Fake News? Look at the mainstream press, not the social media, Tom Watson!

When Tom Watson (right) talks about "fake news", does he just mean anything complimentary about Jeremy Corbyn (left)? [Image: Gareth Fuller/PA].

When Tom Watson (right) talks about “fake news”, does he just mean anything complimentary about Jeremy Corbyn (left)? [Image: Gareth Fuller/PA].

For This Writer, the most interesting question raised by this article is: Will Vox Political be targeted with some spurious accusation?

Tom Watson seems to have launched himself into a fantasy crusade against “fake news” websites that seems intended to do the work of the Conservatives and even further-right political parties for them.

One can only question whether he has taken leave of his senses altogether. Depending on any actions he decides to take, it’s possible he and sidekick Michael Dugher may face action against them for bringing the Labour Party into disrepute.

If they come near me, there’ll be Hell to pay.

I was somewhat amused to read that Tom Watson, Labour’s Deputy Leader, was going to “investigate” fake news sites. I was even more amused when I discovered that he’d appointed Michael Dugher, a man who has already penned articles for The S*n to lead the, er, inquiry.

Like many other Twitter users, I asked Watson if his investigation was going to look at the production of fake news stories in The S*n, The Daily Mail and the Daily Express. I have yet to receive a reply.

So what about the fake news produced by official news outlets? The BBC has also produced fake news stories. Take the Battle of Orgreave, the BBC stitched together footage to give viewers the impression that the militarised police were being charged by a violent mob of miners. The reverse was true.

British newspapers routinely make up news stories and some are more guilty of this than others… The Daily Express is best known for its front page health scare stories and its slavish devotion to the Cult of Diana. It also supports UKIP and frequently prints hate stories about “loony lefties” and “luvvies”. This June, it published its Top 10 of ‘barmy’ EU decisions. They were either fake or sensible decisions.

It would also appear that some people are unable to tell the difference between satire and fake news.  The Daily Mash, Newsthump, The Onion, Waterford Whispers and other sites produce satirical stories that resemble news stories. There is a point to this:  to satirize the so-called ‘free press’ one needs to adopt its motifs and ridicule them. Will Watson and Dugher pursue them too?

Source: Fake News? | Guy Debord’s Cat

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14 thoughts on “Fake News? Look at the mainstream press, not the social media, Tom Watson!

  1. Rusty

    Tom Watson! Not what I would call a decent honest man judging by his past activities! Stones and glass houses come to mind!!!

  2. Anna Zimmerman

    The Guardian and Independent are amongst the worst offenders these days. Their foreign news coverage has become militantly neoconservative. Nearly everything they print is an outright lie or distortion.

  3. Adrian D.

    If you want proof of some more fake news, keep your eyes out for the number of civilians relieved as the Syrian Government forces retake East Aleppo – we’ve been told for months that 250K of them are there and that tens of thousands have been saved by the White Helmets.

    Please keep an eye on this – as our MSM will almost certainly not consider the non-appearance of a few hundred thousand people to be anything worth reporting.

  4. Roy Beiley

    Does this “inquiry” have specific Terms of Reference? Doubt it. This is a witchunt posing as a genuine piece of research.

  5. mohandeer

    Tom Watson has made a lot of enemies and much of his mischief has been highlighted on the alternate news sites. If he tries any more of his backstabbing on people other than Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party Membership, there is going to be a whole new set of figures to add to his already growing number of Watson Watchers.

  6. Barry Davies

    Well there is fake news everywhere like the guy who severely edited things which Boris had said to make it look like he supported remain and th eBBC of all bodies took apart live on air by actually showing the full part of what was stated which has a very different slant, so you tube certainly can’t be believed.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Was it possibly satire? Mr Johnson – not Boris, he’s not your buddy – had supported Remain before, then changed his tune because he thought he’d profit from it.

  7. John

    Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party has pulled 11 points ahead of the Conservatives!

    Sorry… that’s fake news… in fact Labour is 14 points behind the Tories in a very recent ICM poll. Damn!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Still paying attention to the opinion polls? Oh dear.
      You would be better-off looking at the results of actual elections that have been taking place every week.

      1. Laurence

        The margin of error in polls is usually plus or minus about 4%. The Tory victory last year and Trump’s victory in America were unexpected but within the margin of error of the polls.

        In the UK if the highest polling political party is 8 points ahead of its nearest rival in the run up to a general election it is near to certain that it will win that general election: Labour commonly trails behind the Conservatives, separated from them by a double digit abyss.

        This isn’t indicative of a challenger party set to take power.

        Large numbers of people have indeed rallied to Jeremy Corbyn’s flag but not in anywhere big enough numbers to secure political power for the party he currently leads. Polls can and have been wrong, especially in the recent past, but not that wrong and my bet is that Labour, under Corbyn, will do worse than it did under Brown or Miliband in 2020.

        However Jezza’s popularity has enabled Labour to raise a lot of money and clear a lot of debt and so be in a much better position to put up a good fight in 2025 under, hopefully, a much more plausible leader and shadow cabinet.

        So it’s not all bad news, which is nice.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        As far as polls are concerned, we are not currently in a usual situation. The assumptions the pollsters make to provide their ‘weightings’ are based on figures that have long been superceded. That is why they are constantly wrong, not your claim about a margin of error.

        But you don’t have to take my word for it. Look at all the commentators who say the same – and take note of the political allegiances of commentators who say otherwise. You’ll see the latter group has a vested interest in letting people believe the polls are right.

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