Even the Guardian, which many people in the UK identify as a “left-wing” newspaper, owned by the Scott Trust – aimed at keeping it more impartial – has indulged in some Tory-biased editorial in the run up to the December 2019 election.
This is what The Guardian itself refers to as manufacturing consent. The article linked above works to put Boris Johnson and the Conservative government in a better light over accusations of racism than Corbyn and Labour in 3 ways:
- Most of the article talks about how Boris is promising to tackle Islamophobia in the Conservative party, with just one mention of Corbyn refusing to apologise for accusations of “anti-semitism” without any further context.
- The Conservative party are given a platform to plug their next government but Labour or the Lib Dems are not.
- The article mentions Labour MP for Luton South, Gavin Shuker, “who highlighted antisemitism within his party” and follows it with an out of context quote from Conservative candidate Parvez Akhtar, blatantly talking about Islamophobia with the Conservative party.
Here is the recorded definition of “manufacturing consent”
The Political Economy of the Mass Media is a 1988 book by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, in which the authors propose that the mass communication media of the U.S. “are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function, by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion”, by means of the propaganda model of communication.
In 2016, the London School of Economics and Political Science produced this study on media representations of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK media. Here is a quote from this article from Ralph Milliband about our press:
It is useful for the voting public to be bystanders rather than actors on the political stage. What evidence is there for the following:
- Dumbing down – TV is very useful to make us bystanders. However, it seems real documentaries are disappearing and being replaced with American reality shows such as “American Pickers” or “storage wars”. Even the Radio Times calls TV history “patronising”.
- Education – Teaching us WHAT to think not HOW to think. With our national curriculum focused on using just some parts of our brains, we are under using our innate abilities to solve problems and find creative solutions.
- Eroding our imagination – our academic education system, graphic violence, social media and close up medical procedures on TV and Internet porn are all making viewers passive, disconnected and removing opportunities to exercise our imagination.
- Alcohol culture – since the 1990s and extending drinking hours, focusing beer tax on pubs – causing them to shut down – while keeping inflation to a minimum on prices of alcohol in shops has contributed to social disconnection and can rebrand civil unrest if someone is “drunk and disorderly”.
- Political Correctness – the recent expression “shutting down” says it all. Communication has become like a mine field, where you have to watch what you say or not speak at all for fear of “offending” someone. Open communication allows people to connect and work together and respond to something they disagree with and perhaps end up with a wider perspective than just their own. Political correctness often comes from someone without a “shared experience”, much like “mansplaining” where the abilities of the audience are not acknowledged in how they are spoken to.