Considering that the right-wing press tells anyone prepared to read their dubiously reasoned copy that Jeremy Corbyn would be an unmitigated disaster for not only the Labour Party, but politics in general, they are putting an awful lot of effort into trying to scare their readers off him. In doing so, they demonstrate just how far their commitment to free speech goes - and that is not very far.
This man is seriously scary. Allegedly
The piss-poor SunNation site - that means Creepy Uncle Rupe wants you all to see it, so no paywall - yesterday screamed “CORBYN PLANS TO SHARE STAGE WITH HAMAS SUPPORTER WHO CONDONED SUICIDE BOMBING … The Labour leadership favourite has sparked outrage with his plans to appear alongside Dr Azzam Tamimi and Carlos Latuff”. Steve Hawkes’ piece is so “exclusive”, it’s also in the Mail.
So what is the Sun’s deputy political editor so concerned about? “Among the speakers at the Soliditary event are Carlos Latuff, who came second in an Iranian Holocaust cartoon competition in 2006 … He has been branded anti-Semitic by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Another is Dr Azzam Tamimi, dubbed Hamas’ ‘special envoy’ in the UK” [my emphases]. So they both got called names by someone else.
Heck, the Mail and Sun can’t even agree on Tamimi’s status: the former disparagingly tells “The academic, described as a former adviser to Hamas”. He can’t be a “former adviser” and a “special envoy” at the same time. But the Mail wants you to know this is serious stuff - after all, “Also at the event … will be Andrew Murray, the chief of staff at Mr Corbyn’s union backers Unite”. It’s so subversive, a Trades Union official will be there!
Would the Mail care to have another go? “The Labour leadership frontrunner will speak later this month at a London conference hosted by the controversial publication Middle East Monitor … Middle East Monitor is seen as sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organisation founded in Egypt and allied to Hamas”. “Is seen as”. Like the Daily Mail “is seen as” bigoted, homophobic, sexist, and on occasion anti-Semitic.
After all, who can forget its attack on the memory of Ralph Miliband, when it followed its initial attack piece with an editorial that thundered “We do not maintain, like the jealous God of Deuteronomy, that the iniquity of the fathers should be visited on the sons. But when a son with prime ministerial ambitions swallows his father’s teachings, as the younger Miliband appears to have done, the case is different”.
As Corbyn’s spokesman has told, “Jeremy attends a range of events if he believes they contribute to resolving the conflict between Palestine and Israel. It doesn’t mean he agrees with the views of all the people on the panel”. The Mail and Sun claim to be passionate defenders of free speech. From reading their latest contributions to the condemnation of Jeremy Corbyn, the thought enters that their free speech may only apply to them.
Otherwise, the right-wing press would just be stinking hypocrites. Perish the thought!
"The Mail and Sun claim to be passionate defenders of free speech."
Actually, Umberto Eco was on the money when he described the likes of those two disgusting rags as ur-fascist.
If they foam at the mouth for much longer they'll be able to bathe in it. But it won't make them clean. Or decent.
Not that it's limited to "news"papers. BBC TV News Channel just had MacTernan on for the umpteenth time spitting his special brand of hatred. Doubtless ITV, C4 will follow up slavishly. Sky will of course be its usual cowardly boot boy self.
All of which means by definition that Corbyn must have something honest and fair to offer.
As Frank Cottrell Boyce said in the I last week, most media players (at least at the editorial and opinion-forming level) earn enough to not be directly affected by austerity (and I'd add that the bottom rungs in that cut-throat business are determined to get to the top). To them, the country basically works. So the message they send out is that this is the reality, nothing can be allowed to interfere with that. Aspiration isn't just good, it's sexy. Just look at the way 'business' is portrayed on the news and in popular culture. Because a fairer, more egalitarian society would mean them taking a hit, a loss to their status, that they might never get back. A donation to charity or a one-off sympathetic column is a single, fleeting gesture; a new tax rate or a drop in house value is forever.
Post a Comment