My position: I don’t like much of the British press, partly because it leans quite right-wing. Some right-wing people are corrupt. George Osborne is amusing when he’s taunting the current government, but otherwise fairly unpleasant
At issue: Owen Jones tweeted this out earlier:
We don't have a free press in Britain: most press outlets are the playthings of right-wing oligarchs.
But this is utter blatant corruption: George Osborne's Evening Standard offering corporations positive coverage in exchange for cash. Just grotesque. https://t.co/oz90gmzSl6 pic.twitter.com/TeQBkDQavg
— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) May 31, 2018
Two things struck me here:
- We do have a relatively free press. People can write and publish what they like, without government interference. The Press Freedom Index agrees: the UK was 40th in the world in 2018, in the “satisfactory” category. It would be better if we were positioned higher, and we should be trying to change our libel laws, among other things.
What Owen presumably means is that we don’t have as much left-wing press as we do right-wing. That’s true by many measures, but it’s not the same at all.
- The comparison and extension (“We don’t have a free press… right-wing oligarchs… But this is utter blatant corruption.”) seems intended to link being right-wing with being corrupt. Lots of right-wing people are corrupt, perhaps oligarchs more frequently than others. But this seems like an attempt to tarnish all right-wing people, based on the extreme actions of one.
He’s right about George Osborne though. Wow, this is cynical. Owen could have stuck it to him without the unfounded complaints or smears.