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Friday 20 March 2020

Covid-19 - The Tide Is NOT Turning

The little local difficulty being encountered by our free and fearless press in reporting the continuing Coronavirus crisis has not only continued, but by their own hand has escalated significantly overnight, as many papers have taken what alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson said, and transformed it into something he certainly did not.
Those titles that took this action may have thought they were being dutiful and patriotic, but all they were doing was to, once again, cruelly hoax their readers into believing the situation was rather better than it really is. From the Daily Brexit, still called the Express, with “BORIS: WE CAN TURN THE TIDE IN 12 WEEKS”, to free sheet Metro’sWE CAN TURN TIDE IN 12 WEEKS”, to the Mail’sPM: WE CAN BEAT VIRUS IN 12 WEEKS”, the message was the same. And all three were equally dishonest.

As so often, the press has been dispensing with the C-Word, as in Context. In this, their expertise is unparalleled. But in doing so here, they have cruelly given false hope to readers, while managing not to put on their front pages that the UK may be around nine days behind Italy with Covid-19, and the latter country reported 427 deaths related to the virus yesterday, taking its total above that of China.
So what did Bozo The Clown actually say? This from the BBC’s live coverage yesterday: “Boris Johnson says he is confident the UK can ‘turn the tide’ of the virus in the next 12 weeks, but only if people follow government advice”. He is confident IF we do as asked.

Moreover, “He later says the disease ‘does not seem yet’ to be responding to the government's interventions - social distancing, etc - adding: ‘I cannot tell you by the end of June we will be on a downward slope. It's possible.’” That is the context which the press has stripped out of its headlines. It’s so creative as to be cynically cruel.
The Beeb’s Chris Mason gave this analysis: “The striking thing from the prime minister's briefing was his attempt to put a timeline on the new reality we are all adjusting to. He said he hoped that ‘we can turn the tide within the next 12 weeks’. But when he was pressed as to what that actually meant, his confidence appeared to soften … He acknowledged too that he is often accused of being ‘unnecessarily boosterish about these things’”.

Worse, even if we are on the “downward curve” by the end of June, those in that same free and fearless press do not appear to have made the obvious deduction: that before the end of June, we would be on an upward curve. That would mean more infections, more strain on the NHS, more resources needed to combat the virus - and more deaths.
Before the downward curve: Bergamo, Italy

Whichever way you slice it, the print media is not levelling with the public. This only feeds the popular but hopelessly misguided narrative that it’s nothing to worry about, flu kills so many more every winter, more people die of heart disease and cancer, most people don’t know anyone who’s been affected, so hey - what’s the big deal?

It will, of course, be a much bigger deal when the local sports hall has rows of coffins lining its floor, each with its single red rose, awaiting the procession of brief but sad funerals, as is happening right now in northern Italy. But by then it will be too late.

When will the press have the spine to level with its readers? Don’t all shout at once.
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tedbangor said...

“Boris Johnson says he is confident the UK can ‘turn the tide’ of the virus in the next 12 weeks, but only if people follow government advice”.

That's just getting ready for the blame game.

"People didn't follow advice" etc....

And rather over looking just how long a period there was without any government advice or advice that didn't contradict all the other advice.

Still, at least Johnson isn't trying to turn it into some racist, like the cockwomble in the US. Yet.

Arnold said...

Boosterish? Clearly a typo and he actually said "Bertie Woosterish".

Arnold said...

Brexpress readers will appreciate free toilet paper for three months. Coincidentally the same period of time they think it will take to defeat the pandemic.

Anonymous said...

Brenda Von Windsor "....ready to play my part."


How? By playing Vera Lynn over a PA system?

AndyC said...

I've had the impression over the past day or two, from his demeanour at the daily presser, and his administration's lacklustre response to the pandemic, that Bozo the Clown has lost interest in the crisis and is clearly bored by it. I suspect we will be seeing even less of him in days to come, but that will at least mean we might get some coherence from experts rather than throw away, unexplained and unchallenged lines from him like 'We can be over this in 12 weeks'.

Sam said...

I think the proverbial penny has finally dropped with Britain's media that they too are in deadly peril - from the absence of advertising. My pal who is in media advertising management says the industry is quaking in it's boots with 100s of business trying to extract themselves from blanket bookings with smaller companies ditching all adverts. He fully expects many print publications to go to the wall and online business is looking even worse.