Poor Cathy Newman has had a bad week and it would be a shame to stick the boot in any more. However, you might say she “ushered” herself into this one.
I have been moaning to my wife for some time about the growing islamaphobia on Channel 4 News and their obsession with stories about UKIP, immigrants and radicalized British muslims. She got fed up of my moaning months ago, and more recently I have been recording the news to watch it at another time so that I could vent my spleen without undermining my not inconsiderable domestic bliss.
I stopped watching BBC News in 2013 after their grotesquely biased coverage of Margaret Thatcher’s death and funeral.
Anyway, after threatening to do this for some time, between 28/10/2014 and 3/11/2014 I performed an informal analysis of Channel 4 News’ story coverage to lend some credibility to my own disgruntlement. I recorded seven days (plus one because I missed Saturday) of the 7 ‘o’ clock bulletin and went through each of the news items, broadly classifying the content and the time length of each. The first one of them is here and the others follow on.
After a week of this, I realized that Channel 4 News is not a news programme at all. It is a magazine programme of fluff and misreported propaganda. It’s more-or-less Daily Mail TV.
Despite my reluctance to throw in with the grumpy old men and the conspiracy theorists, it is evident that there is something very dirty going on with the editorial control of some of the mainstream news reporting.
Recently, news anchor Brian Williams has been suspended on the US channel NBC after fabricating details about his experiences in Iraq. He got caught out “mildly sandpapering” the details of a story to make it better. Who does he think he is? Boris Johnson?
These people live in their media bubble and are apparently drunk on influence.
After my week of analysis, so appalled was I, and smug in the knowledge that my initial instincts were correct, I stopped watching Channel 4 News. On January 25th 2015, just randomly I did see it whilst channel-surfing for some chewing-gum TV. I had this direct exchange with Newman via Twitter.
Here is my exchange with Cathy Newman via Twitter on January 19th 2015:
To my shame, I didn’t get around to doing a transcript at the time. I was so fed up with this that I put it off and then it seemed too late too late. However, I did record that edition of Channel 4 News on +1 (transcript to follow).
However, this is all small potatoes compare with the gigantic “mis-tweeting” that Newman perpetrated on February 1st 2015. I will not repeat but here are the links.
After which she is “taking a break from Twitter”. Very wise.
Despite my spat with the actual Cathy Newman (via Twitter), I declined to sign a Change.org petition that called on Channel 4 to sack her. It seems that this action is beyond the envelope of my trolling.
I don’t want her to lose her job, I just want her to do it properly. These people are highly paid professionals and have positions of considerable influence, and they should take that responsibility seriously. What’s more, I have no doubt that all of them are exceptional individuals to have gained such roles, but what happened to them?
Moving forward, on 12th February 2015 the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme had some spook from Goldman Sachs dismissing the prospect of deflation as a potential blip and claiming that the UK economy is “strong” and that wages are rising.
Goldman Sachs? Collaborators in the The Global Financial Fuck-Up. It wasn’t John Humphries but the interviewer barely took him to task on the blatantly politicized miasma of neoliberal rhetoric.
Later the same day, also on BBC Radio 4, I heard Mark Carney (Governor of the Bank of England) also using very political language to describe the predicted forthcoming months of falling prices as a temporary blip, claiming it’s not actually deflation, it’s just negative inflation.
It is the government’s and The Bank of England’s stated policy to maintain inflation at 2.0%, which makes this (by definition) a monumental fuck-up (FYI). It’s a gigantic failure, despite the economy being “strong”.
It doesn’t take an economist, nor even the Governor of the Bank of England, to understand that if all the major supermarkets (who have a stranglehold on food retail) are dropping their prices (though not acting as a cartel) then something is rotten in the state of Primark.
My favoured supermarket is Morrisons, and a great many of their essentials are now two-thirds the price, compared with a year ago. That might be good for the consumer in the very short term, but it is not a good sign and is most definitely more than one of those periodic supermarket “price wars”.
The BBC and Channel 4, and no doubt others, have allowed themselves to be infected by a sub-ethical class of right-wing, professional liars who are seeding ideologically-motivated misinformation in order to push a political agenda.
I’m no apologist for Cathy Newman, but I don’t think she is one of them despite being influenced by them. However, Cathy and Jon and Krish must understand that they are the flags of their army, and if they agree to be The Mouth of Sauron, they can’t expect anything but to be ushered into The Cracks of Doom.