Friday, November 25, 2011

The Guardian's Vendetta Against Julian Assange

My latest now posted at WikiLeaks Central: http://wlcentral.org/node/2363

So anyone wanna speculate about the Guardian's agenda here? I find it bizarre that a paper which does so much great work in other areas should take such an aggressive line against Assange, and I think it exposes an editorial agenda.

So what IS their agenda? I don't think it's as simple as a "Jewish conspiracy" - but it's clearly more than just a personality issue.

Rusbridger wants to destroy WikiLeaks. Why?

PS: Interestingly, I was hoping to post this story at ABC Online's The Drum news/opinion site, where I have been 3x published previously. The editor expressed interest in the idea but didn't reply to my emails of tweets for 4 days after I sent him the story. Funny that.

21 comments:

  1. I think the media is owned by the 1% and ultimately usually acts in the interests on the 1%. further, as Pilger pointed out, the scoop belonged to Assange and not the Guardian and I think this is what explains their fragile disposition on the subject. The leaks are not, and never will be David Leigh's scoop.

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  2. HeleninCarp,

    If you follow that Rusberger WikiLeaks URL and click on the Guardian links, you will see that it's a different setup to other papers: a trust estate, not shareholders.

    Nevertheless, Rusberger's salary and (more importantly) position of influence put him in some elite company.

    I personally suspect the decision to go after Assange and bring down WikiLeaks was made over a few gin and tonics with some people whose names we may never know. What surprises me is that they are prepared to do so much damage to The Guardian's reputation in the process.

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  3. Great article on WL Central, Jaraparilla. You might find the following timeline interesting:

    17/12/10, 4pm - Andrew Brown publishes blog with all source links still in Swedish language. Obviously a rush job as they didn't even bother to translate these sources. Brown even apologises for this at the end of the article. As well as smearing Israel Shamir it also seeks to smear his son, Johann Walstrom - Witness E in the Swedish case and a favourable witness for Assange - by association with his father.

    17/12/10, 7pm - The Guardian writes 3 articles on the Belarus cables and 3 on the Cuba cables. It then uploads all its redacted Belarus and Cuba cables to Wikileaks. Some are very heavily - and apparently unnecessarily - redacted. Bear in mind that Israel Shamir was the first journalist to write about the Guardian "cable cooking".

    17/12/10, 9pm - Nick Davies publishes the notorious "10 Days in Sweden" hit piece, which shamelessly distorted the leaked police protocol, kicking off the personal smear attacks against Assange in the English-speaking media.

    Busy day at Grauniad Towers, eh? Hands up everyone who believes in coincidences...

    I think there's much more to the Guardian's smear campaign against Assange than maintaining control of target audiences or David Leigh's unprofessional hissy fits.

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  4. Thanks Anonymous, very interesting. I don't think it's all about target audiences either. And the Gaurdian's cable redactions could be a while new long blogpost! They did take out a lot of corporate names...

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  5. Oh hi, Jaraparilla!

    Was wondering... shall I repost my comments above as a comment on WL Central, for a wider audience?

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  6. G suggests a few G&Ts have been sipped, but I would suggest that it was bourbon. I see the heavy hand of the US government in this, though, of course, there is unlikely to be any documentary proof of this.
    The Guardian has a significant and valuable presence in the US which it is known it would like to enhance. And it certainly does not wish to be "scrutinised" by the authorities in the way Assange has been.
    Quite simply the Guardian has been turned, as has the New York Times, although they were always going to be easier prey.

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  7. http://www.guardianlies.com/Contents.html> There seems to be no provision for comments on your article at Wlcentral

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  8. Hi G, it is also worth noting that the Guardian put up their cover price because of the cables. the people who followed the cables are typically the people who appreciate exactly how we came to be able to read them.

    if you review comments on the smear pieces it can be seen that the posts that favor Assange and Wikileaks are always the ones which get more recommendations, on once piece I read they got 10 times as many recs.

    The Guardian has been so consistent in destroying its reader base it is very suspicious... Maybe to distract from DL releasing the password to the entire world.??

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  9. Yes, it seems comments a WL Central have been disabled, that's why I am directign people her if they want to comment.

    And yes, Helen, reader support for WikiLeaks at The Guardian is overwhelmingly in favour, which makes the editorial line even stranger. It can't be just about protecting David Leigh's reputation. There's more to it...

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  10. At least the Aussie press recognises Wikileaks as being prize-worthy. (How come it's not spelt "prise" with your Britaussie dread of zeds, eh?) Congratulates mates, your press is more liberated than that of your neocolonial masters. When it comes to freedom, you are the New America! Or maybe make that "the new Old America."

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  11. Anonymous (#1): Is the Andrew Brown whose Guardian blog entry you mentioned the same Andrew Brown, who commissioned Karin Olsson's smear piece: "Julian Assange: from hero to zero"?

    (http://www.resume.se/nyheter/media/2011/11/03/expressens-kulturexport/)

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  12. Good point, Fluxorum. Andrew Brown is the religious ("belief") editor at the Comment Is Free (CIF) section of Guardian. He lived in Sweden previously and still writes about it regularly.

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  13. Hi Japarilla, we tend to agree, so what is the "more"? I am sure it can't be good. I suspect it is related to who the 1% media big wigs who want to be associated with the uber-elite. Journalism is elitist these days, It is no longer a profession of the brave and outspoken (exl Wikileaks obviously), now it seems to belong to those who want to join that elite. sad stuff and at a cost to us all.

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  14. I think the best way to analyze The Guardian's agenda might be to look at what they DON'T report.

    This is also thought-provoking insofar as how loops of power work: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/this-blog-harms/2011/11/29/who-they-are-and-what-they-do-what-the-current-whereabouts-of-julian-assange-can-tell-us-about-how-power-works-in-2011/

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  15. In other words, I can't say exactly what the Guardian's agenda is right now, but I wouldn't complain if someone wanted to put a few private dicks onto Alan Rusbridger and hack his phone!

    LOL

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  16. My favorite is James Ball's bizarre article that blames WikiLeaks for Bradley Manning's predicament, because WikiLeaks did not form a "human relationship" with its source:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/16/bradley-manning-wikileaks-security

    Not only does Ball's article not make a whit of sense, but he has no way of knowing whether Assange was supportive and sympathetic toward Manning or not. My impression is that he was, but Manning wanted someone from the gay community to confide in.

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  17. Yeah, the only thing Ball hasn't blamed Assange for (yet) is global warming.

    I think this quote from Assange also explains the Guardian (even though he was talking about NYT):

    "Once a media group is powerful for long enough, it starts to enter into a relationship with other powerful groups, because other powerful groups seek its favour, seek to makes deals with it and the individuals who run it. It stops seeing itself as a group that holds powerful groups to account and starts seeing itself as part of the social network of the elite. That's why fundamentally mainstream media cannot be trusted."

    Rusbridger and Leigh definitely have that "we decide what's truth" attitude, and Ball is a slave to his own ambition.

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  18. If you compare the Guardian campaign details above with the latest allegations from wikileaks.org about the Channel 4 documentary (http://t.co/6f3opE4K) it is damning stuff indeed for a supposedly respectable newspaper.

    There's not longer any question that the Guardian is engaged in a vendetta. The question is - who is behind it? I have been exploring this in twitter chats with @x7o and even a couple of Guardian journos.

    While there may be many other influences (petty jealousy, appeal to readership, target demographics for a trendy leftist UK paper) I have come to the conclusion that this Guardian campaign is best explained as an orchestrated attack by the UK Establishment, justified by what they like to call "the National Interest."

    I will try to put these thoughts into a bit more formal/readable format ASAP. Meanwhile, just remember that all the top UK news editors have regular meetings with Scotland Yard and MI5 to discuss any stories deemed a threat to UK #NationalInterest (check hashtag on Twitter for more).

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  19. think you got it in one helenincarp. journalism today especially among the grauniad elite is not about presenting truth or exposing lies. it is more to do with a mindset of a sad little club of journos with massive egos who will stoop to manipulate our obsession with personality and use that to discredit anyone who gets up their nose.

    came over loud and clear in the guardians "wikileaks: secrets and lies" documentary. instead of endorsing someone who is clearly a free spirit, they set out to present him as an oddity and that seemed to be the basis for their criticism of Julian Assange. the attack on him was all about his mannerisms, dress sense and other irrelevant observations. all very peurile but sadly seems to have become the level of journalism here in the UK these days.

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  20. Mr Lord mentions the Guardian's great work in other areas, and although he's right to point out the high-quality journalism one often finds between its pages, I would still question who that journalism serves.

    The most obvious, recent example of the great journalism done at the Guardian is Nick Davies' undoubtedly brilliant expose of phone-hacking at the NoW, which has had led to the Leveson enquiry and a general questioning of journalistic standards that's long been needed.

    However, if we cast our minds back we can see that the story broke with the exposure of NoW hacking the phones of members of the Royal Family, and that it mainly concerned the hacking of rich and well-known people's phones. This shows us exactly who's interests the Guardian was serving in this case: People powerful enough to get the press on their side.

    Ask yourself: Would this story have amounted to anything if it were ordinary people's phones being hacked?

    Phone-hacking it now seems may well have been rife among the tabloids and broadsheets alike and, let's face it, many important stories have probably been investigated with its use (David Leigh himself owned up to at least one incidence of phone-hacking), but the story doesn't break until someone eavesdrops on the Monarchy's voice-mails? What do you think is going on here?

    Even when publishing stories based on Wikileaks exposures, both the Guardian and New York Times went beyond redactions aimed at protecting people - they both indulged in redactions intended to reduce the embarrassment of certain parties or to cover-up certain angles on a story (I believe you still can see, on Wikileaks' cable resources site, those redactions deemed questionable).

    Papers like the Guardian and the New York Times seem to hold liberal values very dear, but ultimately they serve elite power. The Phone-hacking stories were about one group of elites defending themselves against the Murdochs - another group of Elites.

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  21. Just read this response from Shamir to James Ball:

    "A Portrait of the Petty Cheat as a Young Man"

    "Cheats and thieves have to prove their moral superiority over their victims in order to justify their crimes. This is the case with a petty cheat and thief called James Ball. This young man was a hired hand in the Wikileaks; he was offered a bribe of a job by the Guardian and he gratefully accepted it, betraying Julian Assange's trust and stealing all he could put his sweaty hands on. Since then, he is obsessed with demeaning and debunking Assange: only moral disgrace of the Australian will reduce the burden of the traitor's guilt.

    "One of his favourite routes is attacking Assange for associating with me, and today he did it again in the Guardian, responding to my recent piece Unmanning the Man. His arguments are repetitious, baseless and lame: I am called "anti-Semite", "H-denier" and "the man who gave the State Department secrets to Lukashenko" time and again.

    "Shamir asked for access to all cable material concerning "the Jews", a request which was refused", says Ball. Oh no, James! That was before your switching sides, and you dutifully obliged. You did it even twice: just before my departure you came to me on your own initiative and kindly handed me "a better file on Jews", twice as big as the previous one. Apparently lying and cheating is your second nature by now."

    More here:

    http://www.israelshamir.net/English/Ball.htm

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