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Posts Tagged ‘Oliver Burkeman’

KAMPANJ: Nick Clegg, partiledare för Liberal Democrats, har seglat upp som ett hot mot båda partierna Labour och Conservative i årets valrörelse.

Efter att ha gjort mycket bra ifrån sig i de två första tv-debatterna skrev The Sunday Times bland annat följande: Clegg nearly as popular as Churchill

Men media kan svänga snabbt. Plötsligt kom kritiken på bred front. Många spekulerade att denna kritik var orkestrerad. Liberaldemokraterna anklagar själva Torypartiet.

Oliver Burkeman på The Guardian gör dock en annan analys:

To the untrained eye, yesterday’s [d.v.s. 21 april] unprecedented wall-to-wall assault on Nick Clegg in the pages of Britain’s right-wing newspapers might have looked like an orchestrated attack by a Tory media machine – a notion that one seasoned observer, [Labours] Lord Mandelson, spent the day doing his best to promulgate. But the truth, according to those with knowledge of the editors and newspapers involved, was far more visceral and chaotic.

”It’s raw panic, that’s what it is,” was how one former senior Fleet Street executive put it, adding that he had never witnessed anything similar in his entire career. The rise of Clegg has not just thrown into doubt the prospect of a trouble-free election victory for David Cameron. (…)

The Mail’s front-page claim that Clegg had committed a ”Nazi slur on Britain” in a 2002 Guardian column, alongside reporting on his expenses in the Daily Telegraph and a hatchet job in the Sun, triggered a backlash and a day of energetic online activity. On Twitter, critics of the Mail sarcastically blamed Clegg for everything from the Icelandic volcano to the fall of the Roman empire, while the Daily Mail-O-Matic website generated parodic Clegg headlines (”Could Nick Clegg molest house prices?”).

There were signs that the newspapers’ broadsides were causing a fracturing of unity on the right: the Tory blogger Iain Dale called the attacks on Clegg ”a terrible indictment of the British press”, warning that they would backfire and ”only serve to increase his popularity and position in the poll”. (…)

John Lloyd, director of journalism at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University, said: ”Clearly, the newspapers and editors who are ideological Tories are suffering from a howl of rage, now that what had seemed to be a shoo-in has turned into the risk of a hung parliament.” (…)

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