Last week Ben Bradley was forced to apologise for saying that Corbyn was a traitor and leaked information to Soviet spies: ‘I accept that my statement was wholly untrue and false’, he said.
The Conservative MP said on his twitter that Corbyn was guilty of ‘selling British secrets‘ to ‘communists‘. This ridiculous slur, however, was not started by Mr Bradley and he was not the only one spreading these false accusations. Publications like The Sun, The Mail and The Telegraph, all printed articles accusing Corbyn of cooperating with a spy.
Jeremy Corbyn has said that the information published was false and that:
‘Publishing these ridiculous smears that have been refuted shows just how worried the media bosses are’.
Last week’s barrage of accusations and attempts to slander his name was nothing new for the leader of the Labour Party and it shows a much bigger problem affecting our free press and our national politics. Here at Shout Out UK, we run Media Literacy in which we cover media bias and how to spot it. In common journalistic practice, publications should always separate facts and opinions, especially if that opinion is based on incomplete information. Many newspapers purposely forget this and are incredibly biased.
Currently, there is no public figure who faces more media bias than the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. This article isn’t aimed at exclusively defending him though; the fact is, whether you agree with him or not, media bias is something that affects all of us and we can’t ignore it anymore.
Recently the London Evening Times’ article titled ‘Comrade Corbyn’s Red Rad to the City‘ sounded like a headline straight out of 1950s McCarthy era. It claimed through a series of apparent experts, that Corbyn is desperate to turn London into ‘the last Soviet-era capital west of Pyongyang’, and how he is insane to still be fighting against Brexit.
The Evening Times however are not the only news source to be found guilty of explicit media bias towards the likes of Jeremy Corbyn. The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Express or the Sun are other publications who slander and attack the Labour leader on a regular basis. These publications have all publicly endorsed the Conservative Party and have said that Jeremy Corbyn would make the country look like a ‘global laughing stock’, insisting that he would be unfit as prime minister.
Biased opinions are not the only thing these publications use to try to cripple Corbyn. They are also guilty of spreading false or incomplete information. The Daily Mail has been called out before on their bias reporting towards Corbyn, as well as clearly pushing their readers towards a conservative point of view. In the past, they have blamed Corbyn and his labour associates for terrorist attacks because they have, ‘spent their careers cosying up to those who hate our country’.
The Sun ran a story on their front page followed by the headline: ‘Jezza’s Jihadi Comrades‘, which was aimed at soiling Corbyn’s name and not much else. In this article, they reported that Corbyn’s speeches were attended by Islamic extremists.
These publications also attack other news outlets like the BBC on how they cover the Labour Party during elections, even though they themselves should take a closer look at how they cover elections.
Media biases have existed for many years but it’s been a long time since we’ve seen it in such a discernible way. A report by Ipsos (Independent Press Standards Organization), found that only 20-25 per cent of the UK population believe that journalists and politicians tell the truth. This sort of media bias spreads and infects the public’s trust in all newspapers, websites and other content that is meant to inform and tell the truth.
No matter what time period or country is in, there are always going to be those who take advantage of our free press for their own personal gain. We must always be on the lookout for media bias and call it out when we see it. Don’t believe everything you read in the papers and especially online. Always approach a subject with a critical eye, especially when it comes to outlets that have a sketchy history.