Tag Archives: ITV

‘Fake news’ row as ITV misrepresents Stormzy comment

I have no idea whether anybody running ITV is a billionaire, but this is a story about media misrepresentation so let’s roll out this cracking image again.

I blame the BBC as much as ITV.

After the likes of Laura Kuenssberg spent the whole of the general election campaign bigging up the Tories and belittling Labour – and got the result they wanted, it seems other TV news media are testing the waters to see how far they can mislead the public.

So when pro-Labour, pro-Corbyn rapper Stormzy was asked if he thought the UK was a racist country and he replied, “Definitely; 100 per cent,” ITV news reported it as “Rapper Stormzy says UK is ‘100 per cent’ racist”.

ITV was, of course, 100 per cent lying.

There is a huge difference between saying that there is definitely racism in a country and saying that everybody in that country is racist – but ITV chose to misinterpret the rapper’s words and go for the latter interpretation, for no particular reason.

This was not a mistake. The headline would have gone through several levels of management before it got onto the screen of anybody’s TV, computer or mobile device and all of those people would have known exactly what they were doing: misleading the public about the words of a left-wing cultural leader.

Note that there is not an iota of apology or explanation in the correction issued by ITV no less than 18 hours after the initial report was published:

In fact it doesn’t make much sense at all.

If you want sense, you have to go to the social media, where the response from anyone with a brain has been 100 per cent damning:

This is right on the nose:

https://twitter.com/LauraCatriona/status/1208434569839546368

The way ITV originally tweeted the link to its report has been removed by that company, but Shappi Khorsandi’s point is clear:

ITV’s misrepresentation has lent itself to satire, of course:

Here, Ash Sarkar makes an important point about the effect of ITV’s claim…

… then goes on to aim a particularly sharp barb at another media outlet:

Who’s that racist who writes for the Spectator, again? Not Boris Johnson – the other one.

And what about Stormzy himself? His response is actually laudable for its restraint:

https://twitter.com/stormzy/status/1208690066337480704

But I fear this is the shape of things to come for those of us on the left.

The mainstream – Tory – media will take every opportunity to mislead the public about the opinions, actions and philosophy of those of us who want a better deal for everybody, rather than a bigger slice of pie for the few who are already grossly obese while everybody else is starving.

They’ll do it in the knowledge that most of the people they are misrepresenting do not have the means to challenge them.

And when they are exposed, they’ll simply change their headlines, happy in the knowledge that the damage is done.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Tories pretend their press office is a ‘fact check’ organisation. Public ridicule is hilarious

The Conservative Party seems to be getting desperate.

Its press office resorted to the dirty trick of pretending to be a ‘fact check’ organisation during the ITV leaders’ debate – presumably so it could tweet a (false) claim that Boris Johnson won the confrontation.

Well, that didn’t work!

Not only did people take extreme offence at the pretense…

… but they also decided to have their own laugh at the Tories’ expense.

Take a look at some of these examples:

https://twitter.com/HKesvani/status/1196893828529164289

Way to go, Tories. Not only did your man mess up his big TV appearance…

But you’ve also ensured that nobody will believe another word to come out of your publicity machine.

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Tory and Labour leaders clash in TV debate – and Corbyn walks it

Did anybody really think Boris Johnson would beat Jeremy Corbyn in a televised debate? Well, he didn’t!

Mr Corbyn’s calm, confident delivery trumped Mr Johnson’s bluff and bluster in a confrontation that was all over long before the end credits rolled.

This Writer was contributing to the Twitter debate, and you can tell how it was going from some of my comments:

(Here’s another good comment on that.)

Here’s my snap verdict:

And I wasn’t alone:

In the end, discussion dissolved into ridicule of Mr Johnson’s repetitious verbiage:

It seems likely Mr Johnson wishes he had been!

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Did the BBC do a backroom deal with the Tories? (Why the BBC shouldn’t host the Brexit debate part 2)

The BBC thought the deal was all sewn up – but it seems the Corporation’s bosses jumped to the wrong conclusion, too soon.

Before you jump to conclusions too, dear reader, be advised that this is not about Theresa May’s Brexit agreement with the EU, but about her challenge to Jeremy Corbyn, to take part in a debate about the deal on television.

Around lunchtime yesterday, the BBC News press team announced that Mrs May had accepted the Corporation’s offer to host the debate, on December 9.

There was just one problem, as Jim Waterson explained:

As The Canary reports: “Before becoming May’s director of communications in late 2017, Robbie Gibb was head of the BBC‘s Westminster programmes. Now, Gibb is reportedly insisting that the BBChosts the debate “at all costs”.

“Meanwhile, BBC news bulletins (and reporting from elsewhere in the corporate media, such as the Independent) are presenting May’s BBC debate as a challenge to Jeremy Corbyn. But in reality, the Labour leader said he would “relish” a TV debate with May late on 25 November, immediately after she suggested one.”

Here’s the thing:

https://twitter.com/James4Labour/status/1068129130133291013

That’s right. Theresa May issued the challenge, meaning Mr Corbyn should have the right to choose the terms.

And he doesn’t want to debate Mrs May on the BBC.

Can anybody blame him?

Here’s The Canary again: “The difference is that Labour prefers what ITV has tabled: a straight head-to-head debate between the two leaders. And it’s pretty obvious why. Because the BBC‘s format seems to allow for BBC editors to rig the discussion against Corbyn. They will have significant power over the questions and participants involved in the debate”

Not only that: Already we have learned that the BBC apparently hired an actress who runs her own tiny internet church to speak in favour of Mrs May on Newsnight debates. Social media commentators have already linked this behaviour with the debate challenge:

Now it seems the BBC has been discussing the challenge that Mrs May sprang on Mr Corbyn – not-so-spontaneously, it seems – for many weeks.

Why else would the Tories plan TV appearances hosted by the BBC’s David Dimbleby, including a “Question Time style session” and brief the Conservative-supporting Daily Telegraph about it on Monday (November 26)?

Commentators are already concluding that the BBC is colluding with the Conservative Party – so much for the Corporation’s claims of impartiality! – to build support for her Brexit deal and run Labour down:

Some have resorted to satire:

https://twitter.com/JackDunc1/status/1068172386732843008

While others have aimed sharper barbs:

Personally, I like this comment, which bypasses the silliness of the BBC and ITV jostling for position and goes straight to the heart of the matter:

He’s right.

But then, we’re discussing Brexit – a situation in which the elected leaders of the United Kingdom have vowed to follow the wish of a majority of voters in a referendum, even though they know there is no possible outcome in which the country will be better-off as a result of it.

No part of Brexit makes any sense at all. Why should this be any different?

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Advance warning: Here’s what Cameron will be saying in the leader debate

150402torydebatepoints

Vox Political is grateful to the spy who provided the above information on Cameron’s talking-points for the televised leader debate this evening.

From 8pm, he’ll be trying to present these as facts – but are they? Let’s see:

Firstly, governments don’t create jobs. Ideally, they create the conditions in which employers create jobs and in that respect, Cameron’s effort has been lousy. We have 800,000 more zero-hours jobs than in 2010 – a total of 1,800,000 people with no job security, who cannot claim holiday pay or sick pay. That’s brilliant for employers like Duncan Bannatyne and the other goons who put their name to CCHQ’s letter in yesterday’s Torygraph – and a living hell for you.

Next, the claim that the deficit has been halved was only ever accurate as a percentage of GDP, which has been increasing through no design of the Conservative Party’s. It seems our economy hit its lowest point somewhere in 2013 and then started bouncing back in the right direction of its own accord. That’s what the economic cycle does, you see. So what happens if we hit another downturn? Well, then the deficit grows and the claim that it has been halved can no longer be made. In numerical terms, it hasn’t happened at all; George Osborne inherited a deficit of around £130-140 billion and cut it to around £90-100 billion.

Capping benefits is no way to ensure that work always pays. Increasing wages is the way to do that. Cutting income tax helps the rich more than the poor. Tories don’t like you to think about that, though – they want you to concentrate on the slight improvement to your pittance.

The claim that Labour will create more taxes and more debt has been debunked – comprehensively and in a most damning fashion – by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. It is foolish nonsense. And why is Cameron keen to talk about Labour’s plans? Is it because he refuses to explain where the Conservatives will make £12 billion in cuts to benefit payments?

The claim that Labour will ally with the SNP is a dream shared by David Cameron and Nicola Sturgeon. Labour currently has no intention of making any such alliance. Why is David Cameron keen to discuss what Labour will do in a Hung Parliament, rather than what the Conservatives will do? The polls currently indicate he has no hope of achieving a Parliamentary majority and this writer would rather know how David Cameron intends to stay in office – not how he thinks Ed Miliband would take over.

Finally, the question of a referendum on membership of the European Union is a non-starter with most of the electorate. UKIP has made a lot of noise, but less than one-fifth of the voting public want anything to do with that party. Cameron wants a referendum because it will keep the Eurosceptics in his own party quiet – that’s all. It’s nothing to do with what you want.

And that’s all he has to offer today. Not a lot, is it?

Let’s see how many he manages to mention – and how the others shoot him down.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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TV debates: New format proposed but will Cameron come back?

150119leaderdebates

David Cameron is facing one of the biggest challenges of his political career – now that the TV companies have offered to include the Green Party (and others) in the televised election debates, is he man enough to take part?

Cameron scampered off like a startled rabbit when he realised he could use the Green Party’s exclusion as a reason not to participate, but now broadcasters have put forward new proposals which include the Greens, the SNP and Plaid Cymru.

The BBC and ITV would stage debates involving the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems, Greens, UKIP, SNP and Plaid, while Sky and Channel 4 will go ahead with their plan to host a head-to-head between Cameron and Ed Miliband – if Cameron has the guts for it.

However, he still has two possible escape routes – the Democrat Unionist Party will be writing to the BBC and other broadcasters to ask why it is not being included when it has more seats than the three parties that have now been included. Will he demand its inclusion as well?

And Cameron has said he is not happy with the dates being offered for the debates – April 2, 16 and 30 – saying they should take place before the official, ‘short’, campaign begins.

Who thinks he’ll chicken out again?

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New e-petition gives you another chance to challenge murderous disability benefit cuts

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6-iTZR8CoI&feature=player_embedded]Campaigners for an end to the unfair cuts that have led to the deaths of 73 disabled people every week have launched a new petition, calling for the government to pause and review this deadly regime.

It comes days after an earlier attempt, known as “Pat’s Petition” failed due to a lack of support by the mainstream media. Even though it was starved of publicity, the petition gained more than 62,000 signatures – but it needed 100,000 to secure a Parliamentary debate.

The petition calls for the government to “Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families.” It says the Welfare Reform Act (brainchild of Iain Duncan Smith and his Department for Work and Pensions) should be be reviewed and the government should “amend its contents in a fairer and more socially-acceptable format.”

I can already hear cries of disbelief from some of you, as you read this. Don’t tell me – you don’t know anything about this; you thought that the government was cracking down on benefit scroungers, not people who deserved help; you thought the mainstream press had been telling you the facts.

You thought wrong, I’m afraid!

But you’re not alone. I refer you to this comment from Cyril Zeldane, on my previous article about the petition: “I was very upset by this, and by what ATOS, JC+, DWP and the state more broadly has been doing for a while… I was equally angry to hear about it for the first time today, now that it’s too late.”

The simple fact is that the mainstream media have been tranquillising the population by burying the facts. I’m talking about the BBC, ITV, national and local radio, the Daily Mail, the Express, the Telegraph, the Sun… the list goes on and on. Some papers like the Independent and the Guardian carry sporadic accounts, and columnists like Sonia Poulton have been slugging it out like gladiators to get the message across.

But most people are as “Jay” describes in his comment to the petition piece: “People still don’t care enough because they still don’t understand what is happening.”

What’s happening is this: People on welfare – the sick, the disabled, the unemployed and the elderly – have been collectively labelled as scroungers. Stories in the right-wing press and on television have reinforced this view, by showing benefit cheats being brought to justice. Of course, benefit fraudsters do exist – but they total 0.4 per cent of the total number of claimants.

Meanwhile, the government’s policy, enacted by Atos assessors through the work capability assessment for Employment and Support Allowance, is to allow just 13 per cent of claimants a secure future, knowing that they will continue to receive benefit for an indefinite period of time – although even then, ESA payments are lower than the Incapacity Benefit that it has replaced.

Of the remaining 87 per cent, most are branded “fit for work” and lose their benefits. Some go on to the ‘work-related activity’ group of ESA recipients, continuing to receive benefit for 365 days (one year), during which time they are expected to take steps to ensure they are fit for work by the time their benefit runs out. This group includes people with progressive conditions who will never get better, but who have been put their because Atos have a quota to meet.

The effect on the health of disabled people who have been through this process is catastrophic. Current figures, which have been made available by the government after a Freedom of Information request, show that on average, 73 people are dying every week due to the strain of losing their benefit.

One such person is Brian McArdle, whose son Kieran told the Daily Record (“The what?” I hear you cry. News blackout in the mainstream press, remember? You’ll only read about it in more independently-minded papers like the Record) that “constant worry about how he would survive without the cash he needed robbed Brian of the will to live”.

It seems the 57-year-old had a stroke on Boxing Day last year which left him paralysed down his left side, unable to speak properly, blind in one eye and barely able to eat or dress, but after a work capability assessment he was found fit for work and his benefits were stopped. He had another stroke days before his appointment, and the heart attack that killed him came the day after his benefits were stopped.

That’s the truth of the Coalition’s disability benefit assessment regime.

Now that you know, please go to the government’s e-petitions site, sign the petition (it’s only a click away via the link in this article) and get your friends to do the same.

And spread the word, because you can’t rely on the mass media to do it for you.