Media 46: reflections on the character assassination of Jeremy Corbyn forwarded from Cwmllynfell and Uganda
The vitriol launched against the polite, intelligent new leader of the Labour party by media and politicians, including members of his own party isn’t really so surprising. He is rocking the nice, comfy boat and quietly threatening the pillars of capitalist society – exposing the smoke and mirrors designed to keep us in our places.
He dares to say that austerity comes from an economic ideology; there IS an alternative! We don’t have to carry on in the same destructive direction, laying waste to planet and people; we could be more compassionate and use our intelligence to produce a better world.
What a threat a thinking, honest politician must be to the industrialists and their friends!
And from a friend working on a Ugandan project:
The latest article by Nazareth-based journalist Jonathan Cook (http://www.jonathan-cook.net/about/ background : philosophy. Politics, Middle Eastern studies) will come as no surprise to readers of Media Lens.
If it achieves nothing else, Corbyn’s campaign has highlighted a truth about the existing British political system: that, at least since the time of Tony Blair, the country’s two major parliamentary parties have been equally committed to upholding neoliberalism.
The Blue Neoliberal Party (the Conservatives) and the Red Neoliberal Party (Labour) mark the short horizon of current British politics. You can have either hardcore neoliberalism or slightly more softcore neoliberalism.
(T)his was about much more than one individual. The sudden outpouring of support for Corbyn reflected both an embrace of his authenticity and principles and a much more general anger at the injustices, inequalities and debasement of public life brought about by neoliberalism.
Corbyn captured a mood, one that demands real, not illusory change. He is riding a wave, and to discredit Corbyn is to discredit that wave. In truth, the Guardian’s character assassination of Corbyn, rather than discrediting him, served only to discredit the paper with its own readers.
Belatedly the two papers are starting to sense their core readership feels betrayed. Vulliamy’s commentary should be seen in that light. It is not a magnanimous gesture by the Observer, or even an indication of its commitment to pluralism. It is one of the early indications of a desperate damage limitation operation.
We are likely to see more such “reappraisals” in the coming weeks, as the liberal-left media tries to salvage its image with its core readers.
‘Burgeoning new media’ is aiding the public’s desire that ‘the injustices, inequalities and debasement of public life brought about by neoliberalism’ be addressed
In 2003 the Observer knowingly suppressed the truth about Iraq and WMD to advance the case for an illegal, “preventive” war, one defined in international law as the supreme war crime. At that time – digitally the equivalent of the Dark Ages compared to now – the paper just about managed to get away with its complicity in a crime against humanity. The Observer never felt the need to make real amends with Vulliamy or the readers it betrayed.
(T)he Observer and Guardian are discovering that the rules are shifting dangerously under their feet. Corbyn is a loud messenger of that change.