One of my big failings in life is that I’m a big fan of American political satire and comedy. I love Saturday Night Live and even more Real Time with Bill Mather. I also confess to admiring the way American political shows use video clips of statements before challenging politicians to justify their views. The “Oh, that’s not what I said” line is destroyed even before it can be reached for, because we just watched you say it! Now justify!
At the start of this administration I particularly liked the way Mellissa McCarthy destroyed the hapless Sean Spicer in his role of White House Press Secretary. If you missed it completely, do yourself a favour and find it on You Tube.
Click on youtube – Melissa McCarthy for just one example.
But I’ve also been struck by the way that every Administration has used the White House Briefing and usually daily press briefings to get it’s message out directly. Ok poor Sean was not good at the job but he was delivering the President’s words directly to the people. Contrast that with the normal level of bias and untruths we get from the BBC in it’s role as State Broadcaster and even the lacklustre STV news etc.
Contrast this with the “Lobby briefings” which dictate so much of the “news” agenda. Off the record info given to a few selected and mainly tame journalists who feed us the scraps they are given as though the had actually worked to find and develop a story. It’s informative that real investigative journalists like Michael Crick or Jon Snow on Channel 4 do not play the lobby game but do break real stories. As an example, it was Michael Crick who done the hard yards on stories such as the Tory election expenses or Paul Nuttall’s “home address”.
The Lobby simply allows the Administration of the day to control what the story is and to do so an unattributable basis because the golden rule is that the person is never quoted directly. Lazy journalism posing as investigative journalism. And by feeding off the scraps thrown by the government discrediting their own profession.
My loyal reader will recall that in my last piece in July, I advocated that it is time to stop blaming others when they act against us and to start dealing with the situations. As one of our old slogans had it; “Don’t get mad; get even”!
If we cannot get a fair broadcaster we can at least try to get an informed audience!
I wonder if we could maybe learn a wee lesson from the other side of the pond. Is there merit in the idea of press briefings at Holyrood and as a result have the Government’s message seen live and without the editorial slants from the media? Many Nationalists make widespread use of First Ministers Questions clips in their social media lives and even Nick Robinson found that it’s a bit harder to lie when the video clip is readily available.
Would it not make sense then to have an official Government Communications Director taking and answering questions which could then be broadcast? As far as I can see the media are given a totally freehand to distort the messages with no comeback. Holyrood seems to be content with working on a replica of the “Lobby”, but instead of repeating our messages they are distorting them while accepting at face value every piece of drivel from the unionists.
I don’t know about you, but I am sick to the proverbial back teeth of hearing Silly Rennie lambasting the supposed “failures” of our education at the same time as his tory bed mates are putting down Parliamentary motions trying to bask in the reflected glory of our kids achieving record exam passes. Or Colonel Ruthless denigrating our police service at a time when crime figures are at their lowest for over 40 years! Or even Labour lamenting the low number of firms paying the Living wage instead of the minimum wage while their probable next Leader owns a major stake in a firm which will not even pay the Living wage to their own staff. And goes so far as to deny their few members to even raise questions about it at Election Hustings. And just compare how Michelle Thomson was hounded and condemned by the media with no charges ever brought with how a then sitting Labour Councillor is treated on child porn allegations.
www.pressandjournal.co.uk No such thing as “innocent until proven guilty” for her.
Sure, I appreciate that Cabinet Secretary’s have much more important things to do to respond to every ludicrous claim from the alt unionists, but we seem to be unable to get these basic messages across. We are guilty of being far too nice to our opponents. They don’t give a damn about truth, facts or evidence and the media plays along because apart from The National, the mainstream media are all complicit.
At least if there was an official record the tv and radio news would have no excuse for not at least giving the Government’s actual views rather than relying on “interpretations” from biased commentators. I am reminded that it’s easier to change someone’s views if you can show them real evidence rather than just making assertions!
Watch any edition of Wolf Blitzer, Kate Bolduan , Jake Tapper etc and every contributor has their political affiliations identified as they speak. It doesn’t stop the partisan point scoring but the viewers can at least know where they stand as Republican or Democrat sympathiser or activist. And process their views and opinions knowing what each contributor’s background is.
A much healthier system than we have.