The Media Bubble

The news around Europe is that the Dutch have formed a government after a record 208 days of negotiations; Austria has elected an anti-immigration leader in a notable lurch rightward; and the Czechs have chosen a Eurosceptic as a prime minister (h/t Adam for the roundup). You’d have thought this would be a major point of discussion in the British media especially with the ongoing Brexit negotiations, but what was the BBC’s main headline yesterday afternoon? This one:

Never mind European populations swinging to the right and voting Eurosceptic politicians into office, what is important is who is saying what about Trump on Twitter.

Amusingly, Times columnist Oliver Kamm has an article at Capx urging the government to severely curtail Russia Today. Presumably it wasn’t considered good sport for the Times to call for censorship of a rival outlet on its own pages, so Kamm makes the call somewhere else. But here’s what he says when bragging about his own prescience:

I pointed out on the programme that RT was not a normal news station like the BBC, CNN or even Al Jazeera, but a state propaganda channel venting preposterous and pernicious conspiracy theories.

Most sensible people I know, including Russians, acknowledge that RT takes an unashamedly pro-Kremlin line. What is far more worrying is that many people believe the likes of BBC and CNN are unbiased, credible news organisations working on a higher moral plane. The bullshit emanating from the BBC might not be quite as blatant as RT, but nobody is forced to pay for the latter and nor is it wheeled out as some kind of national treasure. Between the two I don’t think there’s an awful lot to choose from, particularly on subjects such as Brexit and immigration which the Establishment are incapable of covering impartially. Anyone who writes for the Times and criticises RT while praising the BBC and CNN is seriously lacking self-awareness. Consider this remark from Kamm:

At the margin, Russian state propaganda has had an effect. David Coburn, an MEP for the UK Independence Party, unabashedly states: “RT gave UKIP publicity when nobody else would.”

In the wake of Brexit, how much of a bubble must one inhabit to think this is an argument for censoring RT rather than an example of the colossal failings of the established media?

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13 thoughts on “The Media Bubble

  1. Was in Bavaria over the weekend, met some Austrians, they were amused with what had happened to the Green Party!

  2. Quite so.

    For me, it was the climate issue that finally killed my tolerance of the BBC’s bullshit. Specifically, when (despite the BBC spending very large sums trying to cover it up) the list of the 28 advisers – described by the BBC as the “best scientific experts” available – used to set the corporation’s policy in 2006 – finally came to light six years later, in 2012.

    The list included no prominent scientists from the discipline itself, and none whose views erred even slightly from the consensus (unless to be even more alarmist). Scientists of any kind were outnumbered 3 to 1 by environmental activists (two from Greenpeace alone), assorted troughers, bureaucrats – and, let’s not forget, a woman from the C of E. The list is here.

    And the line these people set remains in place. I no longer watch or listen to BBC news output on any subject: it can’t be trusted.

  3. There was a comment from A. Neil on tweeter some time ago on how difficult it was to get out of a sky contract, on a thread by people who either couldn’t read a contract or thought that one can pick and choose which part of a contract to comply with. Plus it was big bad Sky so reasons. I did point out to him that try as one may, there was no possibility to stop paying the license fee, unlike a Sky subscription.

  4. When a private call to a dead soldiers black wife can become politicized to such an extent we know that there is bastardy at work.

    And why is that none of the media have looked into what the US military is doing in Niger and greater Africa. This soldier no doubt was killed in a fire fight but what was it all about. Why are so many US military now deployed around Africa actively wining the hearts and minds of the locals, is this not a perfectly normal question to be asked after an incident like this. And my two bobs worth is that the Chinese way of winning influence through direct investment in Africa is a far better strategy than the US militaristic one and just another example of them winning the war their way.

  5. And why is that none of the media have looked into what the US military is doing in Niger and greater Africa.

    To be fair, Democrats loudly and indignantly raised many questions as to why American soldiers are deployed in Niger under Trump. However, they’ve since gone quiet as it was gently pointed out that Obama sent them, and they’re still there.

    I agree, they have no business there whatsoever. Fighting Boko Haram, indeed.

    And my two bobs worth is that the Chinese way of winning influence through direct investment in Africa is a far better strategy than the US militaristic one and just another example of them winning the war their way.

    They’re welcome to it.

  6. There was a comment from A. Neil on tweeter …

    Surprised coming from him, he seems to have more sense than the rest of the media put together.

  7. @Tim – “pointed out that Obama sent them”

    Whilst Obama may have sent the first ones directly into Niger, it should be pointed out that Bush done the first big increase in Africa (borders are notional), Obama increased them and they are now at an all time high under Trump.

    I can very much understand that you have no desire for a slice of the action there but China and the US do.

    https://www.thenation.com/article/secret-us-military-documents-reveal-a-constellation-of-american-military-bases-across-africa/

  8. I wonder whether the US deploys only black troops to Niger? It might be sensible but would it be permitted?

  9. I wonder whether the US deploys only black troops to Niger?

    No, only one of the four killed was black AFAIK.

  10. My alarm goes off in the mornings, tuned to Radio4. I listen to the headlines to check whether the US has nuked the Norks or Argentina has re-invaded the Falklands. I then have to see if I can switch it off before the words “Trump” or “Brexit” are uttered.

    Like Fen Tiger my despair at the BBC was prompted by its hysterical and nonsensical coverage of Globular Warming and it has deepened ever since. the farce about Andrew Gilligan and the dodgy dossier sealed it for me.

    Talking of fake news, I have CNN on at the moment, some non-entity senator is bad-mouthing Trump and the reporters are literally jumping with glee.

  11. @Fen Trust

    I cant think of one state body anywhere that could be trusted of believed.

    @dearieme

    If it were a grieving white widow I doubt that she would just happen to have a narcissistic white supremacist activist in ear shot whilst she took a private call from the president.

    Check out “frederica wilson hats” in google images.

    @Otto

    I think Brexit is yesterdays news, May scuppered it, quite a good move by her actually. She surprised me here.

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  13. @Tim Newman on October 24, 2017 at 10:52 am said:

    There was a comment from A. Neil on tweeter …

    Surprised coming from him, he seems to have more sense than the rest of the media put together.

    BBC beat him into submission: sacked [aka spend more time with family] from Daily Politics and told to follow BBC agenda on This Week or else.

    He’s become less neutral and more anti-Brexit:

    This Week Clip – 21 Sep 17 : Wetherspoons’ Boss Tim Martin Says We Should Leave the EU Now
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-Kxt8E8kGs – WTO ~9m 35s

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