01May2016

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Corbyn's Millions - Blair's Millions

While 'social media' like Facebook and Twitter are forms of corporate media, it is unarguable that they and other web-based outlets have helped empower a serious challenge to traditional print and broadcast journalism. For the first time in history, uncompromised non-corporate voices are able to instantly challenge the filtered 'mainstream' version of events. This certainly helps explain the rise of Labour's Jeremy Corbyn, Podemos in Spain, and now Bernie Sanders in the US.

A key lesson learned by many people over the last few years is that supposedly neutral corporate media in fact have an unlimited capacity for finding fault with the actions and opinions of perceived enemies of elite power, just as they have an unlimited capacity for pardoning loyal servants.

The point was emphasised by an April 12 article in the Telegraph titled:

'Jeremy Corbyn's £3million state-funded salary and pension revealed.'

Telegraph journalists Kate McCann and Steven Swinford found great and damning significance in the fact that:

'Jeremy Corbyn has made more than £3million from the state in the past 30 years, according to official records. The Labour leader has made more than £1.5million in salary as an MP and will benefit from a generous £1.6million pension when he retires.'

The Telegraph quoted 'A senior backbench Labour MP', who said the scale of his earnings 'was "remarkable" in the wake of Mr Corbyn's criticism of David Cameron over his own tax affairs'.

In fact, Corbyn had earned the equivalent of a £45,000 a year salary. This, we were to believe, was a scandal. Former Guardian journalist Jonathan Cook commented:

'In other words, this is a complete non-story. He's an MP and he received the benefits due an MP. If there's a problem with that, then the Telegraph ought to be campaigning against MPs' salaries.'

As Cook noted, the Telegraph thereby revealed 'it is just a propaganda sheet for the business class':

'The only scandal here is that the Telegraph can write a story like this and still be considered a newspaper rather than a muck-raking comic. This example may be extreme, but behind it lie the same motives of class-interest that have driven the hundreds of other hatchet jobs on Corbyn over the past year, published in every British newspaper including supposedly liberal publications like the Guardian.'

The good news is that this 'mainstream' backlash - Sanders has received identical treatment in the US press - has also been exposed by media activists, further demolishing corporate media credibility.

Read more: Corbyn's Millions - Blair's Millions

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