The Kuenssberg furore: MSM and Establishment – 2 birds 1 stone


You know when you take your eyes off the kids for thirty seconds and they start the great fire of London or something similar?

That’s what it’s like to be incommunicado for a couple of hours returning from Labour’s conference in Brighton, then logging on to find the mainstream media (MSM) mobbing the Canary like crows mobbing – well, a canary – over the independent left outlet’s publication of an article about the appearance of BBC politics journalist Laura Kuenssberg’s name among invitees to speak at a Conservative party conference fringe event organised by the CSJ (Centre for Social Justice).

And she was:

lk csj.png

Attacking a demonstrable fact is difficult, so the MSM constructed a classic ‘straw man’ to attack – or straw men, to be more precise.

Many attacked the Canary had claimed Ms K was a confirmed speaker at the Tory conference, which the Canary did not. And even if it had, the archived, unedited versions of some ads for the CSJ event did not say she was merely ‘(invited)’:

csj lk2.png

Others claimed that the Canary’s attack on Ms K was misogynist, as if being a woman means you can’t legitimately be considered a bad journalist or one that is too close to a political party.

The BBC denied that Ms Kuenssberg was speaking. The CSJ or the Tories removed her name from the fringe listing and denied that she was speaking.

Both of which are irrelevant, since the Canary’s critique was based on her being invited, not on her having accepted.

This is not the first time the CSJ has been advertised at a conference fringe with a speaker (invited) who was not speaking. It’s not even the first time this year. It’s not even the first time this month.

Earlier in September, the SKWAWKBOX published an article about Labour MPs appearing at fringe events organised by Conservative groups at the Labour conference that ended today. Among the events and MPs listed was the CSJ and Labour front-bencher Andrew Gwynne (invited):

csj ag.png

When the SKWAWKBOX eventually received a reply from the Labour Party about Mr Gwynne’s presence on the CSJ speakers’ list, we were informed that Mr Gwynne had turned down the invitation immediately upon receipt – yet he still appeared as (invited).

Perhaps the CSJ screwed up and did not inform Labour’s Conference Services team. Perhaps Conference Services screwed up and forgot to update the conference app. Either way, Mr Gwynne’s putative attendance remained on the publicity for the event long after he had declined.

And either way, it was perfectly valid journalism to question his presence on the list – and for that matter, an organisation founded by the man many blame for the enormous suffering of vulnerable people being allowed a fringe at a Labour event.

It seems plain – if you can see past the enormous straw-man – that the Canary made no false claim, just as there is no evidence to suggest that Ms Kuenssberg ever intended to accept the invitation. Questioning her invitation is journalistically valid.

So why the furore? You don’t have to look too hard to find at least two plausible explanations.

“Jealousy is the fear of comparison”
“Max Frisch

The first is simple jealousy. Whatever your opinion about the Canary, there is no denying that it has gained huge attention as one of the most successful ‘new left media’ that has regularly outperformed and often embarrassed the MSM – and those involved in its production feature in articles and programmes more frequently than many who might consider themselves ‘elite’.

Journalists who should know better have demonstrated a hat-drop willingness to construct straw-men – or to be uncritically believing of those constructed by some of the worst fake-news creators – if it furnishes an opportunity to attack those they consider to be receiving unmerited plaudits or even just attention. The SKWAWKBOX has been on the receiving end of similar ‘pack-attacks’ from journalists who couldn’t or wouldn’t bother to read what was actually written. Hey ho – jealousy is often an unreasoning thing.

No, look over here!

As mentioned above, the Labour Party conference ended today. The conference was a huge triumph for the left of the party and especially for its leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn gave a bravura performance this afternoon in his leader’s speech to close the event, appearing relaxed, confident, happy and ready for Downing Street.

It’s possible – just – that the Establishment doesn’t want the electorate thinking about a speech and a man ready to replace a Prime Minister that is giving lame ducks a bad rep.

So it’s possible – just – that the whole furore over an article, which didn’t say what the straw-man says it said, has been confected exactly for the purpose of distracting from something ‘the man’ doesn’t want us to focus on.

In other words, if you’ll forgive the mixed metaphor, a huge bloody Crosbyite ‘dead cat’.

Of course, it’s perhaps most likely of all that it’s an attempt to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ – or three, if you count a Canary the Establishment and its media arm find inconvenient.

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  1. If they don’t like it, they should be pointing the finger squarely at the nincompoop known as dummkopf-schmitt and his equally incompetent CSJ, not criticising the canary for pointing out that a supposedly ‘impartial’ and salaried-by-the-public (ON an enormous wage) reporter has been ‘invited’ to speak about low-pay.

    And anyway – WTF would kuenssberg – Or them other gobshites within the CSJ, and probably each & every single attendee – know about poverty & low pay?

    What have they done as yet to solve poverty & low pay? Make people bleedin’ poorer – that’s what, the useless, cretinous, avaricious, scabrous knobheads…

    But back to the question – what would kuenssberg know about it? (Low pay)

    Oh yeah, that’s right…she’s not Gary Lineker, is she?? :/

  2. She and the BBC probably declined the invitation because she couldn’t get a bodyguard to take the gig.

  3. J K Rowling, a Labour Party member, was merrily retweeting attacks on the Canary this afternoon that called it false and fake news and said it was deliberately spreading falsehood to stoke up hatred and abuse. Nice.

  4. What did the Canary story say? Could you at least supply a link? While you are about it, could you explain why a person should be attacked for being invited unwittingly to an event, which they turn down? I don’t get it.

    1. Nobody was attacked – certainly not by the SKWAWKBOX article and not in the Canary one either. It questioned the situation in which a right-wing organisation can invite – and feel free to publicise the invitation of – the political editor of a theoretically-impartial broadcaster. It was a thin premise, but not an attack

    1. Christ on a stick!!

      From that link you provided: “Robinson will also urge the broadcaster to promote and celebrate its impartiality, potentially by publishing the BBC’s so-called “producers’ guidelines” that outlines how its news coverage should be impartial”

      ‘Promote and celebrate it’s impartiality’?????

      That’s right, folks. That’s nick-former-president-of-the-oxford-university-conservative-association-and-founder-member-of-Macclesfield-young conservatives-robinson, telling us plebs how he’s gonna urge ‘impartiality’ form the bbc.

      Will that be while the cameras are rolling, nick?

  5. I find J K Rowling a bit rich considering that she has made her millions by concocting “fairy tales”

  6. I get most of my new sites to read from MSM articles. Usually they’re complaining about them but they are too stupid to realise that they are promoting them.

  7. the CSJ is not a just organisation – it is one that feathers the murderer Ian Duncan Smith – the louse of the tory party – he should be in prison and the CSJ correctly renamed the Third Reich HQ

  8. I hear from the oiks and hoi poloi that the Riight Hon “member’ is referred to in rhyming slang as; Ian Sp*nk-on Sh*t ! What could they mean? I am not sure I ever heard such words on the large and magnificent estate I was dragged up on. Meanwhile, I sit here wondering, what to squander my state pension on. Any ideas on a postcard, please.

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