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.
– Read more from The Canary on the general election.
– Join The Canary, and help us hold the mainstream media to account.
– Read and support independent media outlets that hold the powerful to account:
The Canary, Media Diversified, Novara Media, Corporate Watch, Red Pepper, New Internationalist, Common Space, Media Lens, Bella Caledonia, Vox Political, Evolve Politics, Real Media, Reel News, STRIKE! magazine,The Bristol Cable, The Meteor, Salford Star, The Ferret.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons
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?