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Saturday, September 26, 2020
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Reader’s comment: Not lazy, just biased

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In response to Kathy Gyngell: Mark Carney and the house price ‘collapse’: Anatomy of a BBC fake news story, simonstephenson wrote:

‘If Ed Conway is correct then lots of lazy journalists with insufficient understanding simply swallowed some leak and then regurgitated it wholesale.’

I don’t know about this. What seems more likely to me is that the modern breed of journalists almost without exception see their positions as being that of camouflaged advocates, not reporters, and so they would have known full well the all-importance from a purely reporting point of view of the context in which Carney said what he did. However, if seen only from an advocacy point of view, they’d pick up immediately that they’d been given a heaven-sent opportunity to fire a few missiles from the Remain camp directed at Brexit and the Leavers.

So no laziness, probably.

But of course if I’m correct here the fundamental question we should ask ourselves is whether or not there is any branch of the British mainstream media that can be trusted not to be working at camouflaged advocacy, but at straight reporting? In other words, is it wise to trust any of them to be committed to producing fair comment, as opposed to propaganda? I think the answer would have to be ‘No, there isn’t’.

And before the posse of Leftist trolls start claiming that the media has always been partial, and that therefore nothing’s changed, I’d like to point out that I don’t consider there to be an equivalence between (a) where Conservative journalists write columns that make the Conservative case to Conservative readers, while Labour journalists do the same for Labour readers, and (b) where journalists in general write columns that would not pass any test for intellectual honesty or integrity, with a view not just to please their natural supporters, but also to gull the non-aligned into forming a misleading and inaccurate impression of something which is seen to be to the advantage of the political grouping for whom the journalist/publication considers himself to be an advocate.

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