote. Perhaps she can explain the bias journalists have as she is a classic example of bias from both sides of the political spectrum, including involvement in underhand and biased coverage.

    [lprent: I really don’t like fuckwits trying to use this site for personal vendettas. Looking through your comments on Vance it is pretty clear that is what you are doing.

    Banned 8 weeks as an incentive to learn to how to control yourself on this site. 4 of those weeks are for trying to say that a diverse group of ‘lefties’ all hold the same opinion – something that I find quite offensive. ]

    • Wensleydale 4.1

      As opposed to Michael Hosking, Paul Henry or Larry Williams, who are all unerringly fair paragons of virtue.

    • Stunned mullet 4.2

      Lol…people using the site for personal vendettas…lol

      [lprent: A weeks ban for being a fool. You should have recovered from your stunning long ago and read the policy. ]

  5. Tory 5

    Hosking and Henry etc are all clearly self confessed right leaning commentators where as Vance is an ex NOTW sleeve reporter who now seems to be held in high regard by the left. The post is about bias and she is a classic of “running with the hares and hunting with the hounds” (promoting sleeve on behalf of securing readers and now promoting left views as some sort of self confessed “road to Damacus conversion”, it’s simply hypocritical and hypocritical of the fools who like to quote her).

    • Gangnam Style 5.1

      Who the fuck regards Vance in ‘high regard’, please show some evidence of ‘the left’ showing Vance ‘high regard’.

    • lprent 5.2

      I tend to like Vance’s work because it is well researched and usually as accurate as is possible. I like her because she is a competent journalist.

      I can understand why a thick Tory like you doesn’t like her. After all she isn’t a lazy intellectually incompetent self opinionated wanker who sprouts ignorant Farrar focus group lines like Mike Hosking or that other morning dipshit comedian. Perhaps you should go back to drooling over them like a good little moron.

      • Gangnam Style 5.2.1

        Personally I cannot stand her, but I have never thought of her as ‘left leaning’, not that I care too much, I just don’t like or have much respect for many NZ journalists, especially the embedded ones, though I guess they have to be scheming creeps to get their work done. Dirty Politics was a real eye opener for me but then I got to remember they just faulty people like the rest of us.

  6. miravox 6

    That Guardian piece by Roy Greenslade is quite something. He quotes..

    “Overall, their analysis found that more than 50% of the news coverage of Corbyn was “critical or blatantly antagonistic” with no “distinction between comment, conjecture and fact.”

    And then, in a newspaper with the tagline “facts are sacred”, asks what the harm is. I’m looking for a retraction and analysis forthwith of why this piece doesn’t abide with Guardian standards.

  7. Tory 7

    Vance worked for a company that was accused of phone hacking and police bribery, prosecutions and a public enquiry were the result. When asked about her knowledge of what was going on at NOTW her reply was “no comment”. I don’t mind Paul Henry and shall leave the drooling over Vance to you and Dunne.

    • peterlepaysan 7.1

      Tory, your response reveals a lot about your mental processing.
      You would not be biased, would you?

  8. Paul 8

    It would be interesting to see what a London School of Economics study would have made of the coverage of ex Labour leader David Cunliffe.
    We have exactly the same problems in this country.
    Our media is just a collection of hired guns paid to defend the establishment and attack any perceived threats to it.
    As Rawden Christie discovered this week , these puppets are dispensable to the elite.

  9. Adrian Thornton 9

    You know I was really happy to see this piece about MSM bias, and lack of balance, it is, in my mind one of the most relevant and important topics in politics today…
    ..and then I get to the comments section where I see one commenter banned for 8 weeks and called a “fuckwit” and another banned for a week for a completely innocuous comment and called a “fool”.
    The incredible irony that this piece is all about free speech and media control is both sad and frightening.

    • lprent 9.1

      We aren’t here to provide “free speech”. Read the about and the policy. We are here to provide a space for robust debate, and that includes the blunt opinions.

      I deal with fuckwits acting as trolls and their entirely predictable meme attacks. After doing it for here for eight years, they are as easy to read as people expressing ‘concern’.

      Don’t like it? Then get off your lazy arse and start your own site as the about suggests. Otherwise be careful of our policies.

      • Bob 9.1.1

        lprent, you have simply reinforced Adrian’s point. In response to this post you could equally say to Weka:
        “Don’t like it? Then get off your lazy arse and start your own media company”

        I understand that you are free to run this site with any way you like, but pushing this point, as Adrian has pointed out, on a post around the media running stories with bias, does come with a certain level of irony.

        • weka

          Are you suggesting there shouldn’t be any moderation here?

          • Bob

            Not at all, I think for the most part moderation is done quite well on this site, even if at times a bit excessive, i.e. “Banned 8 weeks as an incentive to learn to how to control yourself on this site. 4 of those weeks are for trying to say that a diverse group of ‘lefties’ all hold the same opinion”, same goes for so called ‘RWNJ’s’, I certainly hold very different opinions to those of Tory, yet we are happily bracketed together by a number of regulars on this site, is there any thought of balance around this?

    • weka 9.2

      “The incredible irony that this piece is all about free speech and media control is both sad and frightening.”

      I”m glad you liked the piece and appreciate the importance of MSM bias. The Standard blog isn’t mainstream media, and as such has a different set of objectives, ethics and rules. The places on the internet that are free speech free for alls are hideous. All internet spaces that facilitate open dialogue and function well have rules. The problem arises when that’s not transparent.

      In the case of the MSM, it’s even worse because they do have a responsibility to present things in an even manner. They also still have a responsibility to society. The Standard’s authors’ responsibility is to publish a range of articles on subjects that broadly fit within the labour movement, and to promote robust debate and provide a space for that to happen within. That includes moderation.

      If you’re objecting to the language and tone used by the moderator, that’s a different thing, but good luck with talking to Lynn about that 😉 (and read the rules first about telling moderators how to moderate. It’s possible to comment on moderation here, but there is a line where it’s not ok to cross over into criticising the person or hassling them about their decisions).

      • Adrian Thornton 9.2.1

        The Standard is a proud name, deeply rooted in the history of the world wide Labour movement, so even if this site is mainly controlled by one guy, with help from a small band of helpers, it can be easily seen from the outside of this circle and it’s regular readers, to be at least partly representative of the NZ left, whether the people who run this site like that or not, it is just a fact.
        So in that light, I actually think this site also has a very real responsibility to be, and be seen as an unbiased and welcoming place to have these political conversations and debates. from a mainly left wing vantage point, which it is most of the time, and I enjoy reading the articles and comments and occasionally commenting myself.
        Now I totally get the need for tight moderation in a site like this, where it can often almost become like a forum, so as a consequence, can probably get pretty heated or personal at times, and of course this needs to be quickly moderated.
        However I feel that this moderation should be very subtle and totally non confrontational….that’s just my two cents.

        • weka

          I think you are talking about different things there. Bias is inherent in blogs. People here write from their own perspectives. There’s no need nor responsibility to write neutrally. The whole point is that it’s left wing, and that individuals write what they want. The robust debate culture means that if an author writes something that is untrue they will be called on it. I would say the site admin have a responsibility to not publish slander, and that the authors have a responsibility to post things that are true. But other than that, individual views are appropriate.

          I’m curious where you see the bias is in this instance.

          As for moderation subtlety, I’m not sure how you mean that could happen. If you mean the swearing, then I doubt anything can be done about that, and Lynn has a pretty consistent argument for why he moderates rudely. I don’t particularly like it, but it does work.

          If you mean the ban wasn’t warranted, then I’d point to the fact that seeing the context is hard from the front end of the site. Often people get banned for a pattern of behaviour. Or multiple factors. It takes time to moderate. People tend to find ways to be efficient with that time 😉

          • Adrian Thornton

            What I mean in a nutshell, is that I know some people on the Left, ( I am talking about mainly Woman here btw, but not all) who find this confrontational style of moderation to be…well just that, so they don’t feel comfortable participating in the dialogue on this site. I think that is a real shame, as there is so few of us as it is.
            Just in response to your reply, I think you misunderstood me, I am of course all for people writing from their perspective and experience, with all the bias and baggage that entails…which we all do to some extent, and I completely agree, as long as we get the facts right…go for it.
            Infact that’s what I really like about the comment section, that other commenters will often be the first one’s to pull you up about your facts, if you have been sloppy or imprecise. I find it is quite a good way of getting forced into some further research, usually to back your self out of a corner…
            What I meant was that the overall structure is of calm balance ( if you know what I mean), but as I said previously, that’s just my opinion…maybe it works better this way.

            • weka

              I agree there is definitely an issue about why more women don’t participate as commenters and authors (and not just women). Ironically, stronger moderation would improve that. However it would also take more time and that’s not available at the moment.

              I’m a woman btw, and am thinking through some ways to make the place more conducive to women, especially authors (and hopefully commenters), so would be interested in your perspectives on this.

              How much of the off putting thing is the occasional moderation Lynn style, and how much the overall culture of the comments section? If the macho moderation changed (hypothetically), would you see the comments section as being a place more women would take part in?

  10. Erik Bloodaxe 10

    I think there is a similar media bias in New Zealand against the Labour and Green Parties – wouldn’t be surprised if similar bias occurs in a range of other Western Neoliberal States. I believe this is just part of the resource the right put in place to maintain neoliberal hegemony. Other actions include “think tanks”, “task forces” and various groups (e.g. in NZ is the NZ Initiative) that masqerade as non-partisan, critical analysis ‘vessels’ but which are appointed with predominantly right-wing spin merchants who seek to maintain the neoliberal status quo.

    • Anne 10.1

      Anyone over the age of 50 will recall the political scientists and commentators of the 60s, 70s and 80s, and their ability to provide mature and objective commentary.

      Compare them to today’s mainstream commentators. To begin with most are only in their 20s and 30s. They frequently show an alarming ignorance and no clear political comprehesion. Few of them have any knowledge whatsoever of the world prior to the emergence of the ideological neoliberal madness. In the case of the TV channels most of the female reporters appear to be chosen for their good looks rather than ability. A good example occurred a couple of days after the Aussie election. TV1’s Aussie correspondent (forgotten her name) intoned mournfully that Bill Shorten’s leadership was on shaky ground and that he may not survive. No mention of the fact Labor had done a tremendous job winning back a large chunk of the seats lost in the previous election and came close to winning the election.

      • Chuck 10.1.1

        “Anyone over the age of 50 will recall the political scientists and commentators of the 60s, 70s and 80s, and their ability to provide mature and objective commentary.”

        Anne, I think a major reason for the decline in standards of today is back in the 60/70/80’s people needed to sit down and watch TV1 (example) for the news and comments of the day (political per this thread). This was often an in dept affair…contrast to today…its all about 1 or 2 minute sound bites as TV tries to complete with social media / blogs / etc…

  11. Gosman 11

    What I find interesting about this is that a country that probably has the media environment that has the widest range of opinions AND the strong Influence of a non commercial State controlled media agency (BBC) it is still not enough for some people. You seemingly want more control of the message. It is a particularly ugly side of the left.

    • weka 11.1

      Going by that comment I’ll now assume that you either didn’t read the reports or you didn’t understand them. If you want to critique the study, you are free to do so. This is nothing to do with the State btw, so you can drop that straw man now.

      • framu 11.1.1

        is gossie anything BUT straw man?

      • adam 11.1.2

        Gosman like many of his brethren have moral blindness when it comes to corporations. They struggle with the fact that business don’t operate in self interest. And in many cases the corporations and so called free market models he holds so dear, end up acting in exactly the same way as the state does. This means they attack the state more, whilst all the time being deluded by business.

        Gosman, you realise your brethren in the USA have woken up to the fact that the Republicans and many of the corporations are hand in hand. So the State and Business are being dishonest. Indeed they are engaging in the worst sin of all -THE MANIPULATION OF THE MARKETS!

      • Gosman 11.1.3

        How else would you ensure ‘balance’ and ‘fairness’ without State involvement?

        • weka

          You seem to be confusing things Gosman. The suggestion isn’t for the State to control the message, but that the MSM needs to be less biased in its approach. If the MSM can’t do that of their own accord then of course the State should use legislation to make it happen. But that’s not the State controlling content. That’s the State mandating standards.

          Having said that, the post is about the existing situation, whereby the MSM exhibits demonstrable bias. You think that’s fine. Others think it’s a problem, because as outlined in the report, it has implications for democracy.

    • Siobhan 11.2

      The problem here is that I, and it would seem a good number of Guardian readers think of the Guardian as being Left leaning, in a very polite sort of way.
      What we are forgetting is their stated position if very much Centrist.
      They are, and have always been, very actively, Blair supporters. So there is no reason in the world for them to offer balanced commentary on Corbyn who is a very credible threat to the status quo.
      I’m all for calling them out on their appalling political coverage, both in America and the UK, not to mention their irrational coverage of Israel, but I view them as being like a grumpy old Uncle, who occasionally says something I can get my head around, but who I know is about to kill the room by expressing something absolutely inappropriate.

  12. Rodel 12

    Just finished reading ‘Exceptions to the Rulers’ by Amy Goodman (of Democracy Now) and her brother David Goodman. Unsurprising revelations about the Bushes, Rumsfield, Clinton, Kissinger, Blair, East Timor, Iraq , etc.etc and the appalling bias of giant media companies.
    Alarming investigative journalism but worth a read.

    • Adrian 12.1

      Really this all comes back to the Manufacturing Consent hypothesis put forward by Edward. Herman and Noam Chomsky…

      Unfortunately The Guardian has become one of the prime examples of this very creditable theory.
      We are very lucky to have news sources like Democracy Now (even if it is a little American centric ), I also find Behind the News, Counter Spin, and Against the Grain all good sources for unpacking current news.

  13. Andrea 13

    How many people read the ‘main stream media’ for indepth articles on politics and political players both local and international?

    How many people now tune in to ‘the news’ on radio and/or tv? Which demographics?

    And of those who do – how many hold their noses and go looking for contrary views so they get many sides to ‘the story’?

    Why should they? With all the other calls on time, and much more pleasant things to do – why should they give you their ears and eyeballs for your ‘messages’? Most of them/us would be hard pressed to recognise our MP or even Mayor in the street. Politics is like one of those weird sports we see once every four years at the Olympics (bowls. Synchronised swimming.) We don’t know the rules, the players, the leaders of the pack. No ‘winner’s halo’ from this sport.

    Gosman is probably right (eek! Pun!) With what’s available it should be possible to do an online rag – like http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/. The challenge would be – how to capture those eyeballs often enough. The UK may have an answer of sorts: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/more-people-have-joined-labour-since-the-election-than-are-in-the-entire-conservative-party-a6686001.html

    It probably wasn’t with the help of the MSM.

  14. As if wanting to help illustrate your post, this morning’s Guardian has the story “Labour supporters have cooled on Corbyn, Guardian survey finds”. In it, we don’t learn to what extent enthusiasm for Corbyn has reduced, but we do learn that

    … there is no evidence of support for an alternative candidate – with barely a mention of either Owen Smith, relatively unknown until he launched his challenge to Corbyn, or Angela Eagle, who dropped out shortly after the survey was completed.

    Also buried within the story:

    Others expressed outrage at the parliamentary Labour party for undermining him from the start of his leadership and mounting the coup attempt against him.

    But the take-home message is that support for Corbyn among the membership is reduced, by some unspecified amount.

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