Friday, April 17, 2015

Do the mainstream media truly not "get it", or are they deliberately trying to mislead their readers?

I'm not sure how widespread this is, but certainly if you'd read either the Guardian or the BBC website this morning, and if you didn't have the benefit of seeing last night's leaders' debate with your own eyes, you'd be labouring under the rather massive misapprehension that Nicola Sturgeon urged Ed Miliband to join her in a "coalition", but that her "overtures" were rebuffed.  What actually happened was about a million miles removed from that - Sturgeon instead simply asked Miliband to confirm that he would work with the SNP by voting in the Commons to remove a Tory government from office, and he once again declined to do so.  You'd think a left-leaning media outlet like the Guardian might be rather interested in the revelation that Labour are leaving open the possibility of propping up a Tory government by abstaining on the Queen's Speech in a few weeks' time, but no, it prefers to invent a more 'acceptable' version of events to present to its readers.

To be fair to the BBC, their report was eventually replaced with a more accurate representation of what Nicola Sturgeon actually said - presumably after someone had a stern word in their ear.  But it's depressing to think that was even necessary.

On a similar theme, I was somewhat alarmed last night to spot an article on The Scotsman website bearing the headline 'Sturgeon backs down on Full Fiscal Autonomy'.  If there had been the slightest truth in that claim, I would have been deeply worried that the SNP was losing its way and forgetting what its raison d'ĂȘtre is. But you're way ahead of me here - the headline has no basis whatever in fact (actually, let's call a spade a spade, it's a downright lie). The article invites us to believe that Nicola Sturgeon backed down on Full Fiscal Autonomy by saying that it would take a few years to implement, and that the Barnett Formula should remain in place until that point. In other words, she "backed down" by saying exactly the same things that she was repeatedly saying before she "backed down". Words fail me.

* * *

UPDATE : This one isn't so much misleading as unbelievably offensive. From Melanie McDonagh in the Spectator -

"If you take seriously the notion that the deficit is something to be addressed rather than put on hold, that the national debt is something to be talked about rather than an error of taste to be mentioned, well, the spectacle of the three women, Nicola Sturgeon, Natalie Bennett and Leanne Wood - none of them English – more or less spitting out the word ‘austerity’ and brightening up at the mention of ‘immigration’ was not a happy one."

How dare they not be English! Not even one of them! Did no-one teach these impertinent women which nation provides the rulers and which nations are the ruled?


  1. "Indyref 2 - The liars' gambit"

    Snappy title for a documentary on GE2015.

  2. Yes noticed that Scotsman article.

    The truth is any new devolved powers take a few years to implement. They have to go through the commitees, bills and ratification. FFA would fall under the new devolved power. Even if it was agreed on May 8th. We would need 2 years to implement it in statute.

    It's got nothing to do with backtracking. It's simply telling the truth that the process cannot happen overnight. This is simply down to process. Not only that. The necessary devolution of social security. Would require a movement of resources and staff training in order just to deal with the day to day stuff.

    Sounds like common sense to me. But common sense doesn't suit the editorial line.

    You are correct they are lying.

  3. 'Deliberately trying to mislead' covers it. Otherwise we would sometimes get positive versions by their misunderstanding of the situation.

  4. I wouldn't worry about it James. I was doing some thinking about this, in light of the polls about the debates, and I suspect the highly biased media is the best friend the SNP can get,, both in Scotland and the rest of the UK. In that respect, the media truly don't get it.

    I might go more into this when it's too late for them ...

  5. Nothing left in the bag of tricks except lying and some really bad dark stuff.

  6. The North Briton is irrelevant - it has a tiny circulation and no influence over anything that matters.


  8. Amusingly, Melanie McDonagh isn't English either, she's Irish.

  9. Had a quick look at Ms McDonaghs' (she'd hate that title !) bio/article history - and as expected it looks like she's a right wing, devout Christian UKIP supporter (at least with regard to immigration and genuine democracy).
    She's in good company at the Spectator, The Torygraph, and The Times, but .... the Guardian ??