Corporate journalists just wilfully whitewashed COP26’s failure

Alok Sharma at COP26 with Robert Peston and Beth Rigby
Support us and go ad-free

The corporate journalist press pack fell dutifully into line with the Tory government over the outcome of COP26. But their pushing of government propaganda should be seen for what it is: the wilful whitewashing of a disastrous summit and the rich’s destruction of our planet.

COP26: what a shitshow

The COP26 climate change conference ended on Saturday 13 November. It was led by Tory MP Alok Sharma, and the conference was nothing short of a shitshow. As The Canary previously reported, it was attended by fossil fuel lobbyists. And COP26’s own carbon footprint was expected to be twice as much as previous summits. As for its action on the climate crisis, as Greta Thunberg said:

Blah, blah, blah.

Moreover, as The Canary‘s Tracy Keeling wrote, Net Zero is a nonsense anyway:

Net Zero is a plan to keep on polluting, at least up until 2050. …instead of ending pollution, Net Zero ‘climate action’ generally focuses on ploughing money into finding “fairy tale compensatory mechanisms” to miraculously cancel it out.

All things considered, COP26 was a waste of time, money, and carbon emissions. So, enter the corporate press pack to churn out propaganda on behalf of the Tory government.

Spinning for the Tories

ITV News‘s political editor Robert Peston caused particular outrage:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Many people rightly called out his bullshit. In short, it looks like he was spinning for the Tories and Western governments more broadly. As one Twitter user said:

The corporate press pack also seemed intent on raising up Sharma as some sort of climate saviour – not least after he made out he was crying at the end of the conference. Sky News‘s political editor Beth Rigby pushed that Sharma was ‘holding back tears’:

The Financial Times‘s chief political correspondent Jim Pickard also bought into Sharma’s crocodile tears:

As did BBC science editor David Shukman:

Now, where have we seen a wilfully negligent Tory politician cry before? Oh yes: disgraced former health secretary Matt Hancock live on Good Morning Britain (GMB):

Promoting monsters

The point being that Sharma and Hancock’s feigned emotion, coupled with the corporate media buying into it, gives the impression that these monsters do actually care about anyone besides themselves and their mates. This is demonstrably false. Hancock presided over a government pandemic response which failed to protect society’s most vulnerable people. Sharma was a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) minister. On his watch, people were dying either waiting for, or after being denied, social security by the DWP; people like Steven Smith:

As we’ve seen repeatedly over the years, the corporate press pack are acting as “client journalists”. Peter Oborne described them as:

A client journalist is a journalist who sees his job as decorating power, or legitimising power, and talking the language of power rather than challenging power, [and] running stories which make power accountable

We saw it throughout the pandemic. A similar thing happened in the run up to the 2019 general election. And now, client journalists are propping up the government – as it presides over rich people’s destruction of our planet.

Propping up catastrophe

Corporate journalists are pushing the line that the UK government did all it could during COP26 (to the point of breaking down in tears) – and that if it fails, its the fault of our perceived enemies like China and developing nations like India.

The reality, of course, is that Western countries are more responsible than the rest of the world for the position we’re in. By protecting the UK government’s credibility (when it has none) and interests (keeping wealthy, Western people rich), corporate journalists must share some responsibility for the catastrophe our planet is facing.

Featured image via BBC News – screengrab, Russell Howard – YouTube and Sky News – YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. Lets hope all the delegates all got home safely on their private jets. About 200 private jets parked up nearby to Glasgow, I heard.
      I hope they didn’t pollute any of the air we all rely on to breathe, those nice gas guzzling planes they all own.

      Bye see you all next year for a nice party, if you can stay awake.
      Shame China wasn’t invited, they could have loaded up some planes with all our Christmas Stocking fillers…
      .
      Jingle Bells, F’ing Hell, What a crock of shit.
      We all work for Santa, We’ve had enough,
      We Quit!!

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.