It’s election day in the United Kingdom and the right wing press has been going batshit crazy during the campaign. The invisible man of the Labour campaign, David Axelrod, popped his head above the parapet and spoke to Politico Europe:
POLITICO: But what about the press? You say it has disproportionate power here. Do you think Britain’s conservative print media is more powerful than Fox News?
DA: Yeah, I do. I do think the parties approach media as partisan players. So you see parties disseminating messages through the print media in a way that is unusual.
Fox is certainly very conservative, skews to the Republican side, but there isn’t a kind of lockstep between them and the Republicans. Fox tries to drive the Republican agenda more than reflecting it.
Here there are relationships between the parties and media outlets that are deeper so you see a lot of themes being previewed in the media in a way that you don’t see in the states.
This election cycle, the pro-Tory press has worked itself into a frenzy. I thought I’d give you a sample of some of the wildest front pages. First, the Murdoch Sun, which has been beside itself for months. The first front page is from yesterday and features a year old picture of Labour leader Ed Miliband eating a sammich:
FYI, porkie is a Britism for a lie. More stupid Tory press tricks after the break.
The election is a dead heat between the governing Tories and Labour, and neither party looks as if it will win a parliamentary majority, just like 2010. The crazy part of it is that Labour will be gaining seats everywhere but Scotland where the Scottish National Party is poised to crush them in a backlash to the No Slide.
I have to give the Sun the credit for wit in their election day front page:
That’s hung in the sense of an indecisive outcome like a hung jury as opposed to, well, you know what I’m talking about. Get your minds out of the gutter, y’all. It’s what Ed Balls would want…
The Sun and Daily Mail have been the most hysterical anti-Labour media outlets but the so-called quality right wing newspapers have not been far behind. When the Times was sold to Murdoch, the Telegraph took up the mantle of the staid, establishment Tory newspaper. That’s changed this time around. Yesterday, the Telegraph took aim at SNP Leader/Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon:
I can at least give the Telegraph credit for consistency. The Sun has endorsed the SNP in Scotland and the Conservatives in the rest of the country. Why? To gut the Labour party and deny them a majority. Once again, there *is* some wit involved with the Sun’s front pages:
As you can see, the Murdoch Sun is a fundamentally right wing paper but they can be opportunistic. Tony Blair famously seduced Rupert and won backing from the Murdoch press for Labour. That came to an end in 2010 when they abandoned the less charming Gordon Brown.
C-Span will be airing ITV’s election night coverage starting at 3:55 PM CDT, which should be interesting, to me at least, since in the past they’ve shown the BBC.
The Guardian has thoughtfully posted an article on what to look for during the coverage. It should be a long and interesting night. I should thank Dr. A in advance for indulging me, she is *not* a British politics junkie.
Since much of the election coverage will revolve around Scotland, I’ll give Mike Scott and the Waterboys the last word: