A mainstream media journalist has accidentally revealed he was ordered to take down Jeremy Corbyn. Daily Express reporter Jon Rogers was instructed to “put the boot into Corbyn” and ensure readers know “Labour is NOT the solution”, seemingly by an editor.
BuzzFeedreports that Rogers received the instructions within a brief for an article on the national debt. The reporter contacted Labour for a comment while preparing to write the piece. Unfortunately, in the process, Rogers mistakenly emailed the anti-Corbyn instructions straight to the Labour Party press office.
It looks like Rogers wanted to summarise the article for Labour, but accidentally included the instructions to damage Corbyn. As seen in the image below, they read:
Needs reaction from the Taxpayers Alliance – but let’s def also put the boot into Corbyn (who wants to plunge us into even DEEPER debt) so as the readers are very clear that Labour is NOT the solution!
I’m sure Labour might very well have something to say on the issue of spiralling debt? Any chance of getting something attributed to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell?
While it’s unclear who sent the instructions, BuzzFeed reports:
The email also includes a link to a file held on a computer belonging to “marshg”. Geoff Marsh is the director of digital content at Express Newspapers, the owner of the Daily Express.
Neither Rogers nor Marsh have commented on the matter.
Media bias against Corbyn
On social media, some people mocked the idea that Rogers’ accidental revelation is shocking. A look at independent investigations into the media coverage of Corbyn’s Labour suggests why.
For example, part two of an audit by Loughborough University showed the extent of newspaper hostility towards Labour during the general election. The following graph looks at data from a crucial week of the election. It shows the majority of the press was overwhelmingly hostile to Labour:
The conclusions of many academic studies chime with these findings. Last year, a report [pdf] published by the London School of Economics and Political Science found strong media bias against Corbyn, claiming the press had turned into an “attackdog” against the opposition leader. According to the report, 56% of the Corbyn-related articles analysed did not give the Labour leader a voice at all.
Still, the Express email shows that a journalist was explicitly ordered to damage Corbyn. Then, Rogers accidentally sent the instructions directly to the Labour press office. That’s pretty damn funny.
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