Monday, April 19, 2010

The herd mentality of the political media

From a personal point of view, it's been nice to see a number of commentators in the mainstream media coming out and agreeing with me that these televised leaders debates may have been a bad idea.

Although that is, in some small way, quite satisfying, it is much less satisfying that only managed to reach this conclusion after the event. It demonstrates, in my view, a considerable failing in our political media that they are unable to consider the consequences of something before it happens correctly.

This is due, at least in part, to the fact that they are so deeply enmeshed in the political machine itself that so many are now unable to think independently anymore. They political media is the grease that keeps the political wheels of the three main parties moving and in power. They are the reason why progressive liberalism has such a hold on British politics and why nothing else can get a look in at the moment.

The leaders and main players of the three main parties know that they'll have camera crews, reporters and photographers following their every step as they move from stage-managed "public" event to another and they make use of this free and extraordinarily biased publicity while every other party scrabbles for the crumbs that the media throw in their direction - on very one-sided terms.

The trouble is, because the political media are so close to the three main parties, they have lost the capability for objective journalism which is why they can not see the possible consequences of various proposals such as these debates.

It's why they can not understand the problems that things such as proportional representation, an elected House of Lords or alterations to the voting system will bring. They have a herd mentality now and can not think beyond the narrow margins that they work in. Nor will they be able to as long as they remain in the thrall of the three main parties.

What we need more than ever is an independent and free media.

1 comment:

Antisthenes said...

What we also want is a more politically savvy electorate in stead of a dumb herd.