Sky Defames Ed Miliband?

Ed Miliband had to think long and hard before he agreed to speak at the TUC March for Alternative yesterday for fear that his reputation would be damaged. Why? Doesn’t that sound a bit weird?

My photo of the rally.

What kind of a free world do we live in, when democracy has become so corrupted by the tabloid sensationalism of the TV News, that political leaders are regarded as brave for speaking at an ordinary political rally?

Brave because the leader is at risk of damaging his reputation, due to the utterly unrepresentative manner that these tabloid TV broadcasters, such as the BBC and Sky, choose to represent the event.

Brave because of how they distort the truth, associating the actions of a single criminal gang, with every legitimate political or campaigning organisation, that seeks to promote their cause through peaceful demonstration.

Last night, Tim Montgomerie, editor of ConservativeHome, contacted Mark Ferguson, editor of LabourList, complaining that Sky News had broadcast Ed Miliband’s speech, in a split screen, together with shots of the anarchists rioting. He’d taken a photo of the TV broadcast and sent it over to Mark. Even the Tories have had enough of the media manipulating the truth for the sake of sensationalism.

Do the broadcasters believe that each campaigning organisation has its own anarchist wing, or do they accept that the anarchists are a single gang of criminals who have nothing to do with the Labour Party, the Unions, the Pro-Hunt movement, or for that matter, the Police Federation?

If The Police Federation conducted a protest march tomorrow, and the anarchists ran amok, would the media believe that it was the anarchist wing of the Police Federation that was smashing stuff up? Would they report, by combining the two events into one single story?

Do they not recognise that there is something deeply offensive about this?

Why don’t they go down to the East London Mosque this Friday Evening Prayers and speak to ordinary Muslims about their thoughts on their religion, then juxtapose their answers with shots of the September 11th atrocities? Surely there’s nothing wrong with that?

Why don’t they go and interview the Royal Family about their German heritage, then juxtapose this with shots of the Nuremberg rallies?

If it has got to the point where politicians are considered brave for engaging in the political process, then there is something deeply dysfunctional in the system.

Mark Ferguson tweeted the Sky News picture, which was enough to alert the broadcasters to moderate their coverage, which is good, but not enough. For example, the BBC continued to refer to the anarchists as a “angry protesters”. But they were nothing to do with the protest. They’re not protesters, they’re criminals.

If broadcasters cannot recognise they are wrong, and adjust their editorial accordingly, then they cannot continue to be trusted to govern themselves.

My photos of the rally are here.

9 Responses to Sky Defames Ed Miliband?

  1. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    Ed Miliband’s performance hasn’t been the greatest since he became Labour leader. He’s let opportunities to put Cameron on the carpet slide by and cuddled up to the Daily Mail brigade at the expense of hanging people who need change out to dry. But this attack by the Tories and parts of the media does smack of trying to dictate and manipulate the agenda.

    The right wing coup didn’t fully succeed as this government without a mandate proves. I get the feeling this latest wheeze wasn’t confident or convincing and I think they know it. How long before the rhetoric changes and the rats start leaving the sinking ship?

  2. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    Ed Miliband’s performance hasn’t been the greatest since he became Labour leader. He’s let opportunities to put Cameron on the carpet slide by and cuddled up to the Daily Mail brigade at the expense of hanging people who need change out to dry. But this attack by the Tories and parts of the media does smack of trying to dictate and manipulate the agenda.

    The right wing coup didn’t fully succeed as this government without a mandate proves. I get the feeling this latest wheeze wasn’t confident or convincing and I think they know it. How long before the rhetoric changes and the rats start leaving the sinking ship?

  3. I thought one of the lessons of New labour was that rather than whinge about media coverage and bias one attempted to play them at their own game. Of course the news channels will use whatever footage to maximise their ratings – at the end of the day it is all about profits. We have got to be smart, stop complaining, and figure out ways to make it work for us. We will also have to accept that sometimes we cannot win.

  4. dan says:

    I think this is not about right or left wing media. If the march was about the “right to hunt”, then it would still be attacked by anarchists.
    The media will always look for sensation, but what they did the other day was to connect the anarchists with us the protesters. This was completely wrong.

  5. dan says:

    I think this is not about right or left wing media. If the march was about the “right to hunt”, then it would still be attacked by anarchists.
    The media will always look for sensation, but what they did the other day was to connect the anarchists with us the protesters. This was completely wrong.

  6. To some extent there is a connection – the anarchists are anti-cuts. They are also, by definition, anti-government, and this means all governments.

    When UK Uncut peaceful protests outside of Top Shop etc about tax avoidance they have my support. I do not support violence or vandalism. I think this is a view shared by many people, and I think TV viewers will be sensible enough to differentiate between an obviously peaceful, if passionate, march and protest, and those dimwits who rampaged down Piccadilly etc on Saturday.

  7. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    One issue I’d like to raise after THE WARE-LANE commented on violence is Cameron’s deliberate abuse of PMQ’s before the election, the phoney protests organised by William Hague, and the persistent and sometimes very abusive pro-Tory online trolling. Nobody sees anything wrong with that? Nobody questions the lies and “not me honest, guv” complicity of Tory high command in sometimes illegal campaigning? Yes, that’s a charge I will make against the Tories. It may be hard to prove it in court but there’s enough reason to believe they’re guilty.

    While Labour must clearly have a programme for government I’m not going to dismiss violent protesters out of hand as mere trouble makers. The Tories are a government without a mandate, they and their chums have the system stitched up, and causing real damage to real people some of whom will see their lives ruined and, in some cases, be driven to suicide.

    Given the Tories have also been running an illegal war with more than a whiff of behind the scenes support of Gadaffi’s replacement, sending PR specialists to assist the ill-defined “rebels”, and brazenly bomb Gadaffi’s forces while talking up sending arms to his opponents what does this say about how much the Tories have lied? How much does it say about how much they go behind people’s backs? How much does it say about how low they will go for the shallowest of poll boosts?

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