The Daily Telegraph and its Editor, Ben English, have misrepresented, lied and promoted fear throughout the Covid period.
It began as ridiculous panic-mongering, lying about relative-risks and ignoring real data. It then morphed into attacking policy critics and promoting unjustified government policy, especially on lockdowns and vaccines. And finally, it has hit hate-mongering and demonising. Not anyone evil; just people dubious about the science, data, morality and legality of vaccine policy or vaccine passports.
This is News Limited’s worldwide corporate policy. Watching Fox News and SkyNews anchors tiptoe around real data and vaccine issues is, well, saddening and maddening. An anchor will suddenly change tack and stress vaccine efficacy in some strange non-sequitur (Greg Gutfeld). Or shut down a discussion of meaningful data with no explanation at all (Paul Murray). There are clearly vaccine policy-police in their earpieces.
So, as part of that world, here is a minor editorial from The Daily Telegraph of 14 September, 2021.
Let’s look at what’s wrong with it, by category:
The lobby isn’t anti-vaccination, it’s anti-vaccine passport – Misrepresentation to smear
Even those who are against the Sars-CoV-2 vaccine may not be against any other vaccine – Misrepresentation to smear
“not especially stable at the best of times” – irrelevant ad hominem smear that does not apply to scientifically prudent, data-rich critics, or people concerned about basic civil liberties
The people besieging Aria are primarily anti-vaccine passport, not anti-vaxxers – Misrepresentation to smear
“aggressive” is negative label for committed, active disagreement – smearing by adjective
“traumatic” – if it were any other topic, they would ridicule a multi-millionarie businessman who found a few words online traumatic – sensationalising something minor to demonise a hated group
“angry anti-vaxxers” – demonising a group, misrepresenting the concern, labelling to smear
“in line with the government’s roadmap to freedom” – supine support for a policy while ignoring the destruction of civil liberties; ignoring the real wrongdoing
“all we’re doing is what the government will enforce us to do” – ignoring the real wrongdoing (just following orders) and presenting it as a positive.
So many propaganda tools used in eight paragraphs (175 words). And all of them demonise a group opposed to a government policy.
Ben English may not have written this leader. Any of the Opinion team could have. But he is responsible for it. Unprincipled, ignorant coward.
A Relevant Lesson for Ben English from Journalism 1945
In addition to shutting down collaborationist publications, the Resistance-led press reform movement took steps to formally expropriate their property and assets. A May 1945 decree authorized the prosecution of collaborationist press owners; a guilty verdict could result in either the full or partial seizure of ownership profits and company property. The Paris Court of Justice brought 538 papers to trial on the charges related to collaboration. The vast majority of these cases were dismissed, but 115 papers were convicted, and thirty more were acquitted.
Perhaps the most tragic consequence of the purge was the persecution of journalists employed by collaborationist papers. The Resistance and Gaullists worked to extirpate not just the publishers and ownership of the old press, but also the individual journalists who had continued to work under the German occupation. Whether these journalists had done so as a function of their ideology or as a matter of professional necessity was irrelevant; all writers who collaborated or demonstrated “a weak patriotism” were systemically excluded from the post-war press by the decree of September 1944. The new government even used press credentials to screen journalists and prevent collaborationists from returning to work. Camus remarked that the “total renewal of its personnel” signified just how pervasive the purge of the press was in comparison to purges of other industries. Resistance journalists, as might be expected, faced few problems obtaining press credentials—further demonstrating the reach of Resistance’s influence in shaping the post-war media scene.