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Jeremy Corbyn showed real fight during an interview on Tuesday. Corbyn, instead of answering repeated and insulting questions given by the interviewer about whether a strong opposition was needed, decided a change of tack was in order in answering.
He pointed out exactly how the media has been complicit in selectively reporting on the Labour Party’s activities. Instead of focusing on the issues that matter to people, the media have rounded on him as an individual, creating the anti-cult of personality he is currently surrounded with. Was he right to makes his point in such a fashion?
This wasn’t out of the blue. In fact, a study produced at the London School of Economics last July has some findings worth bearing in mind. Out of 812 reproductions of Corbyn’s views sampled from the mainstream media (including 212 samples from the Guardian), 22% of these took his views out of context with 52% omitting his view entirely. The Daily Mail and Express deserve a special mention in this case: out of the 130 articles on Corbyn between them sampled at LSE, not once were Corbyn’s views presented neutrally and without alteration. Not once.
The report also claimed that besides using marginalisation or just plain ridicule, delegitimising Corbyn through “association” with outsiders, terrorists and all manner of aliens was (and is) a key weapon in the arsenal of contemporary political journalism. Admittedly, that was all 9 months ago. Do YOU think that much has changed behind the curtain since then?
Nowadays, the approach of the MSM in their coverage of Corbyn involves painting him as “weak”, “incompetent” or implying instead that he should “go with honour”. Why not instead focus on the gains Labour has made already and strives towards? Gains that can and will benefit the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. Or would that be too biased?
With local elections due to take place on the 4th of May to 89 councils across England, Scotland and Wales, now is the perfect time to present the facts that are vital to public decision-making. After all, a requirement of any democracy is that adequate and accurate information is made available in which the MSM plays in inextricable role. Without this, the idea of informed public participation on a national level becomes drastically reduced to little more than a joke.
In a time of burgeoning political disintegration and social uncertainty, willfully depriving the population of the details in favour of mockery and bullying is not only contemptible, but dangerous. Will the mainstream media report fairly on the Labour Party’s position on the NHS, Tory cuts to social care, education, the environment, immigration and Brexit? Or will it instead continue to merely ask whether or not Labour are an “effective opposition” whilst glossing over the issues that continuously affect the lives of millions?