The mainstream media is rightly holding Dominic Cummings and his government employers to account at the moment. But they’re doing their job too late. Because the perfect time to actually challenge them would’ve been when British voters had a clear chance to stop them; say, before the nightmare 2019 election. Instead, though, many corporate media hacks were too busy covering Boris Johnson’s back while campaigning hard to keep his opponent from winning.
Too late to do your jobs now. The damage is done.
People around the country are noting that many of the reporters rightfully going after Cummings now actually played a key role in helping him and his buddies into power in the first place:
Easy to forget but less than 6 months ago the Tories fought and won a general election on a level of deception and evasion unparalleled in modern history.
If only journalists were as up in arms about that as they are about Cummings breaking a lockdown rule.
— Justin Schlosberg (@jrschlosberg) May 25, 2020
Indeed, lies and misinformation were at the core of the Tory election campaign in 2019. But many media hacks failed to challenge this; largely because they were too busy fuelling a vile propaganda campaign to stop Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour from breaking through.
As comedian Ava Vidal pointed out, the corporate media very much “set the stage” for Cummings and co:
If he is playing you for fools it’s only because you set the stage for him to be able to do so.
— No such thing as BAME 🇩🇲🇧🇧 (@thetwerkinggirl) May 26, 2020
The problem is many of these now ENRAGED – journalists, pundits, politicians, celebrities & public, regardless of their political persuasion, made sure that @BorisJohnson has such a huge majority their rage does not matter. https://t.co/nM0mUMAlPl https://t.co/AOeHbRrbRp
— Tracey Crosbie (@tracey_crosbie) May 24, 2020
And why oh why has no one from labour leaks been suspended yet. We can’t criticise the tories for having an elite who are allowed to break rules if the Labour Party does the same thing in not applying its rules fairly to all. We do need some action now. https://t.co/CRwTOj4Kmf
— Pamela Fitzpatrick (@Pam4HarrowEast) May 24, 2020
To demonstrate the difference between media outrage now and before the election, The Canary did a bit of research.
The things they didn’t focus on
We looked at the tweet history of corporate media figures like Piers Morgan, Ian Dunt, Adam Boulton, Beth Rigby, Jonathan Freedland, and Kay Burley. Regarding the Cummings scandal, they’ve all been doing their jobs (to differing extents). They’ve also joined the mainstream shift in strategy in general since Keir Starmer took control of the Labour Party by actually holding the government to account regarding its failures during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Before the 2019 election, however, the story was different. These reporters’ comments on the devastation the Tories had inflicted on Britain via ideological austerity, for example, were almost non-existent. Indeed, there seemed to be no direct comments on UN rapporteur Philip Alston’s devastating report on UK poverty and austerity; and only one mention of the 100,000+ excess deaths reportedly resulting from austerity policies.
There also seemed to be only one passing comment about UN criticism of Tory-led governments violating disabled people’s rights; next to no talk of foodbank usage skyrocketing under the Tories; and almost nothing on the dangerous privatisation efforts in the NHS.
There was, however, a lot of evidence of both obvious and subtle anti-Corbyn bias in their comments ahead of the election.
Never forget their failures
The Conservative Party has failed the British people not just in the last ten years, but during the pandemic too. Estimates suggest there have been over 60,000 excess deaths with coronavirus links in the UK so far. And while many mainstream reporters have been clear about government mistakes in recent weeks, their apparent failure to do so in previous years amounts to complicity. They were essentially accomplices in getting this fatally cruel government into power. And we must never forget that.
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