Friday 8 July 2022

Did the BBC spike Boris?

spiked has paraphrased the nub of Brendan O'Neill's latest piece into a tweet
We need to talk about the role the media played in toppling Boris. The BBC and others blew Partygate and Pinchergate out of proportion and goaded Tory rebels to resign. They helped to orchestrate Boris’s fall. That’s not democratic, says Brendan O’Neill.

Here's the passage that relates to the main theme of this 'ere blog:

But just because the push against Boris had no leader and no decipherable purpose does not mean it wasn’t orchestrated. This is where we come to the most chilling feature of this strangest of political takedowns – the role played by the media. As the old public realm has been denuded of structure and ideas, so the media have come to play an outsized part in shaping political discussion and even determining politicians’ fortunes. The media unquestionably stoked the anti-Boris revolt. First by blowing those daft scandals out of proportion, unilaterally decreeing that they were the most important issues in the land. And secondly by goading, subtly and perhaps only semi-consciously, each of the actors in the lonely faction.

Indeed, the rebels’ letters of resignation were primarily aimed at the media. They were for the BBC and the Guardian and social media, not for us in the now broken and disregarded realm of what used to be called public life. This is why they all first appeared on Twitter – where else? – and why they were written in such media-speak. Because the audience was the media elites, not the people. A clear symbiotic relationship has now developed between an isolated political class searching for a new public realm in which to execute its business and a media that can sniff the power it accidentally enjoys in the post-party, post-ideological age. Call me old-fashioned, but I see little positive in the removal of a PM voted into power by 14million citizens by disparate aggrieved Tory actors and a media establishment that understands us even less than politicians do.

Even if Boris deserved the boot, doesn't Brendan have a point? 

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