But in as much as you can describe it, it can adhere to communicative principles, for instance:
This article appears in the Sun.
Pay Fury is efficient signalling. Pay is a short word and Fury is highly emotionally loaded. It’s words like this which earn tabloids their money. Fury is a brilliant word for a tabloid style article on anything you wish to highlight.
Pay Fury is a category, a genre in itself.
You can trot this out forever and it will always work.
Health Killjoys pocket £100k
Killjoy is loaded – it means meanspirited, no fun.
Pocket when used as a verb is like trouser – it means took home or earned but is more evocative of securing funds without really working for them, ie stealing.
More than 350 nanny state killjoys pocketed x for y.
The language is of sensation and excess. The emotion, morality, direction, size, certainty, outrage are all embedded in just a few words. That is what words can do. And if you know how to get words to do these things, then you can achieve big things. The tabloid press exist for agenda setting.
“For telling us what to do”
What do the top managers at the Sun earn?
They tell their readers what to think about. They don’t mention what they don’t want anyone to know.
They obviously underpay the underlings.
But the overall goal is to undermines public services and promote post-Brexit private healthcare.
All communicators should be monitoring this paper.
For uncut real time agenda setting you need to stick your head in The Sun.
It’s no secret that the Morning Star swings to the left.
And one shouldn’t belittle its fantastic work highlighting underrepresented points of view.
But it’s quite remarkable when the newspaper it is most in sync with is … The Sun.
Obviously a constellational thing.
Many years ago it became clear to me that the right wing press was funnier than the left.
I grew up in the 1990s when most right-on alternative comedians opposed the Thatcher and Major Conservative governments.
So this all came as a bit of a shock.
But the culture war has now moved on.
People like me need to get with the times.
The war of ideas has become more sophisticated than I recognized.
Political marketing assumes many forms.
Have I become more paranoid?
Or have things genuinely moved on?
Until very recently Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire owner of the Sun, backed Theresa May.
She called an election in 2017 and made sure she put the elimination of the Leveson Inquiry into press criminality on her manifesto.
Murdoch’s staff had been paying the police and getting people sent to jail for relatively minor crimes such as helping undercover journalists buy small amounts of drugs.
In other countries such behaviour would be called entrapment.
For this she was rewarded with favourable media coverage and became so full of hubris that she didn’t even turn up to the TV debate.
Murdoch got what he wanted when the then Media Secretary Matt Hancock got the entire Tory Party (except 5) to vote, along with the DUP, to bin the Inquiry.
Hacked Off, a press regulation pressure group financed by F1 Billionaire Max Mosley, took a Judicial Review case to get the Government to reverse its position, but they lost.
The verdict was announced last week.
If only the story stopped there.
Carry on Brexit
Murdoch is for Brexit. It helps shrink the state and turn the UK (and its overseas territories) into even more of an oligarch-friendly low tax regime.
The links between the Sun’s ideology and the right-wing think tanks coming out of Tufton Street are repetitious.
But the the US Tea Party and even Reagan’s Republicans have always been skilled in dressing up their deregulation in a Ché Guevara beret.
Steve Bannon constantly refers to culture wars. I remember the American conspiracy theorist historian Webster Tarpley telling Alex Jones back in 2009 that to get rid of Obama the right would have to attack him from the left.
And so the Sun’s anti-regulation anti-EU stance now overlaps with the Morning Star’s!
I am not against debate.
But it is good to get enough background context to back up the valid instinct that you are being lied to.
Knowing who funds the article you are reading usually tells you more about what is being written than the words themselves.
The fact that the Morning Star is dead against the EU shows how strongly the unions must really feel about Brexit.
Phillip Coggan of the Economist tweeted about the parallels with UK 1930s politics recently. This was possibly in relation to the Nicky Morgan and Oliver Letwin suggestions of a temporary technocratic Unity Government.
George Lansbury (grandfather of actress Angela) became head of the Labour Party at a time when they split and one half (not his) joined a Unity Government.
Lansbury once edited the Herald, a workers’ newspaper that eventually became The Sun.
Funny to see the spectres of Mosley and Lansbury rear themselves once again.
Bored of the Jewdas after 90 seconds, I didn’t understand why they flyered outside a Gilad Atzmon concert when they could just as easily chat to him over a nice cup of English Breakfast.
But there’s nothing illegal about what they did. Nothing bad.
I’m more interested in Gilad Atzmon. He’s caused way more of a fuss. Here he is on RT.
Atzmon’s upset people. He served in the Israeli Army, became a Jazz musician, and renounced his Israeli citizenship. Most significantly of all, Atzmon has written books which have seen him accused of holocaust denial.
Dissent is good and free societies should allow people to make up their minds for themselves.
If Jewdas want to call Atzmon an anti-semite, good for them. If Galloway wants to praise him, go-ahead.
And if the Sun want to call them all anti-semites, so what?
Atzmon’s wiki says many accuse him of holocaust denial. I find this hard to believe, but I haven’t read his work.
Salman Rushdie achieved similar notoriety, but on a grander scale. His Midnight’s Children is amazing but I find him an insufferable bore. His friendship with Bono hasn’t helped.
Back to The Sun
Despite their accusations of Corbyn’s anti-semitism, The Sun are equally happy to blast anti-capitalist anti-zionist “bad Jews” such as Jewdas.
But they are equally happy to go for Jewish businessmen.
The language and imagery used to describe Nat Rothschild, Oleg Deripaska and Peter Mandelson in Monday’s Sun is positively conspiratorial.
Once you start throwing the word Rothschild about you are opening yourself up to charges of antisemitism. Tone and imagery give you away.
In the case of Mandelson, Osborne, Rothschild and Deripaska, I assume the story is completely true but they should have been more restrained.
But how could they resist? Who doesn’t love a bit of conspiracy?
Speaking of which, why is Farage linking Assange? And why is a guy from LBC Radio accompanying Farage? James O’Brien, also of LBC (but a Rampant anti-Corbyn Remainer) defended Farage’s LBC colleague as being “all right”. Not good, I’m afraid. What happened?
Only now noticing how utterly fucking mortified Farage and friend appear when caught leaving their Assange meeting pic.twitter.com/HtHj3oTE9N
Speaking of better days, here’s Maureen Lipman’s advert for the former state asset, BT.
Nick Griffin of the far right BNP has just come out in support of Jeremy Corbyn – not for his economics but for his Syria policies.
Funny that because the Daily Mail’s recent economics line has been closer to vote-winning Labour Policies than any other periodical except the Morning Star. If anything, the Mail are louder.
Corbyn and the Mail are against the GKN Melrose takeover, both favour saving the Open University and both criticise tax avoidance and privatised utilities such as water and electricity.
I mentioned the Mail’s bizarre economics and politics in the Amusing Ourselves to Death podcast on Real Media last Friday:
Given that Assange is working with Farage, Nick Griffin supporting the Labour Party is a real wakeup call.
The Fascist Daily Mail are already copying Labour’s economics of intervention.
The Government now advocate economic intervention in markets and psychological intervention in the job centre!
John Major famously declared he wanted to turn Britain into a classless society. Letwin called it Social Market Economics and contrasted it with Corbyn and McDonnell’s Crypto-Marxism. As opposed to Crypto-fascism, which is where we are going.
Adam Curtis often talks about Vladimir Putin’s PR guy, Surkov.
He puts out the truth but also funds opposition parties and generally promotes organised confusion.
Looks like he has decided to enter and disrupt the UK market.
And in that sense he has won.
With so many agenda and so many players it is almost impossible to know who is doing what and why.
Murdoch is very powerful and anti-Russian, but the Tories have taken so much money from Russians and got so deeply involved with them that it is difficult to know when they are serious about dealing with Russia and when they are simply lining their own pockets.