I didn’t manage to the end of the opening Newsnight report on MPs’ expenses before deciding that bed was a better place to be (via this quick blog), but I couldn’t help but be struck by a formidable contrast tonight …
between the basic pro-football stance of Sky Sports coverage of football – admittedly easier when you have a match like tonight’s 4-4 draw between Liverpool and Arsenal – and Newsnight’s basic anti-politics coverage of politics.
From the opening titles onwards, (shots of money pouring out of cash machines) every word, every image, (eg a succession of fabulous dishes designed to give the impression MPs eat nothing but the best three times a day) every intonation of presenter and reporter alike was basically intended to say – forget what this story is about, just take the message that all politics is crass and all politicians are venal.
It is not. They are not.
This is not an anti-BBC or pro-Sky point. Sky’s political coverage is also driven by the belief that politics is best presented in a bad light.
What has for years been developing as a culture of media negativity is now getting closer to nihilism. I think that most journalists have stopped even thinking whether they have any responsibility for what they now routinely describe as a breakdown in trust between politicians and public, or any reason to care.