Even a casual observer of the British media scene will be aware that a usual complaint is that the country isn’t left wing because the damnable right wing press misleads everyone. The working class is led to vote against its own interests by such as Rupert Murdoch. That the media chases the prejudices of its readers, not shapes them, is rather missed by this analysis. Still, that’s the way they think and thus there are laws concerning who may have what share of which media market.
You know, to ensure – and really, this is the purpose even if not the stated one – that Murdoch doesn’t gain ever more power to make sure that the socialist revolution is delayed yet again by the induced false consciousness of the proletariat.
All of which makes this most fun:
Trinity Mirror’s plan to buy a string of newspapers from Richard Desmond’s media empire has hit a hurdle with the Government ready to block the deal on public interest grounds.
Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said he was “minded to” issue an intervention notice, after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) examined the £126.7m sale to Trinity of the Daily Express and Daily Star titles by Northern & Shell.
The deal – which has been years in the making – represents a major upheaval in the UK media landscape, bringing the Left-wing Mirror papers and Right-wing Express titles under the same roof. It will also see Trinity take control of a series of celebrity magazines.
Mr Hancock’s concerns include free expression, with the minister saying he had “concerns” about the impact a sale would have on “editorial decision making” and whether editorial independence would be maintained at the Express and Star if they are bought by the publisher of the Mirror titles.
This concern does, of course, entirely miss that point made above. There’s no point in making the Express and Star lefty papers, that would just lose their readership. And all the money paid for them as well. For as stated, papers don’t form their readers’ opinions, they chase them. There’s no one actually in the newspaper business who doesn’t know this – at least no one above the level of the arts graduates rewriting the press releases.
Yet we still have some joy from this story, don’t we? Those media rules put in place to stop the right wing takeover of the media – R. Murdoch most especially – are about to be deployed to stop the lefties gaining control.
Schadenfreude, it’s such a lovely feeling, isn’t it?