I for one will not be watching the ‘debate’ between Corbyn and Johnson this evening. No, not because Jo Swinson has been kept out of it (oh dear, we’ll be spared a momentary spurt of Swinsonmania) but precisely because Johnson is in it. My dislike for the man puts him on a par with Joseph Goebbels, whose lying really set the tone for post-war PR. Were it not for Goebbels’ association with Nazism, he would be lauded as the father of modern day marketing. Perhaps in some quarters he is. The approach has been refreshed and invigorated by Trump. There was a good article in the Guardian this morning by Peter Oborne—a Tory—wondering why it is the media do not call out Johnson’s bare-faced lies. Is it because the interviewers are too shy? Forgetful? Fellow travellers? All three? Or are they afraid he’s simply going to win, and fear screwing up their sources? Anyway, there’ll be no escaping the ’debate’ in the news later tonight and tomorrow, although if Johnson does badly we can count on Prince Andrew's willy to provide some fresh distraction, no doubt.
Aside from the media’s inability to call out Johnson, there are as ever other aspects of their behaviour which shows the hand of their bias. One is the use of the vox pop report. Here’s an example from Reuters: ‘Crewe and Nantwich constituency, which voted in favor (sic) of leaving the EU in a 2016 referendum, has sometimes been described as a bellwether, and anecdotal evidence suggests some diehard Labour supporters are edging towards the Conservatives,’ (emphasis added) The evidence? Well that comes from 62 year old Mr Jules Wilde, who despite being a life-long Labour voter now says he is in a Brexit mood to vote Conservative. Nobody else is quoted. No evidence of how many other people were approached is given. Speaking from experience as a Labour Party organiser, if someone from the media rings you up for some ‘ordinary’ voter (i.e. a switcher) to speak to, you will always have one up your sleeve. I would be very surprised if the local Labour Party hadn’t got one or two switchers too. I suspect that not many people will necessarily be aware of Reuters slant, although having said that I only looked at their website as a result of it receiving prominence on the search page of Microsoft News, which appears as part of their equivalent Google search page. Their featured stories tend to favour the right-wing view, simply reflecting the print media. The corporate internet in this regard is very much like the BBC.