Jun 13, 2017

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.

Helen Razer — Writer and broadcaster

Helen Razer

Writer and broadcaster

Jeremy Corbyn

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.”

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39 thoughts on “Corbyn-bashing ‘centrist’ media like the Guardian can jog right on

  1. Susan Anderson

    Nailed it again !
    I laughed my freakin head off when the smarmy git who speaks for the Fairfax board said they were going right to pacify skittish advertisers, “going” ?????
    All aboard for the Fascist Fairfax express then

    1. Helen Razer

      Yeah. That leak in The Oz that said, “Fairfax believes in market-based solutions”. Like this hadn’t been the case for years. Or (to be very self-involved) for at least as long as they stopped answering my pitch emails!

  2. Paul

    I own up to being a guardian supporter (and Crickey, New Matilda, Sat paper, Monthly etc). On the day I received Katharine Viner’s appeal for financial support there were articles about Corbyn as noted above and there was also a Murphy fluff piece that sort of said the we have never had such an amazingly committed and intelligent PM (I’m exaggerating, but it was revolting).

    It was an incredibly poor timing to send out a request for money while effectively telling us we should support Turnbull. I regularly chide the Guardian for it’s twisted liberal positioning, always to no good.

    Oh well.

  3. Owen Richardson

    “Claytons Marxist Brendan O’Neill,” who voted for May (because Brexit), and denounced people taking to Twitter to ridicule the DUP’s reactionary social policies (because Free Speech) – about four days after saying that it’s an offence against Free Speech not to be allowed to ridicule Islam.

    Unless all this represents some deep, occult, counter-intuitive strategy that he has gleaned from a close reading of Gramsci, that man appears finally to have lost whatever scraps of the plot he could still lay claim to.

    1. Helen Razer

      Oh my giddy goodness, he’s a chap without a reliable foundation.
      Being contrary in one’s view to dominant opinion is the result of ideas. Being contrarian is just the result of a marketing decision.

      1. AR

        Well it gets him a monthly tongue bath with Manny Vanny on the ABC’s Counterpoint so that’s gotta be worth a pinch of the proverbial.

  4. PDGFD1

    Interesting reading at crikey today, tahnks all.
    Meanwhile: HR – do you not think that swiping at others of the so-named “technocrat class ” (powerful or otherwise) leaves you somewhat open to similar critique – whether you ‘identify’ there or not?

    1. Helen Razer

      I am confident that no one listens to me.

    2. no chiefs

      It would expose Helen to a similar critique only if your definition of a technocrat is anyone who bothers to inform themselves and express a reasoned opinion. I believe the technocrats Helen is ‘swiping at’ here are those in the MSM pedalling self-interested anti-intellectual liberal garbage to the populace in service of corporate power.

      1. craig

        “No Chiefs”. Nice try, Helen. ; )

        1. Helen Razer

          LOL! It’s not me, promise!

  5. Xoanon

    Hear hear. It’s been very amusing to watch Guardian columnists scramble to declare Corbyn a genius after all, over the past few days. Shove that Overton window leftward!

  6. Grumpy Old Sod

    Spot on Helen. The Guardian has shown its leaning with the Ukraine fiasco and when I pointed out to them my comment wasn’t posted. So much for freedom of expression. They can sing for their coin as much as they like but they will, like the Murdoch’s, never get a cent from me. Interesting times though. We are witnessing the death of neo-liberalism or the neo-cons, not before time (and what a crock of shite those terms have always been).

    1. Helen Razer

      I know, right? Not a lot that is “neo” about them.

      1. gerald butler

        What about the alt-right? Are they marching up or down the mountain?

  7. klewso

    I must admit I was surprised by the vehemence of Badham’s “defence” (in the face of celebrations of Corbyn’s “win” – The Dum last night) – of how “May actually beat Corbyn” – as if that had to be stressed?
    But Corbyn did have a win – he beat the crap out of the op-ed media that lined up to write him off – that’s how good they are at their job?

    What we don’t need is the op-ed media we have. Most of us are more than capable of making up our own minds without having to be told what to think by a deeply flawed self-obssessed, narcissist, subjective media, distracted by their own sense of byline infallibilty – validated by some supercilious “editor”, promoted by an omnipotent owner/mogul with a political agenda.

    1. Marilyn J Shepherd

      The media keep claiming that May won, but no-one actually wins in a hung parliament and in this case Britain entirely lost as the vicious thugs from the DUP will soon prove.

      1. craig

        Theoretically speaking, the people win in the event of a hung parliament. It forces politicians who loathe the sight of each other to actually have to work together to bring about compromise.

    2. Bill Hilliger

      Yes there are a lot of “typhoid Mary’s” writing op-ed media, they forget that those who can read can also think for themselves and spot op-eds aimed to fulfil MSM dogma and editorial prescriptions.

  8. Damien

    Here’s the point Helen and the populists miss. Centrism is widely supported in the “technocratic” media establishment because it is a form of politics that works against political instability, civil wars and the revolutionary/dictatorship cycles embraced in countries that favour the elevation of populist extremists as messianic generalissimos.

    In this sense, anyone who acknowledges and favours a centrist approach IS smarter because they actually understand how human nature works and the innate reactionary tendencies that govern politics.

    Neoliberalism and the “economic consensus” is a disaster, sure. But personally I find the populist “let’s throw the whole thing out and reshape the world with our wonderful ideology” reaction to be even more frightening.

    1. PG

      Fair point Damien. But to be fair to HR, she specifically makes the point that while we might not necessarily agree with “populist” reactions to the last 40 years of shit, we might expect alleged journalists of record (Badham, Toynbee etc) to at least recognise the existence and validity of such reactions. I too have been greatly amused by the panicked back-pedalling of the Grauniad’s finest.

    2. Draco Houston

      Generally, the coup in Chile in which Pinochet took power from Allende’s cold dead hands is considered the beginning of Neoliberalism. The collapse of the entire Soviet Union would be a pretty good example of Political Instability, also. I have no idea how you could think technocratic rule was safe and orderly.

      1. Dog's Breakfast

        Good point Draco. Just because it is ‘the centre’ does not guarantee stability any more than either extreme.

        And when ‘the centre’ has drifted inexorably to the right over 3 decades, perhaps that centre is actually closer to extreme, and the extreme left, is actually close to ‘the centre’.


  9. Draco Houston

    Hear bloody hear. If the media have nothing interesting to say I won’t read what they write down. A shame political writers with a good ear are in such short supply. I don’t even agree with everything someone like Grundle, Piping Shrike or even Micheal Tracey say, but they can be insightful, so they’re worth reading.

    By just keeping a stable of partisan click magnets the insights end up being few and far between. Someone pulling full time hours figuring out what the heck is going on and telling me is a useful service, a shame capitalism seems to have ruined yet another aspect of life.

  10. Pamela

    Sick of centrist as characterised by the MSN – this election showed that people can think for themselves DG.
    Sick of being told what is good for us and to vote for those who kick us in the groin and tell us how good it is for us. Over it. Bloody neo liberalism is stinking like the dead fish it always was and people are over it. Those who consort with the politicians for their living won’t like the fact that the people may just wake up to the brutal game.

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