The Telegraph’s latest nincompoopery sums up the state of the UK media

Boris Johnson and The Telegraph logo
Steve Topple

We’ve come to expect the Telegraph not to give fair and balanced coverage to the issues facing the UK. It is, of course, a cheerleader for the Tories. But even by its pretty low standards, it just plumbed new depths.

Hell in a handcart? Not if you read the Telegraph.

While the UK, and the world, was going to coronavirus hell in a handcart, people on social media were noticing a problem with the Telegraph‘s front page on Sunday 1 March:

Yes, this is the news that the PM and his partner Carrie Symonds are expecting a baby, with a shotgun wedding thrown in for good measure. Seemingly, we should all be rejoicing at this news. The problem is, it’s hardly news. Johnson and Symonds’ admitted they got engaged at the end of 2019, and already knew about the baby. So, it’s almost as if it was an intentionally timed announcement. But what could the PM possible want to distract the public from?

Oddly, there are a few other things going on in the world.

Down the shitter

There wouldn’t be enough words for this article to include all the news items more important than the PM getting hitched with a sprog in tow. But some of them would include:

  • The ongoing scandal with home secretary Priti Patel. Not least the resignation of a senior home office civil servant (not that he deserves our sympathies, either).
  • Coronavirus and the UK’s alleged preparations (or lack of).
  • A fourth weekend of severe weather in the UK, with the PM nowhere in sight.
  • Turkey using Syrian refugees as a bargaining chip with the EU.
  • The ongoing trial of Julian Assange.
  • Perpetual chaos with the UK’s welfare state.
  • Labour, the UK’s official opposition party, having the small matter of a leadership election.

But if you believe the Telegraph, not a lot else was happening. Problem is, the wedding and baby saga was a running theme across the papers.

Follow the leader. Literally.

The Sunday Express gave us:

The Mail on Sunday positioned the story as eye-catchingly as possible:

The supposedly liberal Independent recorded the story as somehow groundbreaking:

Meanwhile, other outlets did focus on the ongoing Patel scandal. But they still managed to fit in some obligatory cooing as well:

Albeit, when it came to the Sunday Times, there was a hint of sarcasm involved:

Even the allegedly left-wing Mirror chose not to avoid the story. But it gave it a slight twist:

As people noted this ‘news’ sums up the state of the UK’s establishment media:

“Ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate”?

Papers like the Telegraph are bound to want to portray the PM in a positive light while, at the same time, distracting from his catalogue of ongoing failings. Yet with most of the press acting in sync, it again raises questions about exactly what the UK media is good for. Because it seems they’re only fit for subservient capitulation to the government of the day.

Hey, never mind. A new baby coming into this horrific world should be a cause for celebration, right?

But let’s hope that Johnson and Symonds’ marriage lasts longer than his previous two. Because should it not, Symonds may be a single mother. And she may well be bringing up an “ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate” child. Her fiancé’s words about single mothers, not mine. It was probably too much to hope the media would point this out today.

Featured image via EU2017EE Estonian Presidency – Wikimedia and Wikimedia 

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  • Show Comments
    1. The Telegraph has become an absolute joke of a newspaper – to such an extent that it is quite reliable in always being 180 degrees wrong. So. when they assert, say, that the EU must be more flexible, you know it’s the UK that must be more flexible; when they say the EU is cornered, you know it’s the UK that’s cornered; or the US economy is fundamentally strong you know it’s fundamentally weak; or when they say Labour has always sold out the country, you know it’s really the Tories that have betrayed the country.
      Sadly it isn’t just the Telegraph. The Guardian has also become an appalling newspaper, which is all the worse for slyly poses as a friend of the Left, while in fact doing all it can to divide progressives and defeat the Labour Party.
      In fact the whole of the mainstream media lost all credibility at the last general election and, in my opinion, are best ignored, not read and not paid for.

    2. The gag-inducing six-page pullout (strong and absorbent) of the Royal, I mean Presidential, I mean Prime Ministerial impending birth and his enduring love for himself in the MoS. Both it and The Borisgraph also used the remaining bit of front page for a “sources at No.10 reckon Rutnam was a bit shit” piece of investigative journalism.

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