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Clegg smears backfire on newspapers

By Angela Harbutt
May 2nd, 2010 at 10:48 pm | 1 Comment | Posted in Election, UK Politics

Murdoch's manHow jaded and irrelevant the newspapers have looked through this general election. The TV debates well and truly destroyed the traditional newspaper role as the “gate-keeper” to the politicians. Why read what the editors and columnists of the papers think about the leaders of the main parties – when we can watch and listen to them directly ourselves and form our own views?

We no longer wait for their daily analysis of the previous days events, when news channels, tweeters and you-tubers bring us opinion, digest and so much more in a matter of minutes.

How pompous, arrogant, and disconnected from reality they sounded as they variously announced which political horse they were backing.  In a year where anti-politics reigns – why brand themselves with being part of “that set” of the political ruling elite? Talk about not getting with the times..

So at a time when they are under pressure from increasingly more in-tune, relevant and informative media options, how totally ridiculous for a number of them to engage an ill-disguised smear campaign on rivals to Cameron – and Clegg in particular . Just how daft is that?

Of them all the Murdoch papers are the most odious/inept. Anti Murdoch feeling has been building for months (if not years now) – did no one have the balls to tell him that? Presumably not….. as he has been widely reported as up to his old tricks ranting down the phone at his political editors that its their job to get “his man” (Cameron) into power. What favours does he expect to curry? What influence is he seeking to wield? What legislation changes are on his greedy little mind this time? Maybe he just likes to bask in the knowledge, and maybe brag to his mates, that he somehow “owns” this country. This country is up to its armpits in arrogance..we just don’t need anymore here thanks.

I personally have no objection to newspapers taking a view, having an opinion, seeking to affect peoples views. I much rather they do it openly and forthrightly then make a pretence of being unbiased. I just dont like incompetence. And what I see is gross incompetence.

Not only have their actions started to alienate their readers, and lost them what little respect they had, but they ahve set themselves against the will of the people on whom they rely. At best they face further loss of influence – at worst they face annihilation.

Witness for example one group –  38 Degrees   which is inviting voters to sign a petition against Rupert Murdoch and the tabloid press.  The petition text reads :

Rupert Murdoch and the tabloid press:
Stop trying to spread scare stories and fear to bully people to change how they vote. We cast our votes for democracy, for a responsible and reforming parliament and a better politics.
The outcome of our elections should be decided by us, the voters of the UK, not by you.

And I can’t see it ending there. Murdoch’s “share of news voice” (combining his TV interests with his newspaper ones) is already considered by many to be a scandal – when other groups ability to expand their media interests are seriously limited by legislation.

So it’s not impossible to envisage  Murdoch’s power being dismantled by an incoming government -emboldened by such petitions as this one. And  I can’t see many people flocking to Mr Murdoch’s defence if/when that happens. They’ll just say – he got what he deserves. And the papers will say “IT WAS THE PEOPLE WHAT DONE IT”  – that’s if anyone is still reading papers of course.

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