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Martin:
This is simply wrong.

I don't know enough about the German political scene, but the quotes that are posted here from Der Spiegel hardly seem like they're pushing the progressive envelope.

As for the UK, Italy and France, I'm not sure how you can say that I'm factually wrong. Berlusconi would be no one if he didn't own most of Italy's media, and Sarko's close friendship with French media leaders, complete with exotic upmarket holiday perks, is well known - as are Murdoch's deals with Blair.

It's only on blogs like ET that you'll find progressive talking points. Otherwise in the UK we have exactly one serious magazine with a progressive viewpoint, with a minimal readership, and two papers that are sort of centre left, sometimes.

The FT occasionally publishes a heretical talking pointm but the usual narrative from the 'serious' press is, and has always been, relentlessly right leaning. You only have to look at Justin Webb's BBC coverage of the US election to see that his idea of fair reporting is constant criticism of Obama.

Aa for Germany - I suspect a poll of publishers and editors, who define narratives, would show that their sympathies are far more right leaning than those of journalists who usually have to write what they're told to.

Martin:

Can you name one leftish idea, take Brtain, which has nothing to do with profits, which didn't make it at least to some degree into politics?

Historically or recently? Because currently all we have left are vestiges and shreds of the progressive changes of the post-war consensus - universal high quality free education is being replaced with corporate control of curricula, health care is heading in the same direction, infrastructure is mostly mismanaged by the private sector at vast public expense, tax rates place the burden of taxation on the poorest earners, tax avoidance by the rich is endemic, and the press collude to cover up the true state of things with scare stories about racism and missing blonde girls.

Is this what a progressive utopia looks like?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Sep 10th, 2008 at 09:45:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In France, you can't say there is no place for left-wing narrative in the media. Sarkozy's friendship with some French media leaders is real, but that doesn't mean he controls the media. The main television channels are certainly biased, but many independent newspapers and magazines as well as radio channels (including France Inter).

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 02:42:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The main TV channels and newspapers will have far more influence than smaller indie publications and channels.

You don't need to 'own the media' completely - you just need to own enough of the main opinion forming channels to create an illusion of narrative consistency for the non-chattering population.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 05:00:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But, some of the main newspapers like Liberation and Le Monde, and one at least of the main radio channels, like France Inter, are not "small indie publications".

One of the reasons of the so far successful campaign against the Edvige police database was that the media echoed properly the citizens' voice.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 07:08:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But are Libe and Le Monde Left, or triangulated centre-Left?

How much has their position shifted over the last forty years?

To what extent do they influence and define policy compared for the FT, the Econo and the WSJ? (Even in France.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 07:57:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Monde has pretty much triangulated to the center right, and Libé from left to the center left. They are however much, much more read than the English financial press, at least in politics (French politicians simply don't speak English)

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 08:35:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarko and the UMP won a majority. Are Libe and Le Monde to the left of Sarko - I'd say yes, with Libe well to the left. Le Monde's views dovetail with the right wing of the PS - i.e. it is center-left. Libe's views tend to be those of the middle and left of the PS, i.e. it is left.

You can argue that the right wing of the PS is really center-right. However, you then also have to accept that the French electorate tilts sharply right and simply doesn't want left wing policies.

by MarekNYC on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 01:36:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Monde is to the left of Sarko, but Sarko ain't exactly the left wing of the UMP. Le Monde was clearly for Balladur in 1995, for example.

Libe aims for the right wing of the PS, nowadays (for example they were for the Yes in the Constitution referendum). This has changed in the last few years. They are anti-Sarkozy, but increasingly (Euro-)liberal in their economics commentary. They are center left at best, in their current incarnation.

As for the French electorate - the 2007 presidential election represents the French opinion badly, as on the left it was skewed by the need to have somebody from the left in the second round. In 2002, and in various regional elections, people calling themselves Communist gathered 15% of the vote, with other parts of the left, like the Greens, getting another 10%... And the right wing of the PS has pretty much joined Sarko. The PS has bee to the right of its electorate for quite some time.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 03:04:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The question is not to know if Le Monde and Libe are Left or centre left (if it was the case could you please provide precise criteria?), but to know if some of the media were channeling left-wing narratives. I claim it is the case, mentioning Le Monde, France Inter and Libé and I could also mention Le Nouvel Observateur, Marianne and many others.

Unless you think anything to the right of Olivier Besancenot does not belong to the Left...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 01:19:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For Liberation I am thinking very precisely of the last page of the 2007 first round of the presidential election edition, which contained an interview essentially claiming that France needed neoliberal reforms, badly.

But it is true that left narratives can be found in Le Monde and Libération, although they are not necessarily prevalent. After all, Jérôme was published there...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 03:08:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know enough about the German political scene, but the quotes that are posted here from Der Spiegel hardly seem like they're pushing the progressive envelope.

Well... on one hand, despite what Martin says about different starting points, "left-of-center" doesn't necessarily mean "progressive" anymore in Germany either. On the other hand, SPIEGEL is historically more close to the liberal FDP, which historically swung between the centre-left and centre-right, so their neolib+neocon swing may not be representative of say state TV journalists.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 04:17:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The economic department of the spiegel is clearly right-of-center.
Is insulting parents, when they don't want to give their children into a public Kindergarten as well neolib+neocon?
At least I know now that neither Milton Friedman nor G.W.Bush are either neolib or neocon.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 09:06:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure what's your point about neolib+neocon; but I wrote it thinking of the parallel movements of SPIEGEL's economic department (neolib, and that already in the closet in Augstein's time) and writing on foreign policy/internal security (neocon, after the Aust takeover, openly only from late 2003 or so). (Note BTW that SPIEGEL printed articles critical of the Kosovo War while the bombing went on.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 09:34:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know enough about the German political scene, but the quotes that are posted here from Der Spiegel hardly seem like they're pushing the progressive envelope.

Read ZEIT, try this. Of course in German. Why should a German newspaper have an English version?

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 09:13:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So that people outside of the country can read it, at a guess.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 11:18:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aa for Germany - I suspect a poll of publishers and editors, who define narratives, would show that their sympathies are far more right leaning than those of journalists who usually have to write what they're told to.

Probably to focus the poll only on the economy department of a newspaper would already give you a more right wing result than including the feulliton and the klatsch section.
But my impression is largely, that the narratives are taken from the politicians, less self created - and that there are little narratives around at all.

is being replaced with corporate control of curricula
That seems to be for profit.

health care is heading in the same direction
As well for profit?

infrastructure is mostly mismanaged by the private sector at vast public expense
Seems somebody wanted to make profit with the initial privatisation.

tax rates place the burden of taxation on the poorest earners
For profit - of those who pay the lobbyists, which not to tend to be the poor.

tax avoidance by the rich is endemic
Never seen something that clearly done for profit.

the press collude to cover up the true state of things with scare stories about racism and missing blonde girls.
Nobody told them, that the country is looted. That would be the job of the party head of the labour party. Hey, but after more than a decade of labour gov't it may fall back to himself negatively.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 09:26:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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