Is the negative coverage of Nick Clegg justified?
One week he is a shiny new object that every paper raves about and the next he is lambasted with negative headlines. Is it simply a Tory conspiracy as all the papers are owned by Tories ( note: Daily Mail has thrown its support behind Labour) or is it that Nick Clegg's past has not been analyzed to the degree that the other candidates have been. All the skeletons in Labour and Tory closets have been on the cover of newspapers for the last four years, but, since Lib Dems have not registered significant public attention, their misdeeds have been ignored. What effect will this negative coverage have?
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the stories published
This is the article from which the 'Nazi slurs' originated.
This is the Daily Mail article.
There is a massive disparity between the two articles, everything that Nick Clegg has said has been twisted and taken out of context, to the point where it is lies, so it cannot even be considered as negative coverage. Also the fact that so many right-wing papers co-ordinated an attack on Nick Clegg together suggest it is unfair and desperate.
this was bound to happen
We know very little about Nick Clegg, thus, it is reasonable to expect that journalists would have digged up every little misdeed he has done and exposed it. If Nick Clegg is going to be the next prime minister than the public has a right to know what sort of person he is. Clegg will have an opportunity to defend himself in the press just as other politicians have before him. It is typical in an election campaign.
The negative coverage of Nick Clegg in the right wing press (mostly owned by Rupert Murdoch) is a knee-jerk reaction to the sudden popularity of the Lib Dems and the increasing probability of a hung parliament. The papers are now using scare tactics to try and turn voters off Nick Clegg. This is because there is a fear that the press no longer has an influence on the outcome of the election. Politicians should definitely be scrutinised and challenged but this was more of a personal attack than constructive criticism.
Vote for change?
Nick Clegg claims that he is a vote for change, a departure from politics as usual, but is he? Having observed how the liberal candidate campaigns in my seat, I would say it is a change for the worse. I have received two leaflets from the lib dem candidate. The first one was titled "Community News" and on the front page was a story of Labour cuts. On flipping through it I realized it was a political leaflet from the lib dems. The second leaflet to arrive had the heading "Serving the Communities of..." as well as a claim of "delivered free to over 40,000 households." Political leaflets of other parties are clearly marked as such and do not attempt to present themselves as community newspapers. This is not an isolated incident or a rogue candidate.[[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/election-2010/7617709/General-Election-2010-Nick-Clegg-uncovered.html]] When Clegg advocates change this is not the change most people are imagining
Clegg is not tainted by the expenses scandal
Clegg embroiled in expense scandal just like other parties
Clegg states he is different from the two established parties. These articles show that he and his party is just like the others. Using the same dirty tricks in campaigns and stained by the expenses scandal. Clegg has wrongly claimed expenses and had to pay them back.[[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/election-2010/7611192/General-Election-2010-Nick-Clegg-defends-expenses-claims.html]] He also bought a second home and used tax payer money to fix it up and sell it for a profit. Although Nick Clegg claims he will give the profits back to the tax payer. This is what Nick Clegg stated about the house ''I need to keep it in basic working order, I needed to make sure that the garden wasn't a complete eyesore and I did that but with money that is made available to me as an MP so that I can live and work in two places. But, crucially, it's not my home, it's yours, it's the taxpayers'. ''And any gain on it when I sell it, which I will do very soon ... after the election will go straight back to the taxpayer. [[http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6272805.ece]] How pathetic is this comment. Looking at who in the commons has been affected by the expenses scandal a large number of Liberal Democrat mps have been tainted. One in every 6 Lib Dem mps had to pay money back. This is higher precentage than both Labour where the number was one in 10 and Tory 1 in 8. The Lib Dems abused more than the other two parties
The expenses scandal tared all the parties. But this was to be expected as in the vast majority of cases MPs did not break the rules, give anyone expenses and unclear rules and they will claim them. As indeed MPs of all parties did. Instead it should be about how fast the parties reacted - Labour was definately the slowest to admit there was a problem and apologising. And it should be about what will be done in future to prevent it happening again. The newspapers should not however be now trawling through the expenses scandal and focusing it soley on the Liberal Democrats when all the partys are equally to blame and were hit at the time... although it is not like we can ever expect imparciality from the press that tends to ware their party affiliations on the sleeve.
Clegg enters the spotlight and is an obvious target for the media election circus
The point correctly made over and over again by the Lib Dem hierarchy is that the TV debates finally gave Nick Clegg a platform in which he could announce his leadership and policies to the nation. After being screamed down on a weekly basis in the commons by 600 odd MPs, the debates finally brought him into every living room in the nation. Here he could finally enjoy the platform that was afforded to Cameron and Brown for so long. The Lib Dem leader's strong performance catapulted him into the premier league of political leaders (a league which previously comprised of two teams, the Tories and Labour) and overnight he became a credible threat to both main parties, as well as landing himself in the enviable position of heavily influencing the fate of a hung parliament. In short, his part in the story of this election is a huge one, more than any other Liberal leader in recent times. It is, therefore, hardly surprising that the cross hairs of the Tory press, so happy to target their poison at the rather cumbersome and easy target that is Brown, have found their new whipping boy. Harsh and often unjustified things are often said about the Tories or Labour in the Mirror or The Sun/Mail respectively, especially during election time. It hardly takes a psychic to have predicted that after the first TV debate the vitriol of the right leaning press especially would be be directed at a new enemy, one they undoubtedly fear and see as a major barrier to 'their man' getting in.
What do you think?