Reading between the Lines

Posted By on July 5, 2016

It begins to seem as though “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” needs to add a fourth category: the mass media.

The one thing that has really come out of this current political mess (apart from popcorn entertainment) is just how carefully you have to read articles in the mainstream media. It is not just reading between the lines, it is having to track down multiple sources and read between the lines on all of them to get something approaching the truth.

The labour issues were obvious and rather unsubtle. First it was with “Trade Unions not supporting Corbin” – oh wait, they are (Union News). “500 labour councillors sign letter opposing Corbyn” – followed by several of them demanding to know why their names were on it (Buzzfeed). “The membership not supporting him” – oh wait, 60,000 new members signed up this week to support him (Independant). “Corbyn is unelectable” – except for every by-election and the mayor of London…(Guardian)

The level of bias is fascinating. The Conservative reporting isn’t much better, but at least it is a little less obvious. Regarding Leadsom:

“…She alienated officials by continually complaining about poor drafting.” The National
Note, the sentence says the problem was her complaining about poor drafting. It doesn’t say that there wasn’t poor drafting. Now, I don’t know about you but, as a Project Manager, I complain about poor drafting. It slows the entire thing down and you have to start the project again or do it yourself.

Also, note this comes from a Treasury Official and if you know how well Leadsom didn’t get on with Osborne (Independent), that may imply bias. Likewise when the Senior Cabinet was virtually all Remain, it is not a surprise to find one slating a Leave candidate for PM – particularly when it is the leading Leave candidate and main threat to their choice.

Then there’s the issue of whether you can read the article at all. Four days ago an article critical of Teresa May appeared in the Telegraph online, and then vanished. It was still linked to from Google, but 404’s. It then vanished from the wayback machine but fortunately it is still in the googlecache. For the curious, Google “Theresa May self-promoter” and hit the cached version by using the green downward pointing triangle – or just visit one of the many sites mentioning this. What we don’t know is who pulled it: claims of pressure from May’s team are unproven and yet they are appearing everywhere with no hard evidence. The Press Gazette has details.(pressgazette.co.uk)

What I’d give for an honest unbiased news site. Instead I am left trawling five or six sources to get as much truth as possible instead of the narrative they want to sell me. It is a total waste of time, but completely necessary to remain informed.

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