The UK is in political turmoil. The Prime Minister is clinging to power by a thread. Her farcical plans to do a deal with the regressive Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have caused a national outcry. Her hard Brexit strategy, such as it was, is under assault from every side – including by many of her own ministers and the leader of the Scottish Conservatives.
So right-wing rag The Daily Express has decided it doesn’t want to talk about politics. It wants to talk about the weather:
Daily Express genuinely just going with awkward small talk as its main headline pic.twitter.com/kHlZz5acgS
— Sophie Hall (@SophLouiseHall) June 12, 2017
We might not expect piercing journalism from The Express. This is the paper that, before the election, ran a 20-image photo gallery entitled Evolution of Jeremy Corbyn’s beard and claimed that a Corbyn victory would be a threat to love itself. It also confidently predicted that the Conservative manifesto would be the death of the Labour Party:
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) May 6, 2017
Like most of the mainstream media, The Express spent much of the election campaign spreading baseless smears suggesting the Labour leader was “plotting a coalition” with the SNP and Lib Dems. Corbyn had repeatedly ruled out such a coalition, but that didn’t stop the press from regurgitating the Tory attack line, often attributing the smear to anonymous insiders and sources.
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) June 1, 2017
A kick in the teeth for the corporate media
Labour’s performance in the general election wasn’t just a kick in the teeth for the Tories and their austerity programme. It was a kick in the teeth for Britain’s corporate media, too. A study from Loughborough University shows that, when weighted for circulation, British newspapers gave Corbyn’s Labour overwhelmingly negative press:
Despite their efforts, the corporate media did not get the election result they wanted. Many voters saw through the smears. In fact, some of them spent election day putting right-wing rags in the bin.
A laughing stock
The Express has form when it comes to filling its front page with weather predictions that are somewhat removed from reality. As George Monbiot has pointed out:
Express weather is not like normal weather. It’s not the weather we experience, or at least not yet. Express weather is what you might encounter on Mars or Venus: extreme heat or extreme cold interspersed with wild storms.
But the billionaire-backed rag’s election coverage has been so removed from reality that it has now fully turned the paper into a laughing stock – along with much of the rest of the corporate press. And just like Theresa May, it has nobody but itself to blame for its downfall.
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