Labour’s Chris Williamson takes apart the Guardian for pretending to be left-wing
Wolf in sheep’s clothing
The narrowing of acceptable opinions in the mainstream media has enabled the Guardian to retain a left-wing veneer that it no longer deserves.
Indeed, a quick glance at media ownership shows how rich, vested interests monitor the information that millions of Britons see:
- Billionaire Rupert Murdoch owns the Sun and the Times.
- The Barclay brothers, worth £7.4bn, own the Telegraph.
- Viscount Rothermere, whose family is worth almost a billion, runs the Daily Mail.
- Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev owns the Independent with his son.
“Narrowly beat the Sun“
Compared with the billionaire media, outlets like the Guardian can appear progressive. But Williamson pointed to a recent academic study to illustrate why that’s not the case:
By way of example, a report by the Media Reform Coalition last month found that the Guardian, along with the BBC, topped the charts for inaccuracies in the reporting of Labour and anti-semitism.
The liberal-leaning paper and the public broadcaster narrowly beat the Sun.
The Media Reform Coalition restricted its analysis to summer 2018. Nearly half of the Guardian‘s reports “featured no quoted sources defending the party or leadership”. Along with source imbalance, the Guardian published eight “false statements or claims” and five “misleading or inaccurate” stories. The report’s authors concluded that the BBC, the Guardian and the rest of the mainstream media had established a “disinformation paradigm” over the issue.
Speaking to The Canary, the Guardian claimed that it featured “a wide range of voices in this debate – including Jeremy Corbyn himself”.
“Not any more”
Williamson said that he was once a “loyal” Guardian reader:
I remember having my leg pulled by my workmates on the building sites, where I was employed as a young bricklayer, for reading what they saw as an alien broadsheet.
I used to take great pride in telling them that the Guardian was about the best mainstream newspaper around for coverage of the Labour Party…
Personally, I haven’t boycotted the Guardian, but I’ve stopped reading it as much as I used to…
On the doorstep in Derby North, I used to recommend the Guardian to enthusiastic supporters — not any more.
A Guardian News and Media spokesperson told the Canary that:
But the coverage seems to be getting worse. The Guardian, in its Sunday outlet the Observer, has now given Theresa May a no-questions-asked platform to appeal to Labour voters.
So I looked afresh and saw:
*4.5m children in poverty
*Wages lower today than 10 years ago
*School funding cut, NHS waiting lists longer, social care cut …
*And making a pig's ear of Brexit pic.twitter.com/6x1yOtrQwL
— Andrew Fisher (@FisherAndrew79) October 6, 2018
The outlet may remain a great resource with some fantastic commentators. But as Williamson suggests, its corporate editorial line appears firmly rooted in protecting the establishment.
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Featured image via Chris McAndrew/ WikiCommons / The Guardian
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