All posts filed under: Guardian Watch

Venezuela Assassination Attempt: Maduro Survives but Journalism Doesn’t

Ricardo Vaz from IvestigAction Venezuela was rocked this past Saturday by an attempted assassination of President Nicolas Maduro, during a public event, using drones armed with explosives. But as more details started to become available, the coverage of the mainstream media actually moved in the opposite direction: one after the other they have looked to sow doubt on the events, using words such as “apparent” or “alleged”, focusing instead on the government using this “alleged” event to step up repression. In the end, it is hard to tell apart the media coverage from the statements of John Bolton, one of the more hawkish advisers to the US president. Although there are plenty of examples to choose from, we are going to focus on our personal champion of dishonest Venezuelan coverage – The Guardian. A quick search of Guardian headlines with “assassination attempt” shows that a qualifier such as “alleged” is never used. Be it Jacques Chirac, Guinea’s president, or even Saddam Hussein’s deputy, nobody had their assassination attempts questioned as a hoax to be used as a pretext to stamp out dissent. Such is the …

The Guardian on Nicaragua – An Open Letter

The Guardian has been one of the most inaccurate outlets for reporting what is occurring in Nicaragua. What is happening is a US regime change operation, working with oligarchs and big business interests in Nicaragua and supported by the Catholic Church, a long-time ally of Nicaraguan oligarchs. The US operates by spending tens of millions annually over many years to create an NGO complex that dominates Nicaraguan human rights groups, environmental, women’s groups and others. They have also given aide to a small minority of right-wing youth with tens of thousands of dollars and training. Some of these youth also made a trip to Washington, DC sponsored by Freedom House, long noted for its ties to the CIA, where they met with extremist, Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Just yesterday, Rubio threatened war in Nicaragua claiming it was in the national security interests of the United States because the conflict would result in mass migration and drug trafficking into the US. He seems willing to make anything up to achieve regime change.

Matthew d’Ancona and his fake news

Philip Roddis from Steel City Scribblings Matthew d’Ancona, in yesterday’s Guardian, is concerned about the threat to democracy from fake news. He wants to see ‘social media giants’ … …legally redefined in a new, third category that radically enhances their accountability for the content they host, without imperilling free political discourse. Striking the right balance in this jurisprudential task will not be easy. But who expected it to be? He also wants… …a new system of “credible annotation of standards, so that people can see, at a glance, the level of verification of a site” – essentially, kitemarking of the sort that is standard in almost every other sector of consumption. I am less sure that the government should “initiate a working group of experts” to oversee this process. If there is one thing worse than what the committee describes as the “wild west” of today’s digital prairies, it is anything that even resembles a Ministry of Truth, or an Oftruth regulator. Better that independent charitable bodies perform this grading task – gaining the public’s …

“Right to Die”, or Right to Kill?

by Kit The Guardian’s “Comment is Free” section makes for predictable reading this morning. John Harris says Brexit is bad and Corbyn is to blame, Shon Faye writes that trans rights are a class issue and Rhil Samadde going off on one about handshakes and Donald Trump. There’s nothing there about veganism or how Vladimir Putin causes global warming, but it’s still only early. Truly serious issues covered — None. Set-menu “liberal” agendas pushed — Several. Virtue signalled — Loudly and at length. The worst offender is Polly Toynbee, and that’s not really unusual: She thinks we should have a “right to die” law. The Gosport Scandal involved healthcare workers murdering patients with morphine, and Harold Shipman murdered patients with morphine. Polly thinks the best way fix this would be to make murdering patients with morphine legal. The logic is flawless. She outright dismisses the argument such a law could be abused with one sentence: The difference between unwanted death and assisted suicide can be encapsulated in one word: choice. And then does the same …

George Monbiot: selling the 1% agenda in a Green box

The last few years have outed Monbiot, one time supposed anti-establishment figure, as nothing more than a fully establishment goon, posturing in the sad tatters of his “dissident Green” cosplay. His performance during the Syria crisis made this too obvious. His sub-intelligent smears on those independent journalists daring to question the narrative made his real allegiances, and limitations, more than clear. His preparedness to brazenly lie and his refusal to debate the people he smeared in an open forum cemented this view.

Holding Hope Hospital Accountable: How the Western Public Was Led to Aid Islamist Terrorists in Syria

by Steven Sahiounie On April 29 of this year, the Guardian published a ‘feel good’ story about a Syrian refugee chef in London, who is cooking to support Hope Hospital in Aleppo. The claims in the article bear scrutiny.  For example, there’s the claim that “….Hope Hospital […] has saved tens of thousands of lives in Aleppo.” Another claim is that “It is the only pediatric hospital in the Aleppo region, serving more than 250,000 people.” From these details, the readers will come away with the impression that Hope Hospital is a worthwhile charity, which is located in Aleppo, Syria and which is the only children’s hospital in the area. However, those claims are not supported by facts. Hope Hospital is not located in the city of Aleppo. The mainstream media covered the battles of East Aleppo for months in 2016, culminating in the December 2016 evacuation of all armed fighters and their families from East Aleppo, and the evacuation of most besieged civilians to West Aleppo, as a result of the Syrian Arab Army’s …

Profile: Guardian Pass Notes

A quick run-down of that bit of the Guardian where ill-informed anonymous authors take cheap pot-shots at easy targets. Name: Guardian Pass Notes Age: Launched in 1992, canned in 2005, brought back in 2009. So…either 26 or 22 depending on your math preference. Purpose: None that I can find. Where: Down the bottom. Both figuratively and literally. If websites had a back page, it would be around there somewhere. It’s one of the many reasons the Guardian’s banner ads asking for money are getting bigger. Appearance: A sort of faux questionnaire that’s obviously all been written by the same person. Well, that sounds like a cheap way to set up your own snide one-liners: Excellent summary, me. That’s exactly what it sounds like and exactly what it is. It’s the journalistic equivalent of cheating at solitaire. What do they write about? Thankfully they’re mostly confined to the shallow end, everything from Steven Seagal to invisible jeans. So that’s good right? We don’t want important topics covered so flippantly: No we don’t, which is why it’s …

Another look at “that” Guardian article

Our occasional contributor VT responds to the already infamous Guardian article Russia spread fake news via Twitter bots after Salisbury poisoning – analysis After 37 hours this article remains uncorrected, despite numerous notifications of its libellous misrepresentation. If anyone would like to contact the Guardian and ask for a correction you can email Paul Chadwick, Guardian Readers’ Editor at guardian.readers@theguardian.com Guardian political editor Heather Stewart has outdone herself with this real little masterpiece of fake news, thereby destroying any pretension she might have had to be a reputable journalist. In short, in this crudely faked anti-Russian disinformation piece, the Guardian has published as pseudo-fact, without any doubt or criticism, a UK regime propaganda handout alleging that Russian bots are “unleashing disinformation” in the wake of the Salisbury poisoning. Most of the article just regurgitates the blather of freshly-minted war criminal Theresa May and anonymous UK regime officials; the evidential basis of the article, such as it is, is simply this: One bot, @Ian56789, was sending 100 posts a day during a 12-day period from 7 …

The Guardian as George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth

by Eric Zuesse On Sunday April 15th, Britain’s Guardian bannered “OPCW inspectors set to investigate site of Douma chemical attack” and pretended that there was no question that a chemical attack in Douma Syria on April 7th had actually occurred, and the article then went further along that same propaganda-line, to accuse Syria’s Government of having perpetrated it. This ‘news’ story opened (and clarificatory comments from me will be added numerically at the end): UN chemical weapons investigators were set on Sunday to begin examining the scene of a chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma, which had prompted the joint US, French and British strikes against military installations and chemical weapons facilities near the capital, Damascus. The arrival of the delegation from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) came as the Syrian military announced that it had “purified” 1 the region of eastern Ghouta, of which Douma is a part, after a two-month campaign that killed nearly 2,000 civilians2 following years of siege. 1) no source provided, but this — …

How We Were Misled about Syria: George Monbiot of The Guardian

George Monbiot is an influential journalist, and his words on Syria over the past seven years will have carried weight in shaping public opinion. Some critical readers, however, have been concerned. For while Monbiot has declared himself morally opposed to military intervention, and is demonstrably aware of how the media can manipulate news reports, he has repeatedly published statements – in his weekly Guardian column and on Twitter – that lend significant support to key interventionist arguments

Reality Check: The Guardian Restarts Push for Regime Change in Russia

The alleged poisoning of ex-MI6 agent Sergei Skripal has caused the Russophobic MSM to go into overdrive. Nowhere is the desperation with which the Skripal case has been seized more obvious than the Guardian. Luke Harding is spluttering incoherently about a weapons lab that might not even exist anymore. Simon Jenkins gamely takes up his position as the only rational person left at the Guardian, before being heckled in the comments and dismissed as a contrarian by Michael White on twitter. More and more the media are becoming a home for dangerous, aggressive, confrontational rhethoric that has no place in sensible, adult newspapers.

Mark Galeotti’s response to Putin’s plea for reason: lies & penis jokes

The Guardian produced two responses to Putin’s speech of March 1, in which he both unveiled far-reaching new Russia weapons systems and used this as a platform to (once again) plead for an end to Western warmongering. Both of them display both the intellectual/educational/ethical impoverishment of the authors (an impoverishment that is now systematic in corporate media), but also the completely delusional world they inhabit. Today we take a look at Mark Galeotti’s Putin’s new arms race is all about his need to be taken seriously. Mark Galeotti, who is apparently (believe it or not) “senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations Prague and head of its Centre for European Security” went full idiot in the Guardian yesterday with a short piece entitled Putin’s new arms race is all about his need to be taken seriously. The mere fact the title carries with it the implication that we don’t need to take the elected president of the largest country in the world with enough nuclear weapons to eradicate all life in earth “seriously” is …

Comment Set Free: “Feras Fayyad: ‘I never thought as a film-maker that I would feel endangered’”

The Guardian bills this appallingly dishonest promo piece as “The director of the Oscar-nominated documentary Last Men in Aleppo speaks of ‘trauma and paranoia’ over the extreme lengths some are taking to stop him from telling the truth”. Feel free to use the comment space below to remind the Guardian and Feras Fayyad of what the truth actually is… Feras Fayyad: ‘I never thought as a film-maker that I would feel endangered’

Comment Set Free: the “head of the White Helmets” begs for intervention in east Ghouta

The Guardian today is running an opinion piece written by Raed Al Saleh the “head of the White Helmets” in which he pleads for intervention in eastern Ghouta. The same newspaper that denied a platform to Vanessa Beeley nd Eva Bartlett to respond to the attacks made on them by Olivia Solon, has now given carte blanche to the spokesman for an organisation which, at very best, has terrorists and terrorists sympathisers in its ranks, and at worst is a front and shield for al Nusra and ISIS in Syria. To the surprise of very few the article is not open for comments. So, if you would like to tell the Guardian what you think of the article or of their decision to give this man a platform, feel free to comment here on: My staff are trying to save lives in the rubble of Ghouta. Who will help us?

“Lies the London Guardian told me…”

In an article first published on the Emperor’s New Clothes in 2004, Jared Israel looks at one notorious episode of media deception from the 1990s. Despite a successful libel suit in 2000 the fact remains that British news outlet ITN produced images that grossly distorted reality and were widely used in a highly misleading way to promote “humanitarian” intervention in the Yugoslav war. We are publishing this here today because of how closely it seems to foreshadow the current, maybe even more deceptive, campaign to promote fresh and potentially apocalyptic western intervention in Syria. Compare the Guardian article discussed below with this and this and this appearing in the same publication in just the last two days. On 6 August 1992, the international media broadcast pictures of a supposed Bosnian Serb death camp for Muslim prisoners of war. These pictures were taken from footage shot 5 August at a facility in the Bosnian town of Trnopolje (pronounced turn-OP-ul-yay). The film crew from the British news station, ITN, was led by reporter Penny Marshall, and accompanied …

The Guardian is right – Ghouta is “Syria’s Srebrenica”; another attempt to use humanitarian concern as a hook for military intervention

Simon Tisdall’s latest lament that the West isn’t doing enough to save the lovely terrorists in Syria makes one unintentionally accurate claim. “Eastern Ghouta,” he says “is turning into Syria’s Srebrenica.” We agree with him on this, but not for the reasons he offers in his article.

Mueller Indictments: truth v lies in“The Observer View”

Today’s Observer View focuses on the Announcement by Robert Mueller that they are indicting 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies for “interfering” in the 2016 Presidential election. It is, unsurprisingly, full of misleading language, lies by omission and just straight up lies.

Comment Set Free: the Mueller indictment

There are three stories about the Justice Department’s Internet Research Agency indictment headlining at the Guardian right now, and, at the point of writing, none of them are open for comments. So here is our latest “Comment Set Free”. Please let us have your thoughts on the following (or any related articles that appear): 1) Robert Mueller charges 13 Russians with interfering in US election to help Trump 2) Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians strikes at the heart of the meddling matter 3) Ten key takeaways from Robert Mueller’s Russia indictment The full text of the Justice Department’s Internet Research Agency Indictment can be read here

“Russian Hacking”, a dangerous delusion

by Kit The Guardian published this short opinion piece today, its headline reads: America lost a cyberwar to Russia in 2016. When will we have truth? Refuting the stale claims repeated in the headline, and expanded upon in the prose, is but the work of a moment. Hitchens’ razor states that any claim made without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. A Yale professor should know that. Therefore the refutation of the claim “Russia hacked the election” can be made in three simple words: No, they didn’t. Job done. I consider the article dealt with. But now we have to deal with the undertone. Now we have deal with why this article is scary. The scary part of this article isn’t the war-like talk about Russia. The scary part isn’t that this seemingly delusional man is apparently a professor at one of the most auspicious institutes of learning in the Western world (although, that is cause for some concern). The scary part isn’t an elitist “academic” sweepingly dismissing the electoral process of his own country, …

Comment set Free: “The epic failure of our age, how the west let down Syria”

Technically speaking this latest of our ‘comment set free’ pieces was open for comment on the Guardian. But since it was only open for two hours and since the comments were pruned after they were closed (204 comments at closing, down to 189 comments now), we think this qualifies. So please feel free to have your say here on: The epic failure of our age: how the west let down Syria Thanks to Vanessa Beeley for calling our attention to it. If any reader see articles on the Guardian or elswhere they think should have comments set free let us know