Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 301

Posts Tagged ‘fox news’

British TV goes full Fox News

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 3 aprile 2019

By Maya Kosoff. Today was supposed to have been the day. Two years ago, on March 29, 2017, Theresa May, the Prime Minister, triggered the separation process for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. And that may still, pending some parliamentary miracle, take place. But when it became clear that the UK government wouldn’t be able to both pass a deal and meet the original March 29 deadline, May asked for an extension. OK, the EU said, if British MPs can settle on a withdrawal agreement by March 29, the UK can buy itself some time—about two months—to sort out the paperwork. But if not, the UK will only have until April 12 to find an alternative, or else face leaving the EU without a plan in place.
The details of the process are utterly confusing, and that’s compounded by the characters involved: Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the House of Commons, told lawmakers that the UK government had decided to split the withdrawal agreement from the political declaration that will determine the future UK-EU relationship—enraging opposition Labour lawmakers and some Conservatives. Boris Johnson—an MP and former mayor of London, known as an arch-Brexiteer who once accused May of having “wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution”—has decided to back her deal. In the media, Britain seems to have gone full Fox News, taking a page out of the Murdoch playbook by putting the most incendiary and salacious figures possible on TV programs. The effect has been, of course, a distortion of political debate and a deepening of divides.
By putting Jacob Rees-Mogg, a prominent Conservative backbencher, and Nigel Farage, Brexit party leader, on current affairs shows, the British media have made public figures into reality television stars and given them an audience of the whole of Britain, George Monbiot argues in a column for The Guardian. Monbiot writes that this has happened over and over again in British media: a platform is given to someone with a despicable, nonrepresentative viewpoint for no discernable reason, instead of being given to a more rational thinker. Ultimately, the networks gain, while the public loses. Isabel Oakeshott, a longtime Brexit supporter, was found to have withheld information about Russia’s ties to Brexit—and still, she was invited onto several news outlets, which she used to make her pitch. The BBC gave air time on its new Scottish channel to a man named Mark Meechan, who is notable only for being fined for posting a video in which he shows he’s trained his girlfriend’s dog to give a Nazi salute. (At the same time, Carole Cadwalladr, an investigative journalist, was “largely frozen out by the BBC,” Monbiot writes.) The list goes on.
Sound familiar? Much in the same way that Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson have maintained their public profiles with the help of cable TV, so too has Boris Johnson, who initially led the campaign to leave the EU and now keeps himself relevant making public incendiary comments on air. Amid dropping ratings, competition in a crowded marketplace, and a 24-hour news cycle that is nearly impossible to satisfy, gaining attention matters above all else, including diversity of ideas or the quality of content. If blustery figures of any political stripe are helping to bring in viewership, does it matter if what they’re saying is hateful or factually incorrect? Brexit long ago crossed the threshold into absurdity, and British TV news has followed.Friday may force British lawmakers to find an end to their country’s madness. Britain may find a way to leave the EU; it may not. Regardless of what happens, the country and the public will be left to grapple with the consequences of what Brexit has done to their media. (font: CJR Editors)

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