Corporate journalists are in full panic mode after the Sunday Times’ exposé

Sunday Times logo and corporate journalists
Steve Topple

The Sunday Times’ exposé of Boris Johnson’s handling of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has inadvertently revealed something else. And it’s that corporate journalists are terrified for the future of the establishment media. But it’s also shone a light on the wilful ignorance about how the UK got into this mess in the first place.

The Sunday Times: shock, horror!

As The Canary reported, the Sunday Times revealed that Johnson missed five Cobra meetings during the early stages of the pandemic.

It essentially showed what many people already knew: that Johnson is a self-serving narcissist who cares very little for anyone outside his own social and corporate class. But the reaction of corporate journalists to the Sunday Times piece told a different story.

First, there was shock from the likes of ITV political editor Robert Peston. “Gobsmacked”, he was. “Gobsmacked” that the PM is a political pariah and borderline eugenicist:

Maybe his BBC counterparts Laura Kuenssberg and Norman Smith would have different takes. Except they didn’t, as at the time of publishing neither of them had tweeted anything at all since 17 April. Clearly having a ‘well-deserved’ weekend off. The poor things.

Meanwhile, Andrew Marr said that “hindsight” was easy in terms of the Sunday Times‘ piece. But most of us don’t need hindsight to know that Johnson’s time as PM was always going to be a car-crash for most of us.‘s favourite centrist bore Ian Dunt said he hadn’t “read a more damning account of government failure than that Sunday Times article”. Maybe he hadn’t seen The Canary‘s articles on the UN accusing successive Tory-led governments of “grave” and “systematic” violations of sick and disabled people’s human rights, causing a “human catastrophe”. Or maybe he just didn’t care.

If you live outside the so-called ‘Westminster bubble’, the Sunday Times piece may not have been a shock. But what the fallout from it also caused was a growing cry of corporate journalists pleading with people not to share snippets of the article without linking to it.

Begging bowls at the ready

The Guardian‘s Hadley Freeman effectively begged people to click through to the Sunday Times article. “Newspapers are dying right now” she proclaimed:

But as Declassified UK‘s Mark Curtis mused, is this really a bad thing?

Times journalist Sathnam Sanghera thought democracy depended on quality journalism we have to pay for:

Although as The Canary‘s editor-at-large Kerry-Anne Mendoza noted, this isn’t really the case:

And with the Sunday Times owner Rupert Murdoch being worth over $7bn in 2019, penny-pinching at his rag doesn’t really wash.

Waterson speaks

But it’s perhaps the Guardian‘s Jim Waterson who summed up the state of the corporate press the best. He tweeted:

Unfortunately for the wilfully ignorant Waterson, the coronavirus crisis is, in part, all about “ethics in journalism business models”. Because one of the main reasons we have a PM who has made such an intentional shambles of the pandemic response is due to the ethics of the corporate press’s business model.

A crisis decades in the making

The UK has a media welded to the establishment. From the Sun cheering on Margaret Thatcher in the “war” against the miners and the “dictator” Arthur Scargill. Then to its support for Tony Blair. To the Mirror publishing fake torture photos during the invasion of Iraq, and undermining the legitimate war crimes case in the process. To the Daily Mail‘s support for Nigel Farage and Brexit. Via the Sunday Times itself effectively backing Johnson in the 2019 election. All of this has led to the point where the UK is facing the worst crisis since WWII with an utterly negligent PM at the helm.

This is because the public, after decades of being fed a media diet of lies, propaganda, and spin on behalf of the establishment, has now gone full circle. We’ve got to the point where even when we’re presented with a man like Jeremy Corbyn, many people had their head’s spun by the press for so many decades they’d inadvertently vote for Johnson and the Tories thinking things would change. Now we clearly know they haven’t.

The corporate press: ultimately to blame?

The blame for the unfolding catastrophe coronavirus has brought can be laid at the corporate press’s door. Because without them (and a healthy dose of some in the Labour Party actively undermining Corbyn), Johnson wouldn’t have been in charge during this in the first place.

So, corporate journalists can plead potential poverty and destitution during this time all they wish. Ultimately, they’ve only got themselves to blame if they join the 1.4 million other people queuing for Universal Credit right now.

Featured image via Wikimedia, BBC News – YouTube and Good Morning Britain – YouTube, YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. Hadley Freeman needn’t worry about the Guardian going under, MI6 consider it such a good propaganda sheet, the taxpayer will end up covertly funding it
      Four years lying and smearing the Labour party, its leader and membership, now they’re desperate that we forget that and pretend they have always been a friend to the left.
      Only the terminally witless are going to fall for that.

    2. Let’s hope said corporate up-their-own-derrière journos can bring themselves to froth about more than a rumour that ‘that virus’ has exceedingly suspicious connections to shared bio-weaponry experiments historically operated by the China, the USA and its Western associates in crime.

    3. This is why we need independent media. Independent from wealthy people like Murdock. Media owners must be limited in the number of outlets they can own as today they swamp the media channels with swamp gas. We need to put a match to it. Puppet Master Murdock is worse than Putin pulling the strings behind the curtain.

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