Channel 4 anchor comes clean, blames the media for a ‘slogan dominated’ election

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Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy has come clean about the media’s role in a “slogan dominated” election. Guru-Murthy said that the media isn’t sufficiently holding politicians to account:

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The Channel 4 presenter was talking about ending a “slogan-dominated” election. And he took aim at the media for facilitating the downfall of debate.

Guru-Murthy began by asking his Twitter followers whether they wanted an end to the sloganeering. People responded as we’d expect: almost 100% in favour of proper discussion.

Here’s Guru-Murthy’s proposal in full:

Broken record

An audience member summed up the endless broken record of “strong and stable” on BBC Question Time. The audience member said he’d bet his wife £10 that Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green would say “coalition of chaos” and “strong and stable government” during his first contribution. It might be the easiest £10 he’s ever earned.

The media’s role in the downfall of debate is clear. The BBC, for example, reported Boris Johnson calling Jeremy Corbyn a “mugwump” as a “scathing attack”. This encourages a personality-led election.

Stage-managed

The Prime Minister, meanwhile, is trying to minimise accountability in this election. Her strategists have heavily stage-managed her campaign so far. On 27 April, the Conservative team booked out a Leeds workplace to make it appear that May was addressing ordinary working locals. In reality, she was talking to about 150 party faithfuls brought in to what was a private event.

Local Labour MP Richard Burgon commented:

like a medieval monarch, she simply briefly relocated her travelling court of admirers to town and then moved on without so much as a nod to the people she considers to be her lowly subjects

And even in a carefully orchestrated environment, May couldn’t remember where she was:

The Conservatives want to make this election all about Brexit. But it’s unclear how the Prime Minister will negotiate a post-Brexit deal, when she cannot even negotiate with a member of the public off-script.

It’s imperative that the media hold her to account on this. At present, Guru-Murthy has admitted the press is letting us down. Now, it must make sure that policies, rather than personalities and slogans, prevail in this election.

Get Involved!

Register to vote in the 8 June general election. If you don’t have a national insurance number, a 5 minute phone call on 0300 200 3500 will get it sent to you in ten days.

– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.

– Also read more Canary articles on the 2017 general election.

Featured image via Chatham House

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