The corporate press just ran to protect Boris Johnson

27 January Front Pages and Boris Johnson
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The right-wing establishment corporate media just fell over itself to protect Boris Johnson. Its behaviour is a stain on the UK. And as sociologist Gayle Letherby summed up, these outlets just ‘mocked us and all who grieve’.

Johnson’s “sorrow”

Johnson held a press conference on Tuesday 26 January. It came as the number of people who have died from coronavirus (Covid-19) hit over 100,000. The media has widely reported Johnson’s speech. He said of the death toll:

it is hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic.

The years of life lost, the family gatherings not attended and, for so many relatives, the missed chance even to say goodbye.

I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one

But some people were incensed by Johnson’s words. And people were also furious about the much of the media’s response.

The media falls into line

Letherby tweeted that:

Read on...

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The front pages of many of the papers today are a masterclass in the manufacturing of consent (Chomsky)

The Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Metro all ran with Johnson’s “deeply sorry” line; the Daily Mail going so far as to call the PM’s “message” “heartfelt”:

The Front Pages 27 January

Over at the Express, and it too ran with the “deeply sorry” angle:

Meanwhile, the Sun also fell into line. It noted Johnson’s “sorrow”:

In short, much of the media effectively did Johnson’s work for him.

Manufacturing catastrophe

These front pages all pushed his line that he was sorry. But they also worked to somehow paint the Johnson’s disastrous handling of the pandemic as an accident; that they tried their best. As Letherby said:

The MSM [mainstream media]  is not only complicit, it mock[s] us and all who grieve

Adam Schwarz summed up the Tories’ pandemic response:

Late lockdowns is perhaps one of the most crucial points. As The Canary previously reported, Johnson’s first lockdown last March was dire compared twith other countries. It noted that:

New Zealand locked down on 25 March; two days after the UK. But as BBC News reported, a week earlier Ardern made everyone coming into the country self-isolate for 14 days. It also completely closed its borders. And as BBC News said, she put “health before the economy”

The Tories’ response to coronavirus has invariably put the economy first and public health second. The “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme shows this best. Because it ended up spreading coronavirus more. As one medic said during an ITV show:

We could rephrase [it], Eat Out To Help Out The Virus… That Eat Out To Help Out campaign led to further spread of the virus.

But Julie Harrington also made an important point on Twitter.

Clients, manufacturing consent

She said:

This drip drip of misinformation is one of the worst and most disrespectful things we are up against

The Canary previously reported on the idea of “client journalism” where the government uses reporters for its own agenda. Newspapers presenting Johnson’s “sorrow” as fact is just one example of this. Because actually, his sorrow is a matter of opinion. The media’s skewing of the Tory pandemic response has been toxic, as demonstrated by 27 January’s front pages. So, this ‘manufacturing of consent’ as Noam Chomsky called it is to deflect valid criticism of the Tories away from them. It is the media pushing the interests of the establishment class.

But the public must not let that happen.

Retribution needs to happen. It needs to be swift and unsympathetic. The Tories and Johnson must be held accountable to each of the 100,162 people who have died, and their bereaved families. Anything less will be a catastrophe – much like our government’s handling of this crisis.

Featured image via Gayle Letherby – Twitter and Chatham House – Flickr

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  • Show Comments
    1. If retribution is carried out just to feel some form of vengeance it will not work or be enough. The best form of ultimate ‘retribution’ is a strong push towards permanent species-wide change that ditches petty politics working for the vested interests of the eternally corrupt ruling classes and their twisted view of ‘democracy’ for good.

    2. Johnson is a buffoon and a dangerous one for sure, but there are serious problems with the whole coronavirus story. In UK,as I understand it anyone with a positive PCR test who dies within 28 days(now 60 days??) is recorded as a “death from covid” no matter any other life threatening health issues. The excess mortality is 9th most severe in last 20 years for UK, not to treat people as idiots , although that’s what your government is doing, that means in 8 years since 2,000 there has been higher excess mortality than 2020. Around 70% of deaths are people 75 years or older and predominantly with comorbidities(this not to dismiss older people dying, but old people die, that’s a fact) while people under 60 rarely die. Surely better to protect the elderly and immune compromised and let the healthy young live a normal life. Where does it end? (allegedly new more virulent mutations, needing more lockdowns) the history of medicine records 2(TWO) viruses which have ever been eradicated, the most significant, smallpox took 21 years to achieve. SARS is not going away, do we live like this forever?. None, that’s NOT ONE of the vaccine manufacturers are claiming the vax prevents infection or transmission, only that it “may lessen severity of illness” and a vaccinated person “may still transmit the virus”.

    3. He mocks everyone who combs their hair before appearing on Television.
      I remember David Cameron, bullying Jeremy Corbyn for not wearing a tie in the HOC.
      To everyone in the UK who makes an effort to look presentable at work, this is your Prime Minister, no it’s not funny, it’s sick, perverted and twisted.
      Disgusting, Prime Minister comb your bloody hair man. You are an adult, sort yourself out..

    4. The Canary is no better than the mainstream media now. “100000 people died from Covid”? Hang your heads in shame. Jesus, where is the Canary’s integrity. Captain Tom will go down as a Covid death because he tested postive for Covid, with false positive PCR tests, despite him dying of Pneumonia, probably evolved from Flu. Who cares about the truth though eh, when jumping into bed with Globalists billionaires and their dystopian plan for the future will allow fake lefties to wail at injustice, and us all not getting poisoned with the vaccine campaign and our freedoms taken away. Canary, fine with us all being lockdown, our jobs being lost and our kids losing over a years of education and social development. What a sad day to realise that the new media is just as rubbish and dishonest as the old media

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