The Guardian‘s senior political correspondent has just landed a senior job at Rupert Murdoch’s the Times. Predictably, the stenographers in the press pack are having a field day over his appointment. However, it sums up the state of the cesspit that is the UK corporate media – where a journalist can go from working for the supposedly left-wing Guardian to a top job at the climate denying, racist, and transphobic Times.
Allegretti inducing a corporate hack circle jerk
Aubrey Allegretti is currently the Guardian‘s senior political correspondent – having worked there since February 2021. However, he excitedly announced on Twitter on Tuesday 8 August that he’d got a new job. Aubrey is moving to the Times to be its chief political correspondent:
Very excited to announce some personal news:
I’m joining The Times as Chief Political Correspondent in the autumn.
It’s a cracking team led by the brilliant @Steven_Swinford and I can’t wait to get stuck in!
— Aubrey Allegretti (@breeallegretti) August 8, 2023
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Congratulations were apparently in order from other corporate hacks, like the Sunday Times‘s ‘Whitehall editor’ (whatever the hell that is) Gabriel Pogrund:
Congratulations Bree 👏
— Gabriel Pogrund (@Gabriel_Pogrund) August 8, 2023
Former BBC and Sky News journalist Lewis Goodall (who’s recently come out as a raging centrist) also sent Allegretti best wishes:
Fantastic. Congrats Aubrey!
— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) August 8, 2023
In fact, it seemed half the UK press pack ceremoniously descended onto Twitter to fawn over this guy’s new job:
— j (@jrc1921) August 8, 2023
One person warned us to have plenty of Kleenex at the ready:
Every time this happens we have to watch the press have a huge circle jerk over each other. Pathetic https://t.co/aNufGMK5fn
— Lobjob2.0 (@Lobjob101) August 8, 2023
One big club
However, for normal people (that is, non-members of the UK’s official establishment stenography club) Allegretti’s new job was a source of fury; the main point being that it showed that the UK corporate media was one big, homogenous swarm of hacks:
Further proof, as if further proof were needed, that the media in this country is one big club & we’re not in it. In stenographer-land, there’s no such thing as left or right, or speaking truth to power; there’s only careerists who’ll take any job as long as the pay’s right. https://t.co/De4acGFrf9
— Phil Gould 🇵🇸🖕🥁 (@bongosaloon) August 8, 2023
Non-corporate journalist Jonathan Cook noted that the Guardian and the Times were effectively two cheeks of the same arse:
Seamless switch from Guardian reporter to Murdoch's chief political correspondent.
It's all make-believe: their job is to make us believe that the two wings of capitalist politics, like the two wings of capitalist media, offer a meaningful choice https://t.co/9aTjoEkjV0
— Jonathan Cook (@Jonathan_K_Cook) August 10, 2023
Another Twitter user summed up the situation by saying:
This is classic media self absorption, this is a huge change of allegiance but it’s clear you don’t actually care, politics is just words for you. This at a time of unparalleled corruption in government and politics. Zero responsibility but happy to take money from anyone.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Allegretti has switched from the Guardian to the Times. A cursory browse of his LinkedIn shows he previously worked for Sky News, HuffPost, and briefly for the Times before, as a researcher for four months. These kinds of job swaperoos are just common place in the corporate media.
For example, everyone’s favourite former BBC political editor, now prime-time BBC Sunday morning host, Laura Kuenssberg used to be ITV News’s business editor. Last year, the Guardian made Anna Isaac its city editor – after she previously worked at the Daily Telegraph.
Then you have the corporate media’s watchdog, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). This is, you guessed it, chock-full of former corporate hacks – like the ex-Metro editor who recently joined. Plus, three companies own 90% of the UK’s national newspaper market.
We still need a revolution
Overall, as the Canary‘s Curtis Daly previously wrote:
Media pundits sit in their nice comfy chairs, in their fancy studios, lowering the political discourse to utter babble.
They purposely distract us by attacking wokeness and cancel culture, all while throwing minority communities under the bus.
They won’t talk about their mates’ tax-dodging, undisclosed political donors, or the rigged financial system.
Without a functioning media, our politicians, including opposition parties, don’t feel the need to address the problems.
Allegretti’s job move sums up the problem. When you have journalists who are happy to move from a left-wing to right-wing publication, it’s clearly just job to them. This means money – not public good – is these people’s primary motivation. As one Twitter user summed up:
“Those are my principles and if you don’t like them…well I have others” https://t.co/PHiHrhKmfg
— Paul 💙 (@pjsmith149) August 10, 2023
The corporate media in the UK functions only to serve the rich and powerful, and to line the pockets of the journalists working within it. We wrote in 2016 about the need for a “media revolution” – and nothing has changed since.Support us and go ad-free
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