Back in the 80s, Liverpool Labour Party was so frustrated with the perceived bias of local media, that they distributed their own publication – “ Not the Liverpool Echo “. I recalled this as I pondered the all time low which its namesake has reached. I cannot recall a time when the editorial staff of the local paper was either so biased or so ignorant of local political events.
This struck home when I saw a piece in the online version of the Echo detailing Steve Rotheram’s withering attack on Mayor Anderson’s proposal for a bloated bureaucracy costing £7million (It is only £7 million, answered profligate Joe). In no time, the issue was off the website, and the printed Echo did not even mention it.
Why is it that all the local media fail to hold this man to account? Gaffe after gaffe, waste upon waste is passed over whilst Joe’s extensive public relations team get positive coverage for every madcap, uncosted proposal they come up with. Needless to say, many people are not fooled by this media failure. Indeed, this farcical support for the ego trips of the mayor is a contributory factor in people turning off in their droves form the puerile reporting of the Echo, as well as from once-popular phone-in shows like Roger Phillips.
Much is said about politicians being out of touch, especially by the media. Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn have both shown that there are now possibilities beyond mainstream radio, television and papers. Social media can do much to get at the truth of things. Hopefully, that will be the case in electing a metromayor because it is a dead cert it will not be the case with our hopelessly uncritical local mainstream media.