Sloppy stories, Jonnie Marbles and the state of our media….
Leafing through the Sunday edition of the Independent this morning I was struck by an interesting contrast between two stories. The first one was an amazingly sloppy space-filler about the ‘anarchist’ threat to the Olympics. You can tell it’s a space-filler because there is a big diagram and sub-headed ‘medal awards’. The sloppiness comes in the lazy conflation of UK Uncut with anarchism and the fact that it mentions both UK Uncut and ‘Islamic terrorism’ [worrying conflation of terms there] as ‘threats’ but mind-bogglingly, given recent events, leave’s out any threat from the far-right. It’s a sensationalist piece of rubbish, basically.
Yet, two-pages later, there is an interview with the pie-man of Murdoch-Gate, Jonnie Marbles. Marbles is a grade-a* moron, in fact, he reminds me of the satirical suggestion in the first episode of Blackadder the Third that the parody of the Monster Raving Loony candidate should, perhaps, “consider taking-up politics”. Yet, the Independent follows the Guardian in giving him what he wants, the sweet, sweet oxygen of publicity to fuel his idiocy.
This contrast shows the utter hypocrisy of the media in their attitude towards movements like UK Uncut. On the one hand, in their editorial columns, they tend to condemn the tactics of it and similar movements (though the liberal media sympathise with the cause), yet they sensationalise and promote it’s worse behaviour by allowing the perpetrators acres of column inches. It shows beyond doubt that they kind-of want violence and/or idiocy to result from these campaigns because, frankly, it gives them an interesting story to write. If our media was more pluralist, if it reflected a variety of views better, if our democracy functioned better (and negated the necessity of these alienated acts) one wonders what some papers would fill their pages with. If nothing else, the established media, even the ‘left-stable’ ie, the Independent, Guardian, Mirror etc, show why we need to be assidious in using the opportunities presented by new media to get our message accross because we simply can’t trust them to portray it in an accurate way.