Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Elliegate and the Media Bubble

I was tickled to see my Twitter chum Ellie Gellard plastered across a couple of right wing rags this morning. As something of a celebrity in political tweeting circles, Ellie was chosen to front Labour's manifesto launch yesterday.

But intrepid investigative reporting at the
Mail and Telegraph has unearthed some of Ellie's old comments that were less than complimentary about the great helmsman. But even worse she said some nasty things about Thatcher (the Mail article is particularly special thanks to rent-a-quote outrage from the ever-execrable Tory Bear). Horror of horrors!

The poor man's Guido
reckons this is proof positive Ellie is a "PR disaster waiting to happen". For the Daily Fail "the row ... threatened to overshadow Labour's manifesto launch." And not to be outdone, the Torygraph thundered "and photographs have emerged of her drinking champagne." Desperate, desperate stuff.

Those responsible for writing this nonsense probably think they've landed a blow for the Tories. The right wing press and desperate Tory wannabes still think what gets medialand (which includes blogging and tweeting) excited resonates in the real world. But it increasingly doesn't, and particularly not when the media cycle is running at full pelt during a general election campaign. For example, remember the
Labour cancer leaflet scandal? Two days ago it was all over the news. Today there's nary a mention, and who will remember come May 6th?

This isn't to say the media has zero effect on consciousness - its influence is most keenly felt where audiences have little or no direct experience of the people/organisations/phenomena the media are targeting, and where it chimes with long held prejudices and values. But ephemera like the Ellie "scoop" is a complete waste of time. At best most will see it for the election season silliness it is, but for others this and stories of its ilk will feed into the generalised anti-politics mood and could widen the gap between political and media elites on the one hand and everyone else on the other.

While this is not a healthy situation for socialist politics, it can't be all bad if it helps drive down the circulation of a couple of hateful Tory rags.


Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I know why the right are scared of her, first off, she's lovely and after the nasty stuff pulled by the Fail about Sarah Brown's feet, it is clear that Ellie could kick Sam-Cam's feet right into touch...and face for that matter.

Fear the beauty!

Phil said...

There's more than a whiff of sexism about the attacks Ellie has attracted since coming to prominence about a year ago. It's also telling that Labour's best known "fresh face" is a genuine and occasionally off-message activist, while the nearest the Tories have got - Harry Cole aka Tory Bear - can best be described as a poisonous little turd.

As an aside, the most spiteful and bitter people I've met since being in the Labour party tend to be on its right wing. Coincidence?

Brother S said...

So Ellie is your 'Twitter chum'. Interesting.

Maybe it is time I engaged with Twitter. Must keep up with the times and all that.

Phil said...

You can't say I haven't encouraged you, Brother S.

aberfoyle said...

Pretty face, nice lass.Who says politics is not about IMAGE.

SamG said...

So for aberfoyle babes cannot enter politics because they will be taken for image over substance.

P.S. Does she have a boyfriend?