The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.
All successful newspapers are ceaselessly querulous and bellicose. They never defend anyone or anything if they can help it; if the job is forced on them, they tackle it by denouncing someone or something else.
H. L. Mencken
I note that The Boiling Frog has picked up on a Daily Express article, one which I noticed on the day of its publication but which my recent redecoration activities prevented me commenting upon at the time, about gypsy women being provided the means to become Members of Parliament. A damn good corruscating article it is too – which means it is a ‘must-read.
There is an element in this article, as in so many articles written by journalists, that gives me cause for concern. The public rely on journalists to inform us of subjects which we do not fully understand and/or have not the time to investigate for ourselves. That we should make the time to investigate and understand for ourselves is another matter but as is my wont, again, I digress.
This particular article is not the only one in which completely untruthful ‘news’ has been presented – recently I highlighted another, published in the Mail, about the proposed implementation of speed-limiters being fitted to vehicles at the behest of the EU.
The cause for concern to which I referred is that if journalists are prepared to publish ‘fiction’ – and without any obvious attempt to research the subject about which they write/speak; and it being subsequently shown to be ‘fiction’ – then it becomes necessary that one can legitimately question the reasons for said articles.
Permit me to turn to one particular example – and in so doing I cast no aspersions on the individual in question – but unfortunately I suffer from the accusation of being once a cynic, always a cynic. I refer to the stance and campaign undertaken by the Daily Express, which began what may be termed an anti-EU campaign, one apparently spearheaded by its Chief Political Commentator, Patrick O’Flynn. Not that long after this Express campaign began – and which included many articles by O’Flynn – miraculously said O’Flynn is announced as a potential Ukip MEP candidate for the 2014 European elections.
This raises a few questions, namely: exactly when did O’Flynn become a member of Ukip, because unless he is he cannot stand for election; was this before or after the Express campaign began; at whose instigation/suggestion did the Express campaign begin and what part in the decision did O’Flynn play; did O’Flynn undergo the Ukip ‘selection process’ in order to become a potential MEP candidate – and if so, when; was it subject to the ‘Faragenanigans’ that ‘bloomed’ so well for the infamous Godfrey; regardless of when O’Flynn became a member of Ukip, should his readers not been made aware of that fact?
Returning to the Mail-on-Sunday article, linked to above, about speed-limiters; I know not the political leanings of Glen Owen, but it in turn raises another question. If journalists are prepared to publish articles which are later proven to be false, it begs the question why are they being published. Is it at the instigation of their editors, or is it for more dubious reasons – ie do they have their own agenda in that they approach their editor and say: Hey Ed, here’s a suggestion for an article that should bump up our circulation figures.
While journalists continue the practice of parroting the output of our political classes without any attempt to refute that output; while journalists continue to publish material that is not researched but seemingly produced purely for reasons of sensationalism; while journalists seem unable to present untarnished, truthful, news; if we are not able to trust the integrity of those that indulge in that profession, then does it not become necessary for them to be subjected to the same requirements that supposedly are our Members of Parliament? Should it not be a requirement that they must declare ‘an interest’?
When those that say they will represent us -but do not; and those that say they will inform us – but do not, then it becomes easier to understand the simple solution of those that advocate the use of lamp posts.