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The Guardian’s master of cognitive dissonance

by Jonathan Cook, July 30, 2016

Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian proves himself once again the master of cognitive dissonance. He berates the progressive left for its failure to match the emotional power of the political right’s slogans. The left lacks an answer, he says, to the rise of a Donald Trump.

It is hard (for once) not to agree with Freedland when he writes that the left must have:

…a response to the globalisation and automisation [sic] that has left so many millions feeling as if they, and the once flush towns they live in, have been consigned to the scrap heap. It means taming globalisation so that both its costs and benefits are shared more evenly. Right now, those at the top get the rewards while those at the bottom pay the price.

There are policy answers, starting with putting people back to work in jobs that pay decent wages. Spending billions to repair the fabric of the country – whether that be the bridges, tunnels and roads that are falling apart in the US or giving a lick of paint to towns that have been neglected for 50 years in Britain – is the obvious place to start…This is the challenge now. To realise that in the battle of hearts and minds, it’s never enough to win just one. You need to win both.

But weren’t Freedland and most of his colleagues at the supposedly progressive Guardian the ones who preferred Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders for the Democratic party nomination, and are now preferring Owen Smith to Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership?

Are Clinton and Smith really the answer to our hunger for poetry and emotion? Do they speak to our hearts and minds? Or are they just yet more dull political automatons thrown up by a system desperate to put a gentler face on a cruel neoliberal order that benefits a tiny elite indifferent to the fate of the planet and most of those on it?

Somewhere deep in the recesses of his mind, battered long ago into silence by decades of liberal training at good schools, top universities and prestigious Guardian jobs, Freedland knows the answer.

Poets of emotion are to be found on the left. But for decades they have been “kettled” into the side alleys of the media landscape by enforcers of the corporate status quo like the Guardian. They are slowly making their voices heard through social media. They are creating a quiet political revolution. And Freedland and his ilk are doing everything in their power to try to stop them.


  1. Mike says

    But for decades they have been “kettled” into the side alleys of the media landscape by enforcers of the corporate status quo like the Guardian.

    I see what you did there. 🙂

  2. michaelk says

    What’s truly bizarre, is the Guardian’s willingness to follow an editorial line on a whole range of issues, though especially the west’s disasterous and bloody foreign policy… aka… endless warfare, that puts the Guardian far to the right of most of its readers. Not only that, the Guardian seems intent on provoking and atagonising huge swathes of readers by publishing brazenly biased articles, like the latest one on events in Syria, that a child could see through.

    What’s going on? To print stuff that turnes the complexity of Syria into a simplistic ‘fairytale’ about ‘good rebels’ being hammered by ‘evil’ Russians and Assad’s drooling Orcs, isn’t going to convince anyone still in possession of a fraction of their critical senses.

    The Guardian really began to do downhill after the ritual ‘castration’ it suffered at the hands of the security services when they forced journalists to destroy the hard drives containing the Snowdon leaks. The Guardian for some strange reason complied, instead of telling them to go fuck themeslves. Defending themselves in court against the UK state, would have been a wonderful opportuniyt for the Guardian to really establish its brand identity on a global scale. But the bottled it.

  3. Les says

    Natalie Nougat-Ready did an amazing Aleppo piece today that got shot down faster than an F16 going after an SU25. The comments closed after only 160 odd.

    • BALDEAGLE11 says

      Sadly , its not difficult in the history of politics find what the popular press call ” political turncoats “.

      And, most probably Mr B Sanders the most recently resigning Democratic Presidential candidate, gave against the obvious heavily weighted odds against his eventual chances of success, against Mrs Hilary R Clinton ( a candidate with a near criminal record of USA government service and plainly the paid-for candidate of the ” masters of mankind ” ?

      An international group of international ‘ money-lenders ‘ who with the owners of some ‘ 140 international corporations ‘, apparently act as if they own the world by dominating the globe militarily and through the ownership of all of the key mass english-language media elements, they are enabled to influence and direct the rest of the world ‘ with all of the ease and élan ‘ that shepherds have in herding their flock’s !

  4. RenegadeProphet says

    ALL media are liars because they hide the truth about Planet X, the chemtrails that hide it and the coming, planned WW3 against America. It will happen like this:
    The entire government are evil treasonous criminals. The day of the next false flag using the nuke they stole in 2007 and blamed on Iran, America will be destroyed by Russia, China and the SCO. This is the war of Armageddon and you can know it is now because of Planet X and the toxic chemtrails that hide it every day. Planet X will end the war when it rips the earth apart again but 90% of Americans will be dead already. All planned by your evil government.

    • david king says

      Whether or not that was a genuine piece of heartfelt truth speak or a load of sarcastic troll bait, I certainly enjoyed it immensely.
      Keep it up, until Armageddon anyway.
      Peace and newts

  5. Dr Flange says

    Genuine question:
    When did the Guardian become nothing more than a mouthpiece for the corporate fascist state that we live in today? Sadly I have begun to suspect that they were never on the side of truth and justice and where always part of the deep state or more importantly the global state they now claim to aspire to. When you read the articles on Syria, global warming, mass migration of Europe, multiculturalism, islam and even in the weeds of diet such as meat eating etc. they are nothing more than lick spittle’s for UN policy.

    How is this managed?
    Do the UN direct the Guardian’s propaganda or is it a tacit agenda that the Guardian follow?
    Do they have editorial meetings on what stories, (re propaganda), to tell on a daily or weekly basis?
    What happens in a crisis? Do they get advice on what to say directly from government/UN or do they have a play book to follow?

    • reinertorheit says

      When did the Guardian become nothing more than a mouthpiece

      When they got into financial difficulties due to monumental incompetence, and an advertiser base who will not pay good money to reach the Graun’s dwindling market.

      So much easier to take the corporate cash of the Heritage Foundation, the Rockefeller Institute, and so on. Of course, this is all carefully concealed behind organisations like the ‘Calvert Journal’ (funded 100% by the Heritage Foundation), the Moscow Times (also American-funded) and other sources in the “New East Network” which bring American cash into the Guardian.

      Even their lardass moron ‘art correspondence’ Jonathen Know-Nothing Jones is punting out the Anti-Putin Crapola.

      • david king says

        sometimes I feel I should stop hating and become pure love…
        Then I read Jonathan Jones.

    • david king says

      People homogenise themselves automatically. It’s a sad feature of humanity. Sometimes the conspiracy has no agent… at least no human agent.

  6. Nerevar says

    Ceterum autem censeo:

    Left is scattered into countless particularisms. Thanks to The Guardian. Besides.

  7. Daniel Rich says

    I have abandoned ‘left’ and ‘right.’ I now stay in the middle of the circle and all is well…

      • rabbitnexus says

        I’m like him and NO, I am noticing our circle is growing.

    • reinertorheit says

      They’ve abandoned them too. ‘Sociaist’ Tony Bliar does the bidding of racist neonazi warlock Ronnie Dumbsfeld?? Shillary Shit reads out her intent to smash Russia militarily, on live TV??

  8. Oddlots says

    Well said. The fact that Bernie Sanders’ chief economic advisor is Stephanie Kelton puts the lie to this bullshit idea that the left doesn’t have the answers needed. We do and their hiding in plain sight if you are someone like Cook who is expecting them to parade past him in acceptable form in the entirely corrupted media where he makes a living.

    • After his full endorsement of Hillary Clinton, Sanders can no longer be considered a man of the left.

      • proximity1 says

        The world inside Senator Sanders’ mind must be a strange and fascinating place.

        He sees many things correctly — for example, the fundamental injustices in the operations of the poltical ‘order’ through its fatally-corrupted institutions– but he fails to see that any resolute and effective movement to reform this corruption, however peaceful and correctly-(legally)-done it might be, would be the victim in the first place of the now all-pervasive security-state’s surveillance powers and would be sapped and undermined even as it worked to organize itself; second, in the unlikely event that It survived those sabotage efforts, it would be met with furious violent force from police authorities. (Witness Greece).

        The established power is both corrupt and safe from attack by revolutionary reform of the kind Sanders envisions.  If, their democratic and peaceful efforts to change things thwarted,  people resorted to more aggressive tactics, they'd be met with the violence I mentioned.

        Could, at that point, decent members of the political establishment see the situation clearly enough to then reform the system against its own resistant elements within it? We don’t know.

      • Mike says

        After his full endorsement of Hillary Clinton, Sanders can no longer be considered a man of the left.

        Sad but true.

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