Professor John Robertson and the Talking Up Scotland Collective (TUSC) do a fine job of tracking and exposing the amateurish errors and grotesque distortions and blatant misrepresentations and downright lies that make up the British media’s ‘reporting’ of the coronavirus crisis in Scotland – the BBC and The Herald in particular. What they reveal is media intent not on informing audiences but on manipulating their perceptions in the service of a political agenda that long since ceased to be hidden. This isn’t even well-crafted propaganda any more. It is crude, clumsy and often inept. It is obscene. The perpetrators style themselves professional journalists and thus bring ever further into disrepute that once honourable profession.
We are accustomed to this. Although I am daily shocked by the dumb credulousness of all too many commenting on social media platforms such as Twitter, I know that more and more people are developing the capacity to filter the output of the British establishment’s propaganda machine. I’m confident that we are approaching a time when general awareness will neutralise all but the most subtle.
Of more concern to me are the new media outlets which purport to be ‘different’ and which claim to be committed to Scotland’s cause, progressive politics and principled journalism. When organs such as these parrot the British media’s lies and distortions while garbed as honest brokers and flaunting a Yes badge, then the propaganda has its insidiousness restored. Its perniciousness refreshed.
I suggest you read some of the TUSC analysis of British media reporting on how care homes are being affected by the current public health crisis. Then take a look at this article by Ben Wray on Common Weal’s horribly refurbished ‘news’ website – effectively Ben Wray’s blog but promising “The latest insight and analysis from across Scotland”. I challenge you to point to any significant difference between this article and the ‘analysis’ presented by the British media. Or to explain the similarities.
Look, for example at Ben Wray’s references to Rashielee Care Home without ever mentioning that it is privately owned and part of Littleinch Ltd. Observe the lengthy quotes from the company’s management railing against the Scottish Government but not a word about the incontestable fact that this being a private commercial enterprise responsibility for sourcing and stocking PPE rests wholly on those same managers.
My advice is to be as wary of Source as you would be of the BBC and as dubious about Ben Wray as you would be about Tom Gordon. Propaganda comes in many guises.
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