A majority of us believe that media reports about Jeremy Corbyn are deliberately biased against him – and in fact a Newsnight report a couple of weeks ago confirmed that pejorative language was used about him in BBC reports where this was not necessary to the story:
A majority of the British public believe the media is deliberately biased against Jeremy Corbyn and seeking to portray him in a negative light.
Just 29 per cent of British adults disagreed that the “mainstream media as a whole has been deliberately biasing coverage to portray Jeremy Corbyn in a negative manner” when asked by pollsters YouGov.
51 per cent of people agreed that coverage had been deliberately biased while 21 per cent said they were not sure.
But it seems we are all also quite happy to be guided by these media reports when forming our opinions. Look at this:
Theresa May is 64 points more popular than Jeremy Corbyn. Yes, you read that correctly. The Prime Minister’s net favourability amongst the country is +33.6, while the Labour leader’s is -30.7. Even taking into the usual caveats that the Prime Minister is new to the job and the Labour leader is currently in a somewhat precarious position within his party, this result is fairly astonishing.
This poll really does highlight the gap between the two – a large contributor to which is the enormous unpopularity of the Labour leader. Consensus in the Polling Digest office is that this poll probably has the worst numbers we’ve ever seen for a party leader.
Of course, most people do not know either Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn personally and have to rely on mainstream media reports in order to form a judgement.
With a majority in one survey saying that Mr Corbyn is being maligned by a hostile media, and a majority in the other saying they don’t like him, there has to be a certain amount of overlap, right? Otherwise, we should all admit that these surveys are pointless except as propaganda for whoever commissioned them.
It would be very interesting to see the raw data for these polls, to discover how far they were tweaked by the companies running them.
The overall message we get from these polls is this:
When the media lie to us, we believe them.
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