The establishment and its tame media outlets indulged in a fresh round of pearl clutching yesterday, after Corbyn dismissed reports he was about to resign as “fake news”
The ensuing row was highly revealing of the arrogant, entitled mind-set of our establishment and its mouthpieces, and the Orwellian, topsy turvy way they would like us to see the world.
A brief summary first: a journalist from the Manchester Evening News tweeted out that she had been told by undisclosed parties that Corbyn intended to resign his post at some point this year. According to this journalist Corbyn had already shared the date with his inner circle.
This all had several hallmarks of a classic Establishment misinformation PR campaign, including:
Destabilising to Corbyn’s leadership
Creates an atmosphere of uncertainty
From an undisclosed source
Tweeted not published
Initiated by an obscure local journalist but then rapidly taken up as a “story” in its own right by the national media, that story amounting to, in effect “another journalist said this”
Furthermore, the journalist concerned, when quizzed about her story on Twitter, quickly gave away her true agenda, parroting that tired old Blairite slogan that “Labour MPs are getting desperate”. This clearly showed she had strong sympathy for the anti-Corbyn faction within the PLP, to the extent that she was empathising with their “desperation”. It was also actually irrelevant to the question she was asked, which was “how do you know this?”
Leaving aside the worrying fact that journalists seem to be acting in a co-ordinated fashion to conduct establishment PR operations, the true giveaway occurred when Corbyn was asked about the story and declared it to be “fake news”
MSM journalists exploded in outrage, as did the usual crowd of establishment cheerleaders on Twitter. They tried to make out that Corbyn had somehow done something sinister, that his declaration was somehow an attack on free expression, an attempt to shut down media criticism. This is laughable on several different levels:
Firstly, if Corbyn thinks a media outlet is being dishonest, why on earth shouldn’t he say so? For these corporate mouthpieces to get angry that he would dare contradict them once again speaks to the colossal arrogance and sense of entitlement these people carry around with them.
Secondly, the establishment and its mouthpieces have for about six months now been trying to discredit new media news sources as being “fake news”. This campaign has focused on narratives and memes unofficially circulated on social media, as well as formally constituted new left news outlets such as The Canary and Novara Media. That the establishment would try and build such a narrative around such sources, that truly is sinister. That truly does represent a big, bad ruling class trying to discredit news sources over which it has no formal control.
Yet such behaviour is not only fine with the establishment’s Twitter groupies, they actually encourage it, and replicate it themselves.
So we have a situation where questioning powerful corporate media conglomerates is portrayed as sinister and taboo, while denigrating small, plucky, anti-establishment newcomers is seen as something desirable, almost a civic duty. Of course this is the mirror image of how things should be in a healthy, functioning democracy.
Thirdly, and this one is gratifying, what we are really seeing here is the Establishment being hoist by its own petard. It was the mainstream media who first started using “Fake News” as a means to discredit new information sources but it wasn’t long before radicals started turning this label back on their tormentors. Initially this was done jokingly, but now the label has started to stick to the very people who invented it and they don’t like it at all. Lolz.
In recent months, with Trump and now hopefully Corbyn, we have finally started to see influential politicians push back against the arrogantly wielded power of the establishment media, to refuse to accept that media’s framework. This is absolutely the right approach for Corbyn to take. Never mind faffing around with some wonky “media strategy”, as relics from the Blair years keep urging. Just make like Trump and very publically tell the MSM to F-off. I am no fan of Trump’s racist, corrupt, crony capitalist policies, but his approach to media attacks is spot-on. Of course the media won’t enjoy this but that’s all to the good. They represent nothing more than massive corporate power and it is them that now need to be held to account, not Corbyn.