Jeremy Corbyn has schooled a BBC reporter for the wall-to-wall corporate media coverage of trivial matters, while outlets sideline real issues.
Across the UK press and broadcasters, the main story has been suggesting the Labour leader called Theresa May a “stupid woman”. But, on 19 December, Corbyn returned to the commons chamber to confirm he’d muttered “stupid people”, after the Conservatives had, in Corbyn’s words, turned “a debate about the national crisis facing our country into a pantomime”.
The BBC, meanwhile, continued to report on the MP for Islington’s murmurings with more rigour than it seems to apply to climate change. And Corbyn wasn’t very impressed:
Jeremy Corbyn: "You and your colleagues in the media seem utterly obsessed with this"
Labour leader says he's "made very clear what I actually thought and said" after he was accused of calling Theresa May a "stupid woman" during #PMQs
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) December 20, 2018
Speaking to the BBC, Corbyn accused the media of marginalising real issues:
You and your colleagues in the media seem utterly obsessed with this. The fact that a homeless man died outside parliament has got no coverage whatsoever.
In the context of such important issues, BBC Newsnight faced criticism for dedicating its show to the accusation against Corbyn on 19 December:
Jeremy Corbyn’s alleged “stupid woman” comment is receiving more scrutiny on #Newsnight than Theresa May‘s appalling approach to Brexit. The balance and perspective of our political discourse, and the way in which our media interpret it is deeply unsettling right now.
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) December 19, 2018
The Conservative Government are currently destroying Britain, ripping apart at the few remaining fabrics that bind society together, yet #Newsnight leads with something Jeremy Corbyn didn’t say. Pathetic.
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) December 19, 2018
Accusations of bias against the BBC go beyond the opinions of viewers. Numerous academic studies have revealed systemic bias against progressive politics at the BBC. A major content analysis from Cardiff University, for instance, revealed that the BBC is pro-business and conservative-leaning in its coverage, no matter which party is in power.
As well as the BBC and the broadcast media, the UK press ran to the moon with the accusation against Corbyn:
But the UK press does not appear to have much credibility when it comes to the Labour leader. The London School of Economics and Political Science found strong media bias against Corbyn, claiming the press had turned into an “attackdog” against the opposition leader. According to the report, 56% of the Corbyn-related articles analysed did not give the Labour leader a voice at all.
Corbyn represents an existential threat to the status quo. With that in mind, the corporate media only exposes itself as an institutional defender of the establishment when journalists so brazenly try to damage the Labour leader’s credibility. The real story is the concentration of power over our institutions in the UK.
Featured image via BBC Politics/ Twitter
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