One of the hallmarks of ‘left leaning’ mainstream media, like the Guardian, is their indirect support of the conservative side of politics. How this is done isn’t by celebrating the achievements of said ‘right leaning’ parties, but instead attacking and smearing those on their supposed side. From what I have seen, most Guardian readers are sick of the paper’s incessant campaign to derail the UK Labour Party with cries of anti-Semitism.
This style of indirect support is fairly common in mainstream papers, but it is limited to their country of origin. The Sydney Morning Herald, for example, can push out as many anti-Trump articles as they please, but the number of anti-Labor pieces, or ‘opinion’ pieces in support of the Coalition, in the lead up to an election is no mere accident. The New York Times in the US has spurted out quite a number of anti-Sanders articles already. As it is behind a paywall maybe I missed something, but I know more reasons I supposedly should not vote for Sanders than I do other candidate’s names or policies. If the comments from readers are any indicator, Bernie is by far the most popular candidate, and the NYT is fighting an uphill battle to defame him.
But the most egregious example of this, simply because of the longevity of it, is the Guardian’s continued bashing of the Labour Party in the UK. A search of “anti-Semitism” on the Guardian website showed 23 articles, cartoons, and videos in the last week alone targeting Labour, Jeremy Corbyn, and other MPs of the party. Does the Labour Party have an anti-Semitism problem? Perhaps from an extreme minority of their members and supporters, but enough to warrant such concentrated efforts to delegitimise them? No, the Guardian clearly has a vendetta against Corbyn’s leadership, which has in fact been quite promising outside his uncertain take on Brexit. Fancy that though, a man sceptical of the European Union for legitimate reasons might not consider Brexit the ‘worst’ idea, even if a little misguided.
Corbyn is not anti-Semitic, and neither is the Labour Party as a whole. Luciana Berger is a baffling example of this cherry-picked argument that they are. She, in a video done with the Guardian, explained the awful anti-Semitism she has faced as a Jewish person in Parliament, and one initially feels sorry for her. Anti-Semitism is absolutely wrong, as is racism of any kind, and receiving death threats is something no one should be subject to. But her credibility wavers when she uses it as her reason for ditching the Labour Party (along with 6 other MPs), calling out them out for not doing enough to combat the rise of anti-Semitic sentiments in the party. I call bullshit.
She lists a number of abuses she has been victim to and analyses the mood of the general public as more hostile since the referendum to leave the EU. I am confused how any of that is the result of the Labour Party, though, as many of the examples she gives, and much of the vitriol in the public sphere, comes from the Conservative side, not Labour supporters. And to sound like a broken record, CRITICISM OF ZIONISM OR OF ISRAELI POLICIES IS NOT ANTI-SEMITIC. Jeremy Corbyn takes a very firm and promising stance in support of Palestinian rights, and to misconstrue that as a failure to combat anti-Semitism is not only misleading but quite pathetic.
The Guardian seems to have its priorities backwards. Don’t like Brexit? Let’s smear the party that could still pull off a second referendum with a concrete remain result! Reporting on the woes of the people as infrastructure and public services, like police or healthcare, crumble around them and the crime rate goes up? Sure, maybe a correlation between all that and the Conserv… did you hear what that Labour MP said? For shame, anti-Semitic bastard! Oh yeah, there is a troubling increase of anti-Semitic behaviour, could it be from the side that actively supports Brexit and is following trends reminiscent of fascist regimes? Maybe, but look here, we have to riot against Labour first!
I saw a succinct phrase the other day that suits many situations, including this one: “The bad will win when the perfect becomes the enemy of the good.” Trump gains more traction when the Democrats are fractured between Bernie and whatever corporate shill that looks nice this month. The Coalition picks up more swing voters when countless shallow articles ridicule Shorten’s superpower of remaining least preferred PM for 5 years. The Conservatives will drag out Brexit and stumble successfully through elections the more self-righteous idiots harp on about a single issue in the Labour Party, an issue that is actually more prominent on the other side.
The irony of all of this is that, should Trump, the Coalition, and the Conservatives retain power in their respective elections, the issue of anti-Semitism will only grow stronger. Seeing as that is a very well documented correlation, the Guardian’s vicious takedown of Labour’s reputation cannot realistically be one of justice and equality. It is a calculated attack meant to discredit Corbyn, which the majority can see through clearly. Maybe they’d prefer a Blair type, a Labour leader who hopped along happily with Bush to Iraq? Maybe they’ll find their ‘leftist ideals’ under the rubble of Venezuelan homes.
I like the Guardian – they can produce some stellar journalism and often pick up on things in Australia even our own media organisations fail to mention properly. But their hatred of Corbyn is indefensible, and if splitting the Labour Party over such trivial matters is their focus, then they join others like SMH and NYT as a cautionary source.
Liked this? Read Calling Our AIPAC and Israel Is Not Anti-Semitic
Previous piece: Cohen, Not Vietnam, Is the Story