Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Jonathan Freedland's latest Guardian opinion piece is a trashfire of awful journalism

Jonathan Freedland's opinion piece about the assassination of the Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia is a smug, astonishingly self-defeating, and downright offensive effort to piggyback a pro-mainstream media narrative onto a tragedy.

Daphne Caruana Galizia was a brave and principled journalist who never shied away from criticising poweful elites like the Maltese mafia, the political establishment, and the billionaires stashing their ill-gotten gains in tax havens like Panama.

In his article Freedland crudely attempts to equate the assassination of an anti-establishment investigation journalist with general criticism of the mainstream media, as if criticising the inherent biases of pro-establishment mainstream hacks like Laura Kuenssberg (who was allowed to keep her job at the "impartial" BBC despite being caught red-handed faking an anti-Corbyn story) is akin to blowing someone up in a car bomb.

One of the most irritating things about Freedland's opportunistic capitalisation on a tragedy is that his diatribe includes a classic example of lazy and biased churnalism that gives the mainstream press such a bad name.

Here's Freedland using the fact that Laura Kuenssberg took a bodyguard to the Labour conference to attack the Labour left.

And here's his fellow Guardian columnist John Harris using the exact same trope in his  excruciatingly poor attempt to throw distrust on independent media a few weeks previously, the Labour left, and ... well ... anyone who doesn't rote learn their political opinions from mainstream media churnalists like him and his Guardian stablemates.

If Harris is to be believed that this trope barely needed restating two weeks ago, why on earth is his Guardian stablemate Jonathan Freeland still lazily regurgitating it now?

We've all seen the endless reliance on lazily churnalised tropes like the Kuenssberg bodyguard (did you know she also took a bodyguard to the Tory conference too?) and the Angela Eagle brick from last year (no evidence was ever provided that the brick was lobbed by a Corbynite, but that didn't stop the endless mainstream fearmongering about the terrifying spectre of "the brick-lobbing Corbynites").

It's this kind of lazy seeding of ludicrously biased political tropes into articles that are ostensibly about the important subject of press freedom that differentiates the likes of Jonathan Freedland from real journalists like Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Caruana Galizia was an independent-thinking investigative journalist who was never afraid to speak her own mind, even under a barrage of death threats.

Freedland is a lazy, smug and self-righteous churnalist who blares the same groupthink drivel as his well-to-do and largely privately educated mainstream media peers, one who even gratuitously piggybacks this kind of worthless tripe onto the death of a legitimate journalist.

Freedland's article is as offensive as it is lazy.

It's downright offensive to capitalise on the assassination of a real journalist who tirelessly worked to hold powerful establishment elitists to account in order to piously condemn ordinary people who are sick to the back teeth of the kind of lazy pro-establishment churnalism peddled by Freedland, Kuenssberg and their ilk.

Unfortunately a lot of mindless media grazers will actually overlook the opportunism and disgusting sanctimony of Freedland's opinion piece, and conclude that yes, ordinary people criticising the pro-establishment bias and complicity of swathes of the UK mainstream media are pretty much the same as those who actually killed an anti-establishment investigative journalist with a car bomb.

Opinion peddlers like Freedland honestly seem to believe that they're the righteous gatekeepers of public discourse; They're furious at the rise of independent media; They're furious that the Labour left has saved the Labour Party rather that leading it to the doom and destruction they prophesied; And now Freedland has proven that his ilk are even willing to use the worst kind of contrived emotionally manipulative shtick to criticise independent media and the Labour left. Even if it means opportunistically smearing themselves with the recently spilled blood of a proper journalist, one that lazy opinion-peddling hacks like him were never even fit to lick the boots of.

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