Full front page assault: Here’s 5 times Britain’s right-wing press went too far
Here are some just some of the times British tabloids took their sensationalist coverage a little too far.
Some of Britain’s most-read tabloids, including the Sun and the Daily Mail, were recently accused of peddling right-wing propaganda as they churned out allegations by a former Czechoslovakian spy, Jan Sarkocy, that Jeremy Corbyn acted as an informant back in the 1980s.
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson branded the accusations “right-wing propaganda,” while former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott blasted them as “the dirtiest slur in 50 years.” He accused the Tories of “lining up” with right-wing papers “to say [Corbyn] is a traitor, an agent.”
Following the accusations, Corbyn lashed out at the mainstream media. He tweeted: “In the last few days The Sun, The Mail, The Telegraph and The Express have gone a little bit James Bond." He then warned “billionaire, tax exile press barons” that "change is coming.”
Just one day before the general election last June, the Daily Mail ran a thirteen-page assault accusing Corbyn and shadow cabinet ministers Diane Abbott and John McDonnell of being “terror apologists.” And in case the bold headline didn’t make the anti-Corbyn sentiment clear enough, the subhead read: “The Mail accuses this troika of befriending Britain’s enemies and scorning the institutions that keep us safe.”
The Sun, owned by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, and the Daily Express, also came under fire over Corbyn-bashing coverage just a day before people took to the polls. The Sun carried the headline ‘Don’t chuck Britain in the Cor-bin,’ while the Express went with ‘JIHADI COMRADES.’
The Murdoch-owned Times newspaper reported Corbyn support group Momentum was planning a “purge” of moderate MPs. The group, which boasts a 37,000-strong membership, dismissed the allegations as “laughable.” It came after activists in South Tyneside, near Newcastle, had put together a list of 49 sitting MPs that could “join the Liberals.”
“A [Facebook] page with 136 likes posting a list of MPs saying ‘join the liberals’ does not constitute a ‘plot’ nor a ‘deselection hitlist,’” Corbyn backer and political commentator Aaron Bastani tweeted.
“The list was published by a local Momentum Facebook page with 136 likes, and in no way represents Momentum’s national policy,” a spokesman for the group said. “With parts of the press sinking to such lows, it is no surprise that people are turning to social media for their information.”
From left to right
While tirades against the Labour leader are common, Britain’s right-wing press can extend its ruthless sensationalism way beyond the left to bash even those deemed ‘untouchable.’ Tabloids took an unprecedented dig at the three High Court judges responsible for ruling that MPs should be allowed a say on any final Brexit deal. After ruling in favor of pro-Remain Gina Miller’s case, the judges were branded as “enemies of the people.”
In another swipe at Conservatives, the tabloids slammed 11 Tory Brexit rebels as “self-consumed malcontents.” The Daily Mail ran a front page with a passport-size pic of each Tory ‘rebel,’ with the headline ‘Proud of yourselves?’
The rant was directed at the MPs who had joined forces with opposition parties to vote for Parliament to have a meaningful vote on any exit deal agreed with Brussels.
The front-page also blasted the MPs for “betraying their leader, party and 17.4 million Brexit voters,” before claiming the “most damning” thing of all was that they had increased the chance of a “Marxist in No.10,” namely, Corbyn.
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