The month the media went loco

It is all change over at Westminster. A shaky coalition between the Tories and the Lib Dems, a cabinet that manages the extraordinary feat of having 27 percent more privately educated members than the previous government’s and a pay reduction for those naughty ministers who paid their mortgages with our money.

But I think we are all in agreement that despite there being a new government which undoubtedly wants to make its mark in the next few years, not much has happened quite yet. We still do not know how the budget deficit it going to be tackled, what the implications of spending cuts will be on public services and whether the government is going to implement their cap on immigrants.

Not that this has been noticed by the Guardian, which has continued to update its website every nanosecond. The election live blog detailed every minute aspect of the contest, whether it had consequence or not, including a prize quote from Clegg: “All I can say is bear with us a little bit longer and I hope that we will be able to provide you with a full announcement as soon as is possible.” Well that was valuable piece of information. Thank you, the Guardian for providing us with that insight. Not content with an election live blog, the Guardian also had a ‘new government’ live blog. During this period, there was also an oil spill live blog, as well as someone live blogging the protests in Thailand.

The Guardian seems to have removed its filter of what is news and what is not. It is possible to get fed up of reading Comment Is Free opinion pieces which say, “I just hate the Tories, OK?” In an effort to update their website every ten minutes, this esteemed paper seems to have forgotten that old adage, quality over quantity.

But the Guardian is not the only publication to have caught a touch of the crazies over the election period. The Sun compared David Cameron to Barack Obama, a move which seriously called for a sectioning. Another controversy came when Nick Robinson from the BBC was criticised for being overly enamoured with the Conservatives, comparing Cameron to Disraeli before he even took office.

However, the gold prize for most potty media outlet must go to Sky, whose election coverage was condemned for its pro-Tory stance. Kay Burley, a Sky News reporter was filmed bullying an electoral reform protester. Meanwhile, another progeny of Sky, Adam Boulton, gnashed his teeth at Alistair Campbell and shrieked, “don’t tell me what to think!” during a heated interview outside the Houses of Parliament. This is on top of the Sky TV debate, which was widely criticised for its bias against the Lib Dems.

So what will be the legacy of the general election? Will it be the TV debates, which allowed Clegg to rise to the fore? Will it Gordon Brown’s gaffe of calling a Labour voter a bigoted woman? Or will it be Labour and the Conservatives vying to get into bed with the Lib Dems when they saw no-one had won the election? For the British media it should be the realisation that it is unmistakably, just a little bit, bonkers.


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