Do you think you can win by overpowering or lying to everyone else? If anyone comes up to challenge you, you just buy them out? There’s a very good reason that never works.
Take the case of the BBC and their glorification of Boris Johnson. Clearly, the ones in power at the BBC support Boris Johnson, but the way they try to make Boris Johnson perfect is akin to the behavior of media outlets in North Korea. More importantly, it’s unproductive, even if you currently think Boris’s ideas are the best course of action for the UK.
The reason it’s unproductive is the same as why China quashing protesters and ‘re-educating’ people is wrong.
It’s also why it’s wrong to snub speech, hide the truth, or use disinformation.
The BBC attempts to hide Boris Johnson’s flaws and mistakes regularly. One example is the BBC covering up a clip of Boris Johnson laying a wreath upside-down with an older clip from 2016.
This may seem like a ridiculous thing to do, especially for what is in this case an honest mistake from Boris Johnson. However, what the BBC is doing is actively changing the perception of Boris Johnson to that of a flawless person. Another example of the BBC fabricating stories to change perceptions is a recent case in which laughter was edited out of a question for Johnson about telling the truth (ironic, yeah).
The BBC clearly wants Johnson to win, but fabricating stories about him hurts everyone. The reason? If you were truly correct, you’d be able to convince everyone of it. By hiding the truth around Johnson, the BBC fails to get his flaws addressed. If Boris is really the best for the UK, then he should be able to prove it without lies. If Johnson was given power based on lies, then clearly his actual ideas were not the ones that made voters vote for him. His decisions thereafter would likely be detrimental to the country if only because they were never discussed in a productive manner, which could have allowed them to correct errors and better serve the people.
So why does the BBC lie to help Boris Johnson? I think the party system is to blame. I’ll explain. Each party stands by a set of ideas or actions they would take once in office. The best case scenario is a party that has a set of actions that everyone agrees are worth taking, and want it enough to put that party in office. This is just statistically improbable because parties rarely change their ideas in response to some criticism and getting it 100% right on the first try is a gamble. So, in any case other than the best case, if you disagree with some of the ideas of a party, you start looking elsewhere. In the BBC’s case, they may have seen some of Corbyn’s platform as unthinkable, so they chose the only alternative with half a chance at winning, Boris Johnson. The BBC probably recognizes Boris’s flaws, but sees Corbyn as even worse (there’s a parallel to the 2016 US election here). Because some of Boris’s ideas are flawed, the BBC knows that many people would not vote for him, so they covered up many of his flaws by telling the world a fake story about what Johnson is like. Do you see why this is a problem? Supporters of a party are aware that some of their ideas are flawed, yet don’t address them because they agree with some other ideas that they believe must go through, and therefore want to win. In fact, there is an incentive to lie and cheat to get one’s way here. How can we solve this?
Well, if the problem comes from combining ideas into parties, then a system that votes by laws instead of representatives may be far more productive. Elections in their current form have a restriction to 2 parties because majority rule incentivizes people to vote in as great a group as possible. In addition, current leaders do not have to stay by their promises once they are in office. They are free to make decisions on their own for the years they remain in office. So in a new hypothetical system, eliminating representative leaders from government also eliminates any chance that the individual would go against the will of the people. Besides, if we elect leaders only to advance what we think are the correct actions, then it makes sense to get rid of the middleman. Voting law by law would incentivize informed arguments, as getting people to understand each other’s point of view is essential to getting laws passed. Under this system, lying would be totally unproductive as misrepresenting the effects of a law would only hurt everyone: if you can’t convince others your idea is right, then you’re getting something wrong, and therefore, it’s wrong to continue to pursue your idea without addressing the flaw.
In any case, lying might look like it could help you on the surface, but conducting business with transparency and flexibility allows you to grow faster and with more support than any other case.
There are unfortunately many more cases of media silencing certain voices, like MSNBC's consistent omission of Andrew Yang from graphics, despite him leading many others on those graphics. Yang has since called out MSNBC on this and refused to appear on the platform until they apologize and fix it. (An article on Yang coming up?)
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Thanks for reading!