Why was Boris Johnson not discredited
In a sense, Boris Johnson is a successful journalist: in the 1990s, he was obviously instrumental in creating a mood with newspaper articles that ultimately gave him far more powerful positions outside of journalism. The former foreign minister becomes British Prime Minister after a much-criticized campaign leading up to the exit referendum won over a relevant section of the electorate - albeit not a majority. And after years of misleading coverage of the EU in major newspapers.
According to Martin Fletcher, former Brussels correspondent for the Times newspaper, Johnson was the godfather of this anti-EU hate speech. As early as 2016, right after the referendum on leaving the EU, Fletcher wrote in New Statesman magazine about Johnson's goings-on in the early 1990s. As the Brussels correspondent at the time for the Daily Telegraph, Johnson, according to Fletcher, took EU skepticism to a new level. The correspondent had constantly made fun of the EU Commission and, by means of untrue headings, blamed it for regulatory nonsense - for example a ban on shrimp-flavored chips and the introduction of a standard size for condoms. Fletcher even mentions that Johnson later admitted in an interview with the BBC that he had enjoyed the feeling of power when his blasts ignited again and again in the Conservative Party. In any case, he gradually influenced the attitude of part of the party to the European Union and, even worse, the EU reporting of other newspapers. In 2017, Martin Fletcher followed up with a much longer article and quoted former high-ranking diplomats who criticized Johnson's professionalism. Chris Patten, longtime Conservative MP and last British Governor of Hong Kong, said: "As a journalist in Brussels he was one of the greatest exponents of bogus journalism."
Before and after his time in Brussels, Johnson also worked for other media outlets. At the beginning of his career, as an intern at the Times, the English-language Wikipedia knows that he was thrown out for making up a quote. There, based on Johnson's biographies, further misconducts are listed: According to a tapped phone call, he is said to have promised a college friend to give him the private address of a journalist colleague who was researching the crimes of this fellow student. Even as a columnist and editor of various media, Johnson was probably not known for journalistic quality. In addition, he is said to have annoyed two editorial offices with late submission of his texts and arrogant behavior. Johnson has been decried as an unresponsive loudmouth, and has been since he was a journalist. He is even said to have printed articles with racist remarks about black people, which he expressed regret years later.
The fact that the campaign for Britain's exit from the EU was supported by major newspapers, which had painted an unjust image of the EU for years, has often been criticized. Serious journalism is inferior to that. He failed twice because Johnson was not branded in his former industry in such a way that he would have been discredited. Not worth much as a journalist, but it was still enough for him to become a top politician.
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