I have had a few days to mull this "Blair attacks media" story over and I think I have finally come round to the fact that in my simple mind he was wrong to say it.
When I first read this story I recalled the media's relentless hounding of Geoff Hoon and John Prescott and my knee jerk reaction was that Blair was right, the media are sometimes like a "feral beast" who "hunt in packs".
I mulled this all over in my head on a long train journey and then started thinking that it was Blair who courted the media in the first place and I think they only really turned when they realised that they were being "played", especially of course, after the Iraq invasion. I understand why Blair has said this but I think it is too late in his tenure for him to carry this attack off with dignity, he should have made the comments earlier in his reign and fought his corner.
For what it is worth, I agree with the likes of Alastair Campbell when he says words to the effect of the media not really being in touch with public opinion, but then again, neither are politicians. Are politicians closer to public opinion than the media, I would have to say probably so... the media is so very London centric, almost in their own bubble and I think sometimes they really misjudge public opinion.
Is the media guilty of whipping up a public frenzy on their own agenda items, yes, I think so... are Politicians, again yes, i guess so.
Tony and Cherie - No feral beast in site!
There are so many factors to take into the equation on this one. A good one is the growth of citizen journalism via blogs and the 24 hour news environment that results in traditional media outlets continually trying to keep a story fresh and finding a new angle and this means they hound the target or focus of the story.
Already I am giving myself a headache again trying to work this one out...
Whadda you think Blog readers? Is Blair right in his comments?