I have just finished reading Will Hutton's long but worthwhile "Them and Us." Here's what he has to say about the Daily Mail in particular and the rest of the press (Guardian and Observer partly excepted!) in general.
"The info-capitalist proprietors - Murdoch, Rothermere and the Barclay brothers - are happy to peddle the big narrative of a badly governed country with an overblown public sector being carried to the dogs by Eurocrats, liberalism, undue deference to political correctness and moral decay. ... Commonsense views are set against those of lying politicians and untrustworthy technocrats, which are confirmed day by day by the way the news is spun, personalised and angled to support the big narrative. Government statistics cannot be trusted on climate change, swine flu, MMR or anything else. Statistics are twisted to indicate that crime - or teenage pregnancy - is always rising when, in reality, it is falling. Immigrants are allegedly swamping the country, ushered in by anti-British officials and politicians. Anyone who says differently is pitilessly hounded - witness the joint attempted character assassination of Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg that was launched by the Telegraph, Times, Mail and Sun on the morning of the second televised debate...The aim was to discredit him and torpedo his dangerous popularity that was threatening the Conservative campaign." (pp327/8)
Hutton recommends "Flat Earth News" by Nick Davies (Vintage Books, 2009) for a powerful exposé of the management of the media, including the BBC. Although I've only just started reading it, I recommend that you put it, along with Hutton's book, on your Christmas wish-list.
Monday, 13 December 2010
Will Hutton on the Press
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