The SKWAWKBOX posted an article on Tuesday evening observing that it appears ‘Westminster Bubble’ journalists are in the habit of communicating via WhatsApp – and that, while it might be nothing, it certainly fits with the empirical evidence of co-ordinated stories and harmonised, misleading narratives we see every day from the ‘MSM’ (mainstream media).
Within minutes there was a ‘pile-on’ of mainstream journalists falling over themselves to pour scorn on the article – which said far more about many of them than about the article
They think they’re the arbiters
The article expressed a view that the idea of Westminster journalists comparing notes, ideas and angles is ‘interesting’. Very telling was the immediate leap to shout ‘no it’s not’ – the ‘journalists’ in question seem to have a very strong sense of entitlement. To think that they are the arbiters of what’s interesting.
There are many, many things in which I have no interest. Trainspotting. Reality TV. The opinions of many Westminster journalists – they’re just wrong far too consistently. Being told what line to take by Establishment editors. That kind of thing.
But I wouldn’t presume to say tell others that they shouldn’t be interested – that’s up to them. Interest is in the eye of the beholder – if I find something interesting, it is, for me. If SKWAWKBOX readers find something interesting – and viewing figures suggest they did – then it is, for them.
But some people feel they’re entitled to decide on behalf of others what they should find interesting.
Which is interesting.
As I was interested to do so, I spent a few minutes browsing the Twitter feeds of some of those who joined in the mobbing on Tuesday evening. Almost all of them had in some way promoted the Tory/Establishment narrative about Corbyn’s supposed promise on tuition fees.
Which is 100% fake news and easily proven to be so.
So the people who were eager to scoff at a brief article with some actual evidence in it were more than happy to promote a story for which there is not only no evidence, but for whose complete fallacy there is ample.
That’s also interesting.
The speed and scale of response to the article was striking. Why? Why do they care so much about what this blog publishes? Why are they even looking, let alone bothering to pile in?
It suggests that they’re paying a lot of attention – and are desperate for any opportunity to disparage. Even when it means – again – ignoring or exaggerating what’s actually written.
Some form of ‘relevance envy’, perhaps?
They’re out of touch
What the bubblistas seem not to realise is that the Whatsapp snippet is interesting because most people don’t trust them. Fairly or otherwise, huge numbers of people are deeply suspicious about their output – and how they arrive at it. About their motives and about their determination to stick to certain narratives against all the facts that seem obvious to us.
Even when they’re proven embarrassingly wrong, as with the Corbyn surge in the General Election – a few moments of hand-wringing and then they’re busy trying to reframe what happened to make themselves look less deluded or disingenuous.
So of course – as the article said – the WhatsApp issue might be nothing. But that’s not the point. They could use WhatsApp, they could use emails – they could use carrier pigeons or semaphore. The point is that their output appears co-ordinated – and whether it’s by design, accident or ‘groupthink’, that makes people consider them dishonest and untrustworthy.
But too many MSM-ers appear oblivious to how out of touch they are and how irrelevant and even damaging they appear to those who reject the Establishment narrative.
That’s certainly of interest.
They’re too chummy
Another striking aspect was the theoretical spectrum of those piling on. Right-wing, left-wing, liberal – all seemingly eager to support each other.
It’s too cosy – which adds to people’s suspicion. Politics is not a game – it’s literally life and death for some people. Just as we distrust politicians who are supposed to be opponents and are too pally with each other, we distrust journalists who seem like they all attend the same social club – or went to the same university debate club or whatever.
Again, they seem oblivious.
And again, that’s interesting.
The bright side
There were a couple of brighter moments. One tweeter clearly didn’t consider the article of interest to him/her – but was at least witty about it:
#WestminsterBubble journos chat on #WhatsApp. Now THAT’s interesting pic.twitter.com/RIeSDRyrAK
— ™TM™ (@newsfondue) July 25, 2017
And at least one journalist ‘got it’, to a degree. The New Statesman‘s ‘Mole’ put out a balanced article:
Now s/he accepted a little too much of the straw-man proposition and made more of the SKWAWKBOX’s article than the article itself did, but the premise of the article was sound and its ‘groupthink’ hypothesis was, well…
But overall it was extremely revealing about some chummy, clubby, hypocritical, entitled journalists – and how large the SKWAWKBOX seems to loom on their horizon.
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