Saturday, June 07, 2008
A good article by Martin Kettle in The Guardian makes the point that politicians should not bother wooing newspapers. This is because newspapers do not swing voters, rather voters choose newspapers that reflect their views. The entirely irrational conviction of politicians that newspapers are important vote swingers is a product of the last 15 years of spin. Brown is utterly dazzled by this illusion and seems convinced that the Daily Mail is his only hope. That said, I think Kettle is too nice to see the bigger picture. The real and very sinister political power of newspapers lies not in their leaders and political columns but in their exposes. As we know, it only takes one nasty little revelation to humiliate or even destroy a public figure. The real reason politicians woo newspapers is their fear of this above all else. A good lunch can keep a file closed.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 7:41 am