Quote of the Day: Newspapers ‘Ventriloquists for the Rich’

Front-page of The Sun from Saturday 11 April 1992.

George Monbiot on the fake populism of newspapers in the UK:

The papers cannot announce that their purpose is to ventriloquise the concerns of multimillionaires; they must present themselves as the voice of the people. The Sun, the Mail and the Express claim to represent the interests of the working man and woman. These interests turn out to be identical to those of the men who own the papers.

So the rightwing papers run endless exposures of benefit cheats, yet say scarcely a word about the corporate tax cheats. They savage the trade unions and excoriate the BBC. They lambast the regulations that restrain corporate power. They school us in the extrinsic values – the worship of power, money, image and fame – which advertisers love but which make this a shallower, more selfish country. Most of them deceive their readers about the causes of climate change. These are not the obsessions of working people. They are the obsessions thrust upon them by the multimillionaires who own these papers.

The Murdoch press specializes in this type of fraud – Fox News being perhaps the most alarmingly overt example in America.

Perhaps the meltdown of the Murdoch press in the UK will cause Americans to question the organization that calls itself 'Fair and Balanced and look more deeply into its claims that is supports the aspirations of working Americans. The Fox News team have managed to convince vast amounts of poor people that tax cuts for the rich and cuts to welfare will benefit them, an extraordinary feat given the overwhelming evidence that they do not. They have convinced Americans that border control is the most pressing issue of the time, not trade agreements that ship their jobs abroad, or the dismantling of their labor rights.

No corporation works against its own interests, and Murdoch's interests are centered around preserving the economic system that creates him massive amounts of wealth. It should be a no brainer that his newspapers misrepresent and misinform when reporting on economic issues, but they have perfected the lanuage of the everyman, creating a reality born out mythology rather than fact.

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