>Bobby Dean: Journalists make stuff up

>Making his VN debut today is Bobby Dean. He runs his own blog as well as being a Lib Dem activist in London. 

..Everyone knows that, its common knowledge. Of course we quite like to pretend that we don’t really know that, it comforts us to live in a facade of idealism rather than accept that all those horrible cynics are right. Except this rule doesn’t apply in August. No, no – in this month we openly accept that journalists make stuff up and affectionately dub it ‘silly season’, so we can all have an endearing chuckle at those funny-old hacks who sell us porkies just to fill the column inches.

This season’s roundup includes an outright lie about Charles Kennedy joining the Labour Party, a wholly unnecessary resurrection of David Kelly conspiracy theology (did you forget about that one already?) and the frankly ludicrous rumour about Ed Balls’ sexuality.

Some revel in the lunacy but I prefer to switch off. I have an instinctive scepticism towards the print media as it is, so the idea that they can openly celebrate their deceit for an entire month is like watching Luis Suarez in the 120th minute against Ghana – discomforting, painful and infuriating.

Something that has always troubled me is that very discomfort I feel every time I see a deliberately deceptive headline or a manipulative use of statistics in the papers. I think to myself ‘something should be done about this’, but I know that my overriding belief in liberalism means that I have to remain tolerant.

This belief is becoming tested of late; I wonder to myself if it’s contradictory to expect better regulation of a lawless media whilst maintaining a steadfast belief in a free press. Where is the line between sensible regulation and the erosion of that very right?

I wouldn’t dare hazard a guess while I’m still in a flux about the dilemma but I will advise one thing: don’t bother google searching the Ed Balls thing – I made it up.


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