Time for journalists to change the way they talk about Corbyn says LBC and BBC Newsnight host James O'Brien

Newly re-elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has received a rare vote of support from the ‘mainstream media’.

LBC radio presenter, and regular guest host on BBC Newsnight, James O’Brien said today that it was time for the media to change the way it talks about Corbyn.

He said: “The media, myself included, now have to stop talking about Jeremy Corbyn like he is some sort of pimple on the backside of British politics and start talking about him as the only alternative Prime Minister to Theresa May.

“That is what he is.

“I’m not going to lie to you. I’ve made a conscious personal and professional decision to leave the scepticism at the door and will now treat this party and this man as I treat all politicians – with a degree of cynicism but not as some sort of aberration.

“This is not a dream from which the Labour party is going to wake up, it’s real. It’s happening.”

And questioning the negative media reception to Corbyn’s polciies, he said: “Try this on for size. We spend far too much money on war and weapons and we should be spending that money on the poor.

“What’s not to like about that?

“Why is that even controversial?”

He added: “I used to call it undergraduate, quasi-Marxist. Parking all that language, it’s over, it’s finished, it’s meaningless.

“You begin to look for finer detail in the policy. You struggle at the moment to see it, but who comes up with a fully-fledged manifesto within a few weeks of being leader, or a year? He’s not got an election to fight.”

Praising Corbyn’s qualities, he said: “You see a strength in the man, a lot of other people would have buckeld under the sheer  weight of abuse he has recieved from his own party let along the media and establishment.

“You’ve got a leader who really does appear to represent a profound alternative to the notion of business as usual.

“Why has that been treated so negatively?”

The Corbyn-supporting Socialist Party (formerly Militant) is among those celebrating the Corbyn victory. It said in a statement: “The Socialist Party celebrates the fact that, despite the best efforts of the Blairites, the right-wing media, and behind them the capitalist establishment, Jeremy Corbyn now has a bigger mandate than ever.”

Socialist daily newspaper The Morning Star also attacked the main media outlets for their perceived opposition to Corbyn (who is a columnist for the title).

It said: “Barely a day has gone by since without negative briefings, leaks to the media designed to undermine the party leader, or the emergence of an artificial scandal designed to drag Corbyn’s name through the mud.

“This background noise has been amplified by a mass media which has been, with the exception of the Morning Star, implacably hostile to Corbyn and the new politics he represents.

“Independent studies by the Media Reform Coalition and the London School of Economics have revealed a constant bias against the Labour leader.

“Even Britain’s public broadcaster the BBC has joined in, shamefully orchestrating a shadow cabinet resignation live on air and stacking its shows with anti-Corbyn voices.”

Comments

9 thoughts on “Time for journalists to change the way they talk about Corbyn says LBC and BBC Newsnight host James O'Brien”

  1. James O’Brian is probably the most biased, self serving LBC presenter. He’s rude and insulting to callers who disagree with his usually left wing doctrine. He lets down other LBC commentators who are fair in the extreme in respecting callers differing views. He shouldn’t be allowed to occupy so much airtime. He should transfer to North Korean Radio.

  2. “The media, myself included, now have to stop talking about Jeremy Corbyn like he is some sort of pimple on the backside of British politics…” I would like to know more about why O’Brien and others failed to provide readers/listeners/viewers with a grown-up and reasonably objective account of what the rise of Corbyn – and the divisions in the Labour Party – have been all about. The British media have failed miserably, in my view, to do their job of informing the public. And lost a lot of support from their customers as a result.

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