Analysis comment

What the media are NOT saying about yesterday’s journalist walk-out from Downing St

Journalists may have walked out in solidarity, but list of publications that made the ‘acceptable’ side of the Downing Street rug shows UK broadcasters steeped in pro-Tory bias

Journalists staged a large-scale walk-out from a Downing Street briefing yesterday when Tory lackeys divided reporters onto opposite sides of a Number 10 rug. Those on the ‘good’ side were deemed acceptable to Boris Johnson and his handlers – even though Johnson was not going to be delivering the briefing.

Those on the ‘bad’ side were told they would not be allowed to stay, because their publications had been critical of Boris Johnson and his government.

The Daily Mirror’s Pippa Crerar said:

I felt deeply uncomfortable being left to stand on one side of the room while colleagues’ names were read out one-by-one and they joined the group who were deemed ‘acceptable’ by No 10. Sinister and sad.

There was rightly an outcry about the Tories avoiding scrutiny – but one of the most significant aspects of the incident seems to have been ignored.

The walk-out of other journalists in solidarity with their barred counterparts from the Daily Mirror, Independent and others is all very laudable – but the fact that so many had to walk out, rather than being kicked out, is hugely revealing of the state of UK journalism and the country’s democracy.

Those on the ‘good’ side of the rug included the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, ITV’s Robert Peston and Rupert Murdoch’s representatives from Sky, the Times and S*n – along with right-wing rags like the Mail. The Guardian was also on the ‘allowed’ side of the rug, which speaks volumes for that supposedly ‘left’ publication and its political positions.

That means that our country’s three principal broadcasters are all considered by the Tories to be so friendly and supine to Tory interests that they are not critical enough to be barred.

Well done to those who walked out, but one act does not hide, let alone compensate for, the utter scandal of Boris Johnson’s bandits admitting – as they effectively did yesterday – that the UK’s main broadcasters deliver no significant scrutiny, challenge or criticism of the Tories.

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  1. It was no surprise at all to see that the Guardian were handpicked for entry to the Inner Circle. The BBC have lamely commentated that banning “a Left wing paper” was evidence the ploy wasn’t anti Left of Centre. The embarrassed silence from the Guardian toffs like Freedland , Mad Cohen and the Finer- Viner has been deafening. At least it’s Official now, Guardian supports most Rightwing government since the 1820’s.

    1. To be fair, the Groan’s John Crace has been superb in taking apart Cumboris & Co.’s latest democratic initiative, and has himself been banned.

      1. Crace developed a nasty line of attack against Corbyn. All his articles contain at least a paragraph of Corbyn abuse and sometimes were nothing but.

      2. I’m aware of Crace’s anti-Corbyn stance, Paul – in which he followed the Groan’ s party line. But that doesn’t vitiate his superb take-downs of Mr Toad and followers. I take what I can get in a climate of blanket journalistic knee-jerk opposition to Corbyn.

    2. My first thought on hearing about this was that the BBC Ministry of Information lackies and the Grauniad poodles probably shit themselves having been selected as stooges for Boris Johnsons cause
      If they hadn’t walked out their cover would have been completely blown even to the most nieve onlookers

  2. Freedland should be known by his true name, OccupiedlandOK. They are begging the Government to be rude about them rather than nailing down the coffin lid with praise.

  3. Pre election all the BBC correspondents (tv and radio) took the piss out of BoJo the clown, as did the Times. I think that even Boris with an ego as big as his arse can’t afford to piss them off. I see he’s climbed down on his plan to privatise the BBC (decriminalise none payment and make it a subscription service). Already we see that with any criticism, ministers back track like crazy. He won’t last till the next GE.

  4. Audio – Listen to Govie, Govie squirm.
    Michael Gove was left squirming today as he was quizzed on political journalists’ walkout from 10 Downing Street.

    The Cabinet minister – a former journalist himself – repeatedly refused to say if he would have joined editors who left a briefing when No10 tried to give it only to selected outlets.

    Mr Gove once stood on a picket line in solidarity with his fellow reporters. But questioned by BBC Radio 5 Live, he would not say if he would have backed yesterday’s boycott.

      1. Question
        The BBC this years winner of the Darwin award are going same way as LibDems,
        When you sleep with Uncle Festa and cheap and nasty Tory party then you are well and truly fucked
        What do we do

  5. The acid test is whether journalists will boycott future PR stunts (aka ‘briefings’) *unless* there are no further attempts at this sort of censorhip.

    Let’s face it, an on-going boycott would be entirely of benefit to the public in cutting some of the fog of bullshit.

  6. Pity these so called journalists didn’t stand up for unbiased reporting in the election and calling out the Conservatives for what they are, fascists. These same journalists who undermined Jeremy for four years are getting a taste of their own medicine, they don’t like it do they? Just think if Jeremy was PM, they wouldn’t be experiencing Cummings chilling far right stormtroopers!

    1. Ohh how I soooooo much agree with your comment Christopher , personally I don’t give a stuff if they all walked out or not , they have for the last 4 yrs been the enemy of the working class in as much they did nothing but undermine the best chance we had of a decent humane Govt . Now the slithering slim ball snake has turned on them and is about to consume them,, great . And people voted for this , so fine suck it up I say .

  7. Back no mistake these publications would have heard the calls to behave as expected in the future or suffer something similar. Johnson made his point and the fact the BBC have not as yet considered this story newsworthy even though it trended most of the day on Twitter proves who won the day.

    1. Agreed Johnson won the day , remember he expelled 21 or so of his own MPs even tho it adversely affected his non existent majority in Govt . It paid dividends then and even more now , he is a utterly ruthless dictator and my guess is that little shit Cummings is driving this as well.
      Should by any remote chance in the next 5yrs or so should he not get exactly what he wants in the HOC then I foresee another proroguing of Parliament . And people voted for this ,, get brexit done ,, ahh marvellous what a win for our civil society , I mention not Democracy , there is none .

  8. You get what you vote for with the Tory establishment party The Torys are just warming up…We hadn’t seen anything yet of the true potential for misery and deprivation they are planning.The voting public love a jovial public schoolboy….now we will soon sample the sense of humour that the media asked the public to support.and did in their millions.

  9. And just one more thought.Can you trust a Tory to behave like a Tory?Can you trust Labour mps to behave like socialists?…Well if you answer yes to a tory and no to Labour you have your answer to why the Labour party are not in government.We are not trusted even amongst our own deliver socialism.

    1. Joseph – ask the ‘Labour Heartlands’ if they want socialism, and they answer ‘No’. It’s not a question of ‘trust’ in that sense – it’s a question of a propaganda-determined mind-set.

      There really is no overwhelming demand for radical or progressive politics out there. They hated Corbyn for his socialism (not that many understood why).

  10. When will journalists ‘take action’ in support of Julian Assange? Still in Belmarsh awaiting extradition to Trump’s USA for the crime of
    journalism, exposing the Truth about US war crimes & now to be silenced forever. Journalism is a ‘dark art’ & journalists, nothing more than unprincipled messenger boys (& girls). Where are the investigative journalists who serve the 4th Estate?

    1. Don’t hold your breath waiting for British journalists to expose the public torture of a whistleblower. As the decision approaches they will back the idea he is too dangerous to “let go”, The Guardian, as always, will lead the attack and enable the BBC and the rest to say “well if the left wing Guardian thinks he should die in an American torture hole who are we to say otherwise”.

  11. This is an extremely serious situation. Boris knows that it was MSM that helped his re-election. Labour did well in 2017 thanks to Sky News. When ownership changed – Labour did less well. It is possible that Labour can never gain power with the present MSM!!!

  12. It’s a rule of propaganda that you don’t preach to the converted. Save all the vitriol for The Guardian and then keep calling it a ‘Left Wing’ paper..That way it is effective as in the last GE. Note that the Guardian never talked about what a Party led by Corbyn would do. Better to attack the Man, not the policies.
    Barry Wilson

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