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Panama Papers cause Guardian to collapse into self-parody

Kit Knightly
Capture of the Guardian's totally accidentally misleading headline.

Capture of the Guardian’s totally accidentally misleading headline.

You’d be forgiven for thinking, given the above picture, that the Panama Papers had something to do with Vladimir Putin. Maybe he was a kingpin of the whole thing. Maybe he was, at least, among the 12 world leaders implicated in various shady financial practices – along with Petro Poroshenko, the saviour of Ukrainian democracy, and the King of Saudi Arabia (dad of the recent Légion d’Honneur winner).

Luke Harding, a bastion of ethical journalism (and not at all a paranoid lunatic), has churned out 2 articles totaling over 5000 words, each using the word “Putin”, almost as often as they use the phrases “allegedly”, “speculation suggests”, “has been described as” and “may have been”.

Neither of his articles mentions by name any of the 12 world leaders, past and present, actually identified in the documents, nor do they mention David Cameron’s dad, who is also in there.

No, they focus on a cellist friend of Putin’s, talk about his daughter’s marriage, and include an awful lot of diagrams with big arrows that point at pictures of…Vladimir Putin.

This is, apparently, all evidence of…something.

…I’m not sure what, but it will probably be discussed at length in the “book” Luke Harding is probably planning to publish in a couple of weeks. That’s if the NSA don’t delete it all while he’s typing.

The only important, or even true, phrase Harding uses appears at the very top of this article:

…the president’s name does not appear in any of the records…

That’s a minor detail, of course, I mean, they have a video: How to hide $1 billion. The title screen is, you guessed it, a photo of Putin. Presumably because he is SO GOOD at hiding his billions that, unlike Petro Poroshenko and David Cameron’s dad:

…the president’s name does not appear in any of the records.

So there you go. The Guardian falls into self-parody, pasting up a massive picture, a misleading headline and 5000 words (that Harding presumably copied from someone else), at the merest suggestion of a tenuous connection to the Russian president.

It’s a bit odd, really.

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

Filed under: featured, Kit, On Guardian, Russia

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Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

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BobSays
BobSays

Hallelujah…thank you people of ‘Off Guardian’, who I just accidently discovered, because of irritation over this very Guardian Panama Papers graphic. The real Guardian has this absurd graphic all over their site and any comments are most definitely closed about it. The Guardian is now absolutely censored for their more obvious propaganda like this, they will not have any legitimate criticism of it.
Why is Putin the star of their graphic? He’s not even mentioned in papers…Why isn’t Cameron, or that Icelandic PM – that no one has heard of but is seriously complicit to point of resigning – on the Guardian’s graphic?
Wouldn’t that make a little more sense?
Nope – Guardian is going for the Putin smear by association tactic, I have no dog in this fight, but I really don’t appreciate being treated as this stupid by a media outlet long claiming a ‘mora’l voice.
Have read The Guardian on and off since 90’s – but it has now deteriorated to point of being more or less a BBC clone, all fuzzy centre left advocacy for distraction identity politics, and pro the neoliberal status quo on any serious and consequential public policy issues. This Panama Papers graphic is last straw for me – Guardian is now unreadable to me, as this is absolutely shameless, and effectively, US State Department Neocon propaganda pushing Putin as the international bad guy, yet again – The Guardian now treats its own consumer base with complete contempt.

EnglishBob
EnglishBob

Does anyone have an opinion on why they are still not allowing comment on any of the panama stuff ?

James Carless
James Carless

I don’t normally swear but after reading this hack’s nonsense I find it increasingly difficult not to exclaim uk Harding.

John
John

There are some new facts emerging about the Panama Papers which your readers may find interesting:-
See http://nsnbc.me/2016/04/10/the-panama-papers-the-people-deceived/ and https://ellenbrown.com/2016/04/10/the-war-on-savings-the-panama-papers-bail-ins-and-the-push-to-go-cashless/.
They bring a different perspective to what is going on at the present time.
Make of them what you will!

Oliver Mollusc (@OllieMollusc)

please let The Bliar’s be in there….

FTReader
FTReader

Sad to see that among the Guardian readership are so many who will go to any lengths to defend a vicious dictator, who is now in the process of taking over control of hos country’s archives and building a private army for himself. It’s quite clear that Putin is the beneficiary of the cellist’s millions even if his name isn’t mentioned.

dagwood
dagwood

How is it ‘quite clear’? Where is the clarity?

waterloo
waterloo

how do you know that Putin is the beneficiary, are you in Guardian too?
Please use ONLY the facts.

danvolodar
danvolodar

Private army
So, it’s “private” because it answers directly to the President, rather than to the President via the Prime Minister (who is appointed by the President)? WOW.

reddy
reddy

panama papers never listed americans looters rather than others….america is biggest lier..only americans are honest ppl on this earth useless idiots..fuck off u son of bitch obama n his country ppl

Ivan Ivanovich

Please learn English.

Erelis
Erelis

“Mr. Brady, it is the duty of a newspaper to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”.
From what I can tell, the Guardian and many mass media outlets around the world are intent on afflicting Putin but strangely neglecting their own local, national reprobates. The only local UK person the Guardian wants to afflict is rumored to be dead. Once this propaganda reaches half life, I suspect this Panama caper will go away until something salacious can be made up about the villain of the day.

Ivan Ivanovich

Russian troll

Jen
Jen

Correction, there is one live UK citizen The Guardian wants to afflict, and that’s the current UK Labour Party leader. Odd that The Guardian didn’t try to connect him to Vladimir Putin but maybe Tintin Harding is not that imaginative enough to dream up some implausible link between the two that he can then flog endlessly.

Terry Kelly
Terry Kelly

After reading the Guardian for 40 years I stopped about 4 months ago and I do not regret it.

mohandeer

Reblogged this on Worldtruth.

oyvinds

I see most of you believe the “news outlets” are focusing on BadGuy Putin because they want to make him and Russia look bad. While this is likely a factor it is probably a minor one: Distracting you from those 12 western dictators who were actually named and a whole range of other criminal and more importantly corporations is probably a much higher priority. We can’t have people know that very big banks like DNB, Nordea and so on actually offered offshore accounts as a “unofficial” service to rich clients and we can’t have people know that their “elected” leaders are corrupt criminals. Also, check your bed before you go to sleep, there may be a Rusky under it who’s just waiting for you to go to bed so he can bite you in the toe.

OffG Editor

The puzzling thing is that there is really no need to distract from this list since almost everyone named in it is an easily disposable player in the game. A Who’sWho of has-beens, never-wheres and Soros hate-figures, as we point out here in another article.

tezla valve
tezla valve

I thought this article would get a mention, here. Since when has the Guardian taken an interest in investigative journalism? Highly suspicious.

M Bulgakov
mohandeer

Satire? Since when did the Guardian indulge in satire any more than it does investigative journalism. It does have some very good guest articles but it’s mainstream editorials are usually slightly if not totally – weird!

Laguerre
Laguerre

I see Craig Murray’s site has been trashed and is not accessible. Curious that it’s just after he published a widely-read article about the Panama papers, the first to point out the obvious problems with the story.

Mark Potter-Irwin

I think it was overwhelmed rather than deliberately crashed. It is still up.
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/04/corporate-media-gatekeepers-protect-western-1-from-panama-leak/

Dak
Dak

Well Putins wealth suffered a lot, they first claimed his wealth is 200 BILLION $, another figure was around 60, probably some more figures I missed, Poor man now has nothing, but luckily his “childhood friend” has offshore account and some other people he may or may not know, maybe they will help 🙁
You know you are truly desperate when despite both massive, perhaps unseen before, propaganda against Putin and Russia, claims of hundreds of billions in fortune, dozen palaces etc and all western intel all you could find is that some people Putin might or might mot know have offshore accounts, all combined nowhere near amount you claimed. GOtta work with you have I guess

Božidar
Božidar

This is why I do not read Guardian anymore. Really poor journalism.

Macon Richardson
Macon Richardson

When did you stop reading The Guardian? (Any answer later than “1964” would be very, very telling.)

mohandeer

Hahaha. Like! There are some people who were writing for the Guardian worth reading, NOT Polly Toynbee who strives to go from slightly rum to highly ridiculous but Aditya Chakrabotty and Seumus Milne and occasionally George Monbiot could write good articles.

jag37777

Putin’s wealth is like Stalin’s death toll.

leruscino

These Panama Papers are a bit contrived & might be a False Flag of sorts released now for a particular reason which I think was possibly to deflect attention from Turkey & its documented support of ISIS which should mean ejection from NATO etc etc
Something is wrong with this Panama thing ??

Sarah Bill
Sarah Bill

No article has never been so rubbish as this one. President Putin’s or Assad’s names are no where in the list of head of states indulging in such corruption. But as usual, accusations are flying around to score political grudges. Putin and Assad trashed the West on the battle field and the losers are firing back camouflaged under the name of mysterious law firm in Panama. What a ruthless attempt by wicked people for a wicked agenda! But here is the thing – the world is much smarter than they had been expecting to buy their trashes. Absolutely sickening!

louisproyect
Kit

I don’t quite understand what your point is.
Do you disagree that it is highly dishonest to plaster Putin’s face all over the media, when he is not named in the leaked documents, and then not mention by name any of the people who ARE named?

maria
maria

Hi Kit, how do i contact you? I really like your article. And i think what you express here is totally true. No proof why blame?

Catte

You can contact our editors and contributors through the contact form. Just add “FAO Kit” in the subject line and it will get to him

maria
maria

thank you Catte

Dak
Dak

louis is a braindead idi0t with no life and a regular tr0ll

Dak
Dak

also another thing, that blog is ran by even bigger nutcase and Russia hater than Harding who runs several anti Russia blogs and one supposedly “pro Russia”, he used pro Russian blog to post dumb sh|t than mock it on his anti Russian blogs as it was real until Anatoly Karlin caught that all those blogs were owned by same person, he tried to deny it and still does but ownership doesnt lie

David Harrison
David Harrison

So how long have you been working for the Pro-Putin propaganda machine?

Božidar
Božidar

Dear David Harrison, I find it very interesting that you put an equation mark between disatisfation with bad journalism and pro-Putin propaganda. It is so that what is told tells more about the teller than about anything else, isn’t it?
Božidar

mohandeer

Liked your article Louisproyect, funny that you should be accused by Dak of being an anti Russian troll. Are you a different Louis from the one Dak mentions, if so, do tell.

Unbiblical Chord
Unbiblical Chord

I fear many commenters here are being deeply unfair to Luke Harding. Manifestly the poor hack is afflicted by a severe case of putinoia and is constantly preoccupied with how to avoid, any day now, a death by polonium-210 poisoning. So properly one has to feel deep sympathy for such a bloke who fears martyrdom to such an extent he doesn’t even dare drop by the local pub or cafe for a drink or a sandwich. #Putinoia