All we have heard for the entire duration of the English Labour Party’s leadership contest is how we must all be afraid of the evil Jeremy Corbyn. In all honesty I had never heard of Corbyn before the BBC and the English broadsheets, together with a whole pack of media personalities and political types, opened full salvo on him. Even Cherie Blair, the demented looking wife of a warmongering former Prime Minister, made the effort to comb her hair and get out and denounce Corbyn as the greatest living threat to freedom and democracy. In the end I had to stop watching the news. It was all giving me nightmares. Had the newspapers and the BBC been all we had to go on, then we would have assumed that this unremarkable looking man had not a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming the leader of the Labour Party. Yet in spite of all the daggers that were drawn for him he romped home – taking almost sixty percent of the votes cast. Much the same happened in Scotland last year. The whole force of the media was lined up against independence, and still the Yes Campaign collected almost half of the votes. It is beginning to look like no one buys the bullshit anymore.

Bullshit – that is exactly what it is. For well over a century in this corner of the world we have uncritically accepted the notion of the freedom of the press as an indication that the media and the journalistic community are governed by some noble sense of impartiality. This is not and never has been the case. All that this freedom means is that they are free to be bought by the highest bidder, and there has never been a shortage of interested parties willing to buy them. Public information has only ever been a secondary function of the so-called news media, and, at that, only when the information is not dangerous to its primary function; the manufacture public consent. Newspapers and the news media are big business and they are also the instruments of big business. Owning a news corporation, the work now of multi-billionaires, has made unelected magnates de facto king-makers in the world of politics, and thus giving them the right to make demands of elected representatives and even governments. The advent of other forms of media – social media and independent media – with the help of the internet has taken much of this power from the oligarchs, and now we are beginning to see the fruits of this change. We are living in exciting times.

Jason Michael
Blog Author

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