Evening Standard Watch – London paper running against Ken again


by Sunny Hundal    
9:45 am - March 2nd 2012

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The Evening Standard has a near monopolistic control over London’s commuters. And yet rather than using this position responsibility, it wants to exploit it again.

Remember the “SORRY” ad campaign?

Maybe it’s time to remember that again.

With the Mayoral election back, the Standard has gone back to its old ways.

Last night Paul Waugh, formerly at the Evening Standard, tweeted this:

.

When even your former employees are noticing it – isn’t it time the Evening Standard gave the Mayoral contenders fair coverage?

From today we’re launching ‘Evening Standard Watch’ – to highlight biased coverage from London’s newspaper.

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Help us by sending in examples of obviously biased coverage.

Isn’t it time the paper gave London’s candidates a fair hearing?

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Maybe that is because it is true.

Ken Livingstone has lied before and has failed to deliver his promises. He is also a massive hypocrite for using tax avoidance measures himself. Yes, he has promised to drop train fares, but under his last term council tax went up 40%.

This does not have to be a Boris vs Ken everytime. Let us just look at Ken and whether he is a worthy candidate. There is substantial evidence to suggest he isn’t.

The “Automatic Tube Trains” stories (two recently) are also no more than pro-Bozza and union bashing claptrap:

http://zelo.tv/zk1gvY

Dave Hill did a blog post on it the other day, too.

Totally automatic running of the Tube with no on-board (and unionised) staff is Fantasy Island stuff. But the Standard is happy to run stories about it.

3. Chaise Guevera

@ 1 Freeman

“This does not have to be a Boris vs Ken everytime.”

No, but it does have to be Boris vs Ken when they’re the candidates.

When even your former employees are noticing it – isn’t it time the Evening Standard gave the Mayoral contenders fair coverage?

Well, that’s £181m worth of pledges, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask where the money for that is going to come from. In fact, I’d say it’s pretty much the duty of any report on a new spending pledge to ask how it will be funded.

And I’m not sure that this

“My financial strategy I will not be revealing…On the morning after the election, I’ll let you know.”

Quite cuts the mustard as a response.

@Chaise Guevera

But what that is doing is voting for Ken simply because he is the Labour candidate, not because he is necessarily the best candidate. Its a type of defensive voting and it is awful for the actual success of the area.

6. Broken_Cage

there is no such thing as a balanced and fair media. Id rather the newspapers come out and tell us who they support rather then hide behind the fair and balanced doctrine. Pretending to respect both leaders to their face and slagging the one they dislike behind their back is even worser then prasing both because at least then you know where they stand.

twitter: broken_cage

7. Ciaran Osborne

@4

You seem to have mistaken ‘asking how something will be funded’ with ‘saying flat out that it is unaffordable’. You know that the two are different.

8. Ciaran Osborne

@5

How on Earth is comparing the two candidates ‘voting for Ken because he is a Labour candidate’? It is presumably choosing which of the two candidates in the race is likely to be best – and that is undisputably Ken.

From today we’re launching ‘Evening Standard Watch’ – to highlight biased coverage from London’s newspaper.

So if I should see biased coverage against Mr Johnson, would you highlight that as well, or is this an inherently biased review of bias?

Incidentally, I somehow doubt that complaints of bias against Mr Livingstone from a Mr Livingstone-supporting (or presumed to be so – Sunny has not declared an editorial policy here) website will be taken seriously outside of the converted – and complaining of media bias to the electorate at large will not win votes.

@Ciaran Osborne

“choosing which of the two candidates in the race”

You are aware there are actually more than 2 candidates arn’t you?!

Either media outlets should be allowed to support particular candidates/parties/policies or they shouldn’t. It’s no good bleating about a media outlet supporting one when other outlets might support another. Anyway, isn’t it part of the value of the media to pick holes in political and economic arguments?

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Most newspapers are owned by rabid right wing dicks. So no change there then.

Most newspapers are owned by rabid right wing dicks.

Thanks Sally. I just had a mental image of Rupert Murdoch I seriously did not want…

14. Chaise Guevera

@ 5 Freeman

“But what that is doing is voting for Ken simply because he is the Labour candidate, not because he is necessarily the best candidate. Its a type of defensive voting and it is awful for the actual success of the area.”

How on earth did you come to that conclusion? My point is that dismissing Ken as an “unworthy” candidate without considering Boris is invalid, because you’re choosing between the two. It’s not a question of “Is Ken a good candidate?”, it’s a question of “Is Ken a better candidate than Boris?” Getting that right is OBVIOUSLY good for the area. Only asking half the question opens you up to making mistakes due to lack of data.

there is no such thing as a balanced and fair media. Id rather the newspapers come out and tell us who they support rather then hide behind the fair and balanced doctrine. Pretending to respect both leaders to their face and slagging the one they dislike behind their back is even worser then prasing both because at least then you know where they stand.

I don’t think the Evening Standard has ever attempted to mislead readers about the candidate the paper supports…

I’d like to hear more about the other candidates, though. I think I have seen the equivalent of one paragraph and a small photo.

Most newspapers are owned by rabid right wing dicks.

Well, he was a student at the Institute of Economics of the World Socialist System, and then a reasonably high-ranking officer in the KGB so I don’t think his right-wing credentials are entirely spotless. I can’t answer to his rabid dick-ishness

In a corporate state, the state media is the corporate media.

@12 sally

A who fan, when I thought this was you! http://knudsensnews.blogspot.com/2007/09/advertisement.html

@7 Do you think the fact that his unfunded election-time bribery… er, sorry, funding pledges – are unaffordable shouldn’t be raised at all?

And as for “It is presumably choosing which of the two candidates in the race is likely to be best – and that is undisputably Ken.” – er, NO. You can take the vile, divisive, pigeon-holing, Islamist-cosying old hack and shove him.

20. So Much For Subtlety

The Evening Standard has a near monopolistic control over London’s commuters. And yet rather than using this position responsibility, it wants to exploit it again.

So how to translate this from Leftist-speak to normal English? A newspaper appeals to their audience rather well, which none of the Left Wing papers do, and they have an editorial opinion the Left does not like, so they should be banned from doing so.

The Evening Standard does not have anything like monopolistic control. Of all the choices before consumers, a huge number of them prefer the Evening Standard.

21. So Much For Subtlety

2. Tim Fenton

Totally automatic running of the Tube with no on-board (and unionised) staff is Fantasy Island stuff. But the Standard is happy to run stories about it.

Why is it Fantasy Island stuff? Given that three London Underground lines already use it and only keep the “driver” because it makes passengers feel secure. Given that it is already used on underground line from Paris to Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong and Vancouver? It is pretty embarrassing when New Delhi is willing to embrace this technology and the British are not.

The drivers on the Underground get paid about £60,000 a year to push a button. They no longer “drive” the train.

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And there we have it! Two back-to-back articles highlighting Sunny’s double standards and general hypocrisy.

First you have Sunnby defending a guy attacking Exeter College for hosting Christian Concern by saying he has a democratic right and freedom of speach – convieniently forgetting Exeter and Christian concerns rights to the same.

Then, in the very next article he attacks the evening standard because they are excercising their right to free speach by supporting Boris, and calling Ken out on his promises (more accurately – lies – it’s not like ‘en doesn’t have form).

Clearly in Sunny’s world some animals are more equal than others. In the first case he is actively trying to suppress one groups right to free speach by denying them a platform to do so, and in the other he is complaining that free speach is somehow unfairly biased.

What of course he really wants is to squash any dissenting or opposing opinion to his own groups views. It’s the typical Fabian view – an elite controlling for the masses – and it’s the complete antihises of being a liberal. It’s authoritarian, and the attacks he and his kind make on opposing views borders on totalitarian.

‘The Evening Standard has a near monopolistic control over London’s commuters.’

I was a London commuter for 30 years. I suppose the fact that I find this statement almost comically inept is proof that I remain not only controlled but monopolistically so?

Not a voting Londoner – I am a commuter and this paper litters my train home.

The way to chart how well the Evening Standard’s un-favoured candidate is doing, as the election approaches, is to watch for the appearance of a paragraph of closely typed small print appearing below political ‘news’ stories. This is the ‘balancing factoid’ and it will present a fair analysis of the position covered in the main piece.

At the last election, they did this under most of their partisan pieces – just in case they won and to allow them to claim they were fair so that if the candidate won, they would not cut them out of the loop.

Big question of the day – Why does the ES need an editorial column? They could call it the balance column and use it for the small paragraphs and leave the rest of the space free for its biased news coverage and still claim to be a quality paper because there will be somewhere for readers to get the basic facts…

I like the I newspaper but as it is in the same stable as this ‘quality’ newpaper, I worry about subliminal messaging when I read it. “Chris Blackhurst” former city guy for the ES as editor of the ‘Independent’ makes me worry about that paper’s long term direction.

@20. So Much For Subtlety -

The Evening Standard does not have anything like monopolistic control. Of all the choices before consumers, a huge number of them prefer the Evening Standard.

“All the choices”? Please, point me to all those untouched stacks of other free London newspapers, I must have missed them.

The closest thing I can see to a competitor is the Metro, which is a national so doesn’t give much coverage to the mayoral race, and owned by Associated Newspapers so hardly likely to back anyone but a Tory in any case. If you want a London paper you have no choice but to pick up a Standard and expose yourself to whichever bias they feel like stuffing into it.

28. So Much For Subtlety

27. j2h

If you want a London paper you have no choice but to pick up a Standard and expose yourself to whichever bias they feel like stuffing into it.

So no, you don’t get it. What you mean is not that the ES has a monopoly, but if you want a free newspaper with lots of coverage of London, handed to you for nothing on the Train platform, then you’re kind of stuck with the ES.

Big deal.

If you don’t want to read the ES you could actually pay for a newspaper. It does not have a monopoly. It just has a strange business model.

Free Toilet paper for everyone (it’s still free, right?)

Maybe we should have a “LC Watch” campaign as well, to report when LC publishes pieces of biased journalism.

Sunny, are you seriously saying it is not acceptable for a privately run newspaper to come out in favour of one candidate, but it is perfectly acceptable for your website to be as biased and one-sided as it likes?

31. Chaise Guevara

@ 30 Tyler

“Maybe we should have a “LC Watch” campaign as well, to report when LC publishes pieces of biased journalism.”

It’s called “the comment sections on LC”.

More to the point, LC is a confessedly left-wing blog that exists to support left-wing agendas. The ES is a newspaper. I’m not condemning the latter for openly coming out against Ken, but I don’t think the two organs are really comparable.

I occasionally commute into London, and there is a freesheet called “Metro” five days a week. There are also lots of copies of paid-for newspapers (too frequently “The Sun”, but also Mirror, Times, FT, Independent, Mail…)
Either Sunny does not get up in the morning or he does not know the meaning of the word “Monopoly”.

I screengrabbed the Mayor section of their website to illustrate their bias – the picture says it all:

http://etonmess.blogspot.com/2012/03/evening-standards-re-run-of-2008.html

@9
“So if I should see biased coverage against Mr Johnson, would you highlight that as well, or is this an inherently biased review of bias?”

Definitely. I wont be holding my breath though.

On the merits of that EMA pledge by Ken, I suppose it’s vaguely relevant that it’s, you know, mostly balls.

http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-could-ken-save-the-ema-in-london/9712


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Evening Standard Watch – London'a paper is running against Ken again http://t.co/xQLlaYLn

  2. John Havery Samuel

    Evening Standard Watch – London'a paper is running against Ken again http://t.co/xQLlaYLn

  3. Benjamin

    Evening Standard is using its position as London's main newspaper to campaign strongly for Johnson again, ugh… http://t.co/CKkMbN5q

  4. puddy pad

    Evening Standard Watch – London'a paper is running against Ken again http://t.co/xQLlaYLn

  5. Andrew G

    Evening Standard Watch – London’a paper is running against Ken again http://t.co/B0ZnkGOe #sackboris

  6. Patron Press - #P2

    #UK : Evening Standard Watch – London ’a paper is running against Ken again http://t.co/h5ehUROx

  7. Lambeth NUT

    Evening Standard Watch – London'a paper is running against Ken again http://t.co/xQLlaYLn

  8. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Evening Standard Watch – London’a paper is running against Ken again http://t.co/58FzDxoo

  9. Jason Brickley

    Evening Standard Watch – London’a paper is running against Ken again http://t.co/9eb10CeC

  10. Skipton & Ripon CLP

    Evening Standard Watch – London’a paper is running against Ken again | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/54WH0Tl8 via @libcon

  11. sunny hundal

    London’s Evening Standard is running against Ken again. So we're going to watch them for bias http://t.co/zfL2vg2a

  12. MayorWatch

    London’s Evening Standard is running against Ken again. So we're going to watch them for bias http://t.co/zfL2vg2a

  13. Big Smoke

    London’s Evening Standard is running against Ken again. So we're going to watch them for bias http://t.co/zfL2vg2a

  14. Lynton North

    London’s Evening Standard is running against Ken again. So we're going to watch them for bias http://t.co/zfL2vg2a

  15. Andrew Law

    London’s Evening Standard is running against Ken again. So we're going to watch them for bias http://t.co/zfL2vg2a

  16. Lambeth NUT

    London’s Evening Standard is running against Ken again. So we're going to watch them for bias http://t.co/zfL2vg2a

  17. Paul Crowley

    Liberal Conspiracy launches "Evening Standard Watch" http://t.co/gN3c0Mzl

  18. Val Hudson

    London’s Evening Standard is running against Ken again. So we're going to watch them for bias http://t.co/zfL2vg2a

  19. Homaira Sofia Khan

    London’s Evening Standard is running against Ken again. So we're going to watch them for bias http://t.co/zfL2vg2a

  20. sunny hundal

    Got more examples of London Evening Standard being blatantly biased against Ken Livingstone? http://t.co/zfL2vg2a

  21. Jules

    Got more examples of London Evening Standard being blatantly biased against Ken Livingstone? http://t.co/zfL2vg2a

  22. The Tweets of March

    Got more examples of London Evening Standard being blatantly biased against Ken Livingstone? http://t.co/zfL2vg2a

  23. Sean Lynch

    The Standard is so blatantly biased against Ken http://t.co/xKCjrUpe

  24. A&E Reg

    Evening Standard Watch: London paper running against Ken again | Our city's vile commuter rag returning to its old ways http://t.co/SNhuYF1i

  25. Sonya Thomas

    Yes. RT @sunny_hundal: Got more examples of London Evening Standard being blatantly biased against Ken Livingstone? http://t.co/YFDICy4Y

  26. Neil Courtman

    Got more examples of London Evening Standard being blatantly biased against Ken Livingstone? http://t.co/zfL2vg2a

  27. Sack Boris

    LibCon launches Evening Standard Watch. Remember the 'Sorry' relaunch campaign? They don't. http://t.co/AjwjRuAh

  28. Mark Worgan

    Evening Standard Watch – London paper running against Ken again | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/QcmlCMEk via @libcon

  29. Michael Hanley

    LibCon launches Evening Standard Watch. Remember the 'Sorry' relaunch campaign? They don't. http://t.co/AjwjRuAh

  30. One Eye Grey

    @sackboris2012 Evening Standard Watch. Remember the 'Sorry' relaunch campaign? http://t.co/LtgO8cf7 – lest we forget http://t.co/i65IZCiJ

  31. Paul

    http://t.co/1LsCUIXV Liberal Conspiracy apparently launch Evening Standard W  atch #kerning #typography #geek

  32. Anya Reevell

    Got more examples of London Evening Standard being blatantly biased against Ken Livingstone? http://t.co/zfL2vg2a

  33. Keiran Macintosh

    Got more examples of London Evening Standard being blatantly biased against Ken Livingstone? http://t.co/zfL2vg2a

  34. karl wareham

    RT @sackboris2012: LibCon launches Evening Standard WatchRemember the 'Sorry' relaunch campaign? They don't. http://t.co/8utsyKJF bout time!

  35. Giselle Green

    LibCon launches Evening Standard Watch. Remember the 'Sorry' relaunch campaign? They don't. http://t.co/AjwjRuAh

  36. Saturday’s London Links

    [...] Liberal Conspiracy thinks the Evening Standard is going back to its old anti-Ken ways. Share [...]

  37. sunny hundal

    @PippaCrerar Well, for a start we'd appreciate more balanced coverage Pippa… http://t.co/QFjkvpxY

  38. Stephe Meloy

    Evening Standard Watch – London paper running against Ken again | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/PUkuwEKm via @libcon

  39. Denis Fernando

    Evening Standard Watch – running against Ken again – Watch as this paper delivers for the Tory mayor of the 1% #nasty http://t.co/EeSd4xMN

  40. The London Evening Standard gives up on election journalism | Liberal Conspiracy

    [...] by Sunny Hundal     March 13, 2012 at 8:50 am In recent weeks I’ve pointed to several blatant examples of bias in the London Evening Standard towards Boris Johnson in the upcoming [...]

  41. ‘The London Evening Standard gives up on election journalism’ « Mayor Lutfur Rahman

    [...] 13, 2012 by Lutfur In recent weeks I’ve pointed to several blatant examples of bias in the London Evening Standard towards Boris Johnson in the upcoming [...]

  42. Dan Raza

    Its interesting that others noticed the recent political bias in the Evening Standard's reporting: http://t.co/CQ8BX1WX





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