These days half the world is riding the Brexit train. They’re asking what it all means and what might happen next. Sooner or later, folks will start asking who’s responsible, both to give credit and assess blame. When it comes to major media outlets, it’s tough to argue against Britain’s The Sun newspaper as the top “leave” proponent among British opinion makers.
The Sun and Daily Mail
Sure, most publications picked a side long before the vote. While The Daily Mail also published articles suggesting those who “believe in Britain” should vote to leave, The Sun is bigger and commands a wider audience. And it offered more than a headline in favor of Brexit. Two days before the vote, The Sun published a front page story that began: “This is our chance to make Britain even greater, to recapture our democracy, to preserve the values and culture we are rightly proud of…”
Let’s take a look at that message. Strong, specific, and undeniably partisan. All the right rhetoric was there, positive reasons to vote “leave.” Terms like “democracy” and “values” and “culture” and “pride” … who can vote against those concepts?
The allied publication “Sun on Sunday” doubled down on this message, calling the EU a “superstate … grown into a monster engulfing our democracy…”
Voters Voiced Their Opinions
On the other end of the political spectrum, The Standard and the Daily Mirror implored voters to choose “remain”. Online opinion mill The Guardian echoed these cries for solidarity with the EU, using words such as “connected” and “inclusive” and decrying attempts to be “angry and isolated”.
The Economist went even further, saying a vote to “leave” would do “grave and lasting harm to the politics and economy of Britain.”
But now all the shouting is over. All the ink has been printed, and the votes are cast. Nothing left to do but see what happens and know who ended up being right. There’s no doubt who the leading media voices were on both sides of the argument. History will reveal who made the right call, and each of these publications must live with their legacies.
Elie Hirschfeld is a New York real estate developer.