Thursday, 1 October 2009

Mail and Sun try to influence election; Sun tries to influence this blog

The lead story on the Mail website for most of yesterday was a very strange interpretation of an interview between Gordon Brown and Adam Boulton. Neither side emerged from the counter that well, but the Mail saw a bigger story:

Obviously a incident where the PM huffs out of an interview with a major broadcaster would be a big story. There's just one slight problem.

He didn't.

The Boulton & Co blog on the Sky website includes the line:

One man's "storming off" is another man's "getting up because it's over"...

Which immediately raises doubts about the veracity of the Mail interpretation. Watching the nearly twelve minute interview on the Sky blog reveals - shock of shocks - Brown doesn't try to leave at any point. The clip ends with Boulton saying:

Thank you very much Gordon Brown.

And Brown is still in his seat. Conservative blogger Guido Fawkes has posted part of what happened next on Youtube, complete with a juvenile Psycho sound effect. But it shows Brown remaining seated for a full three seconds before moving to get up.

So how does the Mail decide he 'cut the interview short' or:

He tried to leave once it was over. End of (non-) story.

Elsewhere, News International is clearly trying to set the agenda for the general election. During the interview, Boulton pressed Brown on Sky News' Leaders' Debate. Then yesterday the Sun revealed - to absolutely no-one's surprise - that it was backing the Conservatives to win the next election. These seem to be 'good' examples of where the media is trying to make the news - make itself the news - rather than just report the news.

Bizarrely, this blog received two emails (within 30 minutes of each other) from The Sun revealing the news about its change of allegiance in the early hours of 29 September. It even included a jpeg of the front page for inclusion. Why it would bother alerting a blog which has rarely written a good word about the paper is a bit of a mystery.

The Sun editorial writes about the:

failures of Labour in Government over the last 12 years.

Given the Sun backed Labour at the 1997, 2001 and 2005 elections, complaining about all twelve years seems a little...conveniently forgetful.

Inevitably, in listing Labour's failings, it mentions immigration, where they are accused of:

opening our borders without any regard to the consequences. Illegal migrants and bogus asylum seekers poured in.

The terminology here is very loose - 'illegal immigrants' and 'failed asylum seekers' would be far more suitable, but this sentence, which also includes the word 'poured', is designed to be highly emotive, rather than accurate.

The Guardian's Michael White points out that Rupert Murdoch does have a 'well-documented policy of being on the winning side' and with opinion polls putting the Conservatives well ahead, it was only a matter of when, not if, The Sun switched sides.

But even more importantly for David Cameron, he has the support of another key Sun figure, far more influential than Murdoch.

Yes, Page 3 girl Keeley (22, from Bromley, dressed in her blue pants for this special occasion) is backing him too:

[He] is the man...this is his time. Everyone will expect him to make things better. He can't possibly do this instantly as he will inherit huge, long-term, deep-rooted problems. We need to allow him time to implement fresh ideas and policies that will get the country off its knees.

Brilliant. With insight like that, she could get a reporting job at the paper.

1 comment:

  1. the sun's behaviour in both the "sun wot won it" and this switch from labour to tory makes me so so so angry!
    who does murdoch think he is? he is a news man! he should not be setting the political agenda in the uk and us. both with fox news and the sun he twists and teases political agendas, when it is his job to report the news, to report on political happenings.
    yes it is hard to remain non biased in the news media, i understand that, but he should not be doing this - he has made the labour party conference all about the sun rather than the speeches, he is claiming that he will be causing the fall of the labour party...
    for the record i disagreed when he switched from tory to labour for the same reasons - the sun os a newspaper not a political rallying tool, it is wrong, it is immoral and it is not democratic.
    thew - rant over. but this has made me so angry!!


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