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Sunday, 25 June 2017

Government minister clashes with Newsnight presenter

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/andrea-leadsom-sparks-backlash-after-calling-for-broadcasters-to-be-patriotic-over-brexit-a3572321.html

Andrea Leadsom sparks backlash


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I am no fan of this government or of Andrea Leadsom. By the same token, I am no fan of the media and television "news" reporters and presenters either, as they are on the whole, biased and partisan in their coverage.However, this is the second occasion within the last 2 weeks, that Emily Maitlis has managed to draw senior politicians into the open and expose either dangerous ineptitude and incompetence, as in the interview with Theresa May on the 16th June, following the disasterous fire at Grenfell Tower, or the dangerous and sinister insinuation from Leadsom, that the press and media should somehow report only that which the government finds "acceptable". In this respect, the media have over the past few years needed little encouragement to follow the government lead and have filled their political coverage pages with some of the most scurrilous and biased slanting of facts and personal attacks that I have ever seen in all my experience of political activity. However, this is the first time that a senior conservative government minister has hinted so directly and publicly, that brodcasters should slant their reporting and be "willing to be a bit patriotic" in their reporting.
Leadsom would clearly prefer, along with I suspect many conservative MP's and supporters, a totally controlled press and television,reporting only that which the government "Minister of Information" passes as suitable for public consumption, with broadcasters asking questions and presenting programmes using a prepared and approved script. It is the model used in many other countries as a "thought control" device to influence people and prevent dissent.
I recall a comment made by a resident of another country, to the effect that when the press, radio (and television today), periodicals, advertising, in fact everything that a person can see or read or hear all carry exactly the same message, it is inevtiable that the message is accepted as truth.
As much as I loathe and despise many of the "newspapers" currently available on the news stands (or the "on line" versions), together with television stations broadcasing, with one or two notable exceptions within the ranks of their presenters, a warped version of truth veiled as news, I have no wish to see the same situation occuring here.
Andrea Leadsom is floating an idea which is the thin edge of the wedge.We must never allow broadcasters, television stations or the media to become mere conduits for government propaganda.
The freedom of the press is a right which has been hard won and must not be allowed to be restricted or removed by Leadsom or any of those with similar thoughts.
We may not like what we see, read or hear in the media, we may not agree with much of the nonsense which they churn out almost daily, but it is the only media we have and for the most part it protects us from the excesses of government.