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Boris Johnson: Pretending to be the clown for the media circus?

Al Jazeera English

On The Listening Post this week: Britain’s media are front and centre in Boris Johnson’s bid to become Conservative Party leader and prime minister. Plus, nostalgia in Iranian diaspora media. Boris Johnson and the UK media Boris Johnson, the odds-on favourite to become Britain’s next prime minister, had one distinct advantage going into the race to succeed Theresa May: name recognition. When the UK media drop that name – Boris – Britons know who exactly they’re talking about. As it happens, the news business is where Johnson got his start. As a correspondent in Brussels in the 1990s, Johnson produced a slew of Eurosceptic stories that readers found amusing; stories that could well have sowed seeds in peoples’ minds for an eventual Brexit. Fast forward 30 odd years, and there he was as a key asset on the Leave side in the 2016 referendum campaign saying the same kinds of things about the EU as a politician that he once did as a journalist. These days, the British media finally seem to have clued in to the fact that entertainment value isn’t everything: that Boris Johnson falls dangerously short of the qualifications for the job. But he already has one foot in the door of 10 Downing Street, so this media awakening is looking like too little, too late.

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