ED (evildevil) wrote in ontd_political,

Confused Corporate Media is Broken, Doesnt Know What to Do.

Damn You Internet. Stop Changing Reality!

Corbyn-bashing 'centrist' media like the Guardian can jog right on
What we need right now is not more centrist op-eds from out-of-touch "liberal" media outlets. What we need is a shift in press so enamoured of its own interests.

What failing traditional media have lost in revenue and influence, they have certainly gained in accounts of their own decline. Such a piece last year by Guardian editor Katharine Viner was widely shared by media workers, those perplexed that no one seems to be listening to them any longer, or paying them much mind. It’s not an altogether rotten work, and it makes the important case, as others have, that diminished revenues diminish the capacity of news outlets.

This is true. Most media, whether publicly listed or privately persisting, have seen a drastic decline in profit and reputation. What is not, in my view, true — and “truth”, as you know, is something many major outlets claim to tap directly — is the claim that often appends pieces such as Viner’s. Namely, “We are needed now more than ever. Please donate.”

Again, it’s not as though Viner has nothing to say in her long and famous in-group piece on the decay of traditional news. If you’re in the news business, or just quite interested in it, you’ll know that the velocity of social media has changed the pace and the fortunes of its traditional counterpart. If you read the traditional news, though, you’ll also likely know that its producers are just a bit deluded. They might think of themselves as noble, impartial standard-bearers who deserve our donation for their telling of the truth. But, have they read themselves, lately?

Look. These people just keep getting it wrong a great deal of the time. A British reader had a much better chance of assessing the electoral prospects of Corbyn’s Labour by use of chicken entrails than through press. “Are we witnessing the strange, lingering death of Labour England?” asked the Financial Times in February. In Breitbart, a toxic little rag that prides itself on its ability to take the popular pulse, we learn in April that Labour faced not, as was the case, the biggest swing back since the election of Attlee in 1945, but “election wipe-out”. The Claytons Marxist Brendan O’Neill wrote in the Spectator earlier this year that Labour was finished, but did munificently add that “you can’t blame it all on Corbyn”.

Which is just a bit more than Viner’s Guardian appeared to do.

A part of this Graun election video is quite funny. The reporter says to camera that she’s not sure why Corbynite Labour MPs won’t stop to talk to her. Hm. Maybe this had a little to do with stories that declared that Corbyn’s populism was “no good for democracy”, that Corbyn had “betrayed” the young, that he must “resign”, that he is “lifeless” and “spineless”, that he is no Bernie Sanders, that he is self-righteous, that he has “no point”, that he would lead his party to a “cliff-edge”, and, perhaps most wounding of all, that Australian writer Van Badham thinks he should be replaced by a more charismatic leader she can’t be bothered to name. Just someone a bit more like Bob Hawke, she reckons. You know, someone who will advance the neoliberal consensus that members of the traditional press uphold, no matter how much the sheen has gone off it for those troublesome voters. Them. With their “populism”.

Whether you like Corbyn or you think him every bit as up to the job of managing Britain as the alternative education assistant principal he so resembles is up to brokering peace in the Middle East, you want to know what’s going on, right? And what was going on was not what was in the traditional papers — save for The Independent. The guy had adopted just the sort of politics and old grassroots campaigning that had delivered Bernie Sanders the largest rallies and the greatest number of individual donations in US presidential primary history. Again, you didn’t have to like Sanders or consider his policies feasible to see that there had been a change. All you really had to do was check Google’s trends. Although Sanders was searched more than Trump and Clinton combined during the primaries, both these candidates received press coverage that outstripped his by around 20 times.

Sanders is now the most popular politician in the US. Poll after poll reveals his standing as the trusted figure, among Republican and Democratic Party voters alike. Heck, even Fox News can’t shake the survey results to the point they produce a nonsense like Paul Ryan. Sure, you might not like Corbyn or Sanders or any of the Western politicians currently receiving great support for their promise to hold the finance sector to account. But you’re a reader who’d probably rather know if there are significant current shifts in political consciousness. You might think, as most commentators clearly do, that the public is stupid. But you also know that it’s stupid to overlook what you might even view as their stupidity.

A noted non-stupid is Mark Blyth. The Scottish political economist who is now a professor at Brown has gained a popular — oh, the horror! — following in recent months for his lectures on what he calls “Global Trumpism”. He’s not, of course, in the papers much, but his spirited lectures are widely shared — and before you fret that his relative “populism” means that he speaks in slogans crafted for the Millennial dosed on chronic, I’d suggest you read him.

I spoke with Blyth this morning and asked him why traditional press continued to ignore, or discredit, popular movements.

Blyth says, “If you see recent events as being primarily cultural, you tend to ignore where most of the action has been in terms of real electoral impact, which is on the left. Scotland, nearly the UK last week, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, all transformed. All discounted, since it doesn’t fit the cultural narrative.”

“Why do people defend this? Because the people espousing it tend to have cosmopolitan liberal values and are generally offended by right populism. They see it as a retrograde ideology and a real threat to democracy. So they focus on what makes populism look bad.”

So, all populism is seen as bad by commentators who, no matter how slim their pay cheques have become, continue to identify, per Badham, with the powerful technocrat class. “Experts” are to be trusted, and figures like Sanders are to be pitied or despised — see this recent rot in The New York Times that insists that the Democratic Party establishment knows better than the people who actually might vote for them how to win an election.

It may be very true that Clinton was the “most qualified”. What is not true, however much the apparently rational editors of big newspapers would have it, is that voters want the “most qualified” or the most centrist politician. It’s a delusion that centrism continues to be appealing to large numbers of people — again, whether you think this is the correct political response to a time of widespread wealth inequality is not the point. The point is that it is the response.

In the West, the centre does hold on the right. As Blyth tells me, “Trump is the only case where it’s not.”

“It’s the centre left that has collapsed,” he says. “And it’s the new left that is on the rise.”

And rising along with it is a great determination by purportedly progressive and “truth-telling” press to ignore what has occurred in a range of Western nations: impatience with the neoliberal consensus and a youth vote given over to quasi-socialist beliefs that commentators do not take seriously, but think of only as something that they used to do in their wild university days. Christ, no wonder voters pay no attention to their injunctions. Old folks who can afford to think of political principles as a youthful hobby; who’ve now “grown up” enough to believe that the authoritative centre knows what is good for all.

We need traditional media now more than ever? No. What we need as much as a revolution in politics is a shift in press so enamoured of its own interests, it blocks out the sound of an audience clamouring for any analysis more compelling than “sensible people with great experience know what’s good for you”.

Corbyn-bashing 'centrist' media like the Guardian can jog right on

Young deeply pessimistic about social mobility, survey says
Young people are deeply pessimistic about their ability to get on in Britain's "us and them society", says social mobility tsar Alan Milburn.

He says they "increasingly feel like they are on the wrong side of a profound unfairness".

This is why, he suggests, young people turned out in record numbers to vote in the general election.

They were particularly worried about their finances, job security and housing prospects, he added.

Mr Milburn, who heads the commission that monitors progress towards improving social mobility, made the comments as he launched a new exploration of public attitudes to it.

This new Social Mobility Barometer was based on an in-depth survey of 4,723 UK adults.

Class gap

Some 51% of the 18- to 24-year-olds polled for the barometer said they thought where people ended up was determined by their background and who their parents were.

This compared with 40% of those polled who were aged 65 and over.

Overall nearly half of people said they felt background determined chances of success.

And four-fifths of those surveyed said there was a large gap between the social classes in Britain today.

'Sharp decline'

Also, although 47% said they were better off financially than their parents, this dropped to 24% for 25- to 49-year-olds.

Meanwhile, just a fifth of 18 to 24-year-olds believed they had a better level of job security than their parents.

Mr Milburn said: "Young people increasingly feel like they are on the wrong side of a profound unfairness in British society - and they are unhappy about it.

"The barometer finds that half of young people think the situation is getting worse, with only 30% of 18- to 24-year-olds believing it is becoming easier to move up in British society."

He added: "The feelings of pessimism young people are expressing are borne out by the facts they are experiencing.

"Those born in the 1980s are the first post-war cohort not to start their working years with higher incomes than their immediate predecessors.

"Home ownership, the aspiration of successive generations of ordinary people, is in sharp decline, among the young especially."

Mr Milburn warned: "Britain's deep social mobility problem, for this generation of young people in particular, is getting worse not better."

The government said it was committed to making sure that Britain is a country that works for everyone.

The academics' union, the University and College Union, described the poll results as depressing and said young people had seen "their pay fall, the jobs market remain incredibly difficult, tuition fees rocket and support to stay on at college disappear".

And Sir Peter Lampl, chair of the Sutton Trust charity, which promotes social mobility, said: "The commission's barometer should be a wake-up call for policymakers.

"Political rhetoric needs to be translated into real polices to level the playing field and improve opportunities for young people, particularly for those from the most disadvantaged families."

Young deeply pessimistic about social mobility, survey says

Tags: capitalism, capitalism fuck yeah, corporations, corruption, elections, incompetence, internet/net neutrality/piracy, labor, media, oligarchy, tv, uk, uk: labour party

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded