All posts filed under: Guardian Watch

Apple & the Guardian: Partners in a death spiral

by Jonathan Cook This report on Apple CEO Tim Cook’s visit to a UK school to promote the company’s new coding curriculum for schoolchildren could hardly be a better illustration of the way the Guardian newspaper serves as a key propagandist for aggressive global corporate capitalism, helping to create for it a façade of humanitarianism. The Guardian presents Cook (no relation) as a concerned global citizen, a gay man who fights for LGBT rights and might have been Hillary Clinton’s running mate if things had turned out differently. The article could just as easily have been a press release straight out of Apple headquarters. Unchallenged by the Guardian, Cook claims via the article to be promoting coding as a universal language bringing people together and serving as a great leveller of mankind, offering everyone the chance to become … multi-billionnaire Tim Cook. Or as the Guardian puts it: The one-year coding curriculum adopted by Harlow college, half an hour north of London, is intended to teach students computing skills through the use of a variety …

The “new look” Guardian launches today but will anything actually change?

The Guardian re-invented itself today. Well, it changed its print format to tabloid and gave itself an online face-lift involving brightly-coloured menu and a new logo. Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief has an editorial announcing and explaining the changes which is not only embarrassingly self-aggrandising but also unintentionally revealing. She says: We have grounded our new editions in the qualities readers value most in Guardian journalism: clarity, in a world where facts should be sacred but are too often overlooked; imagination, in an age in which people yearn for new ideas and fresh alternatives to the way things are….We have thought carefully about how our use of typography, colour and images can support and enhance Guardian journalism. Indeed, colour and typography are the first things we look for in good journalism. But she continues: The masthead has a renewed strength and confidence to represent the Guardian’s place and mission in these challenging times. Guardian journalism itself will remain what it has always been: thoughtful, progressive, fiercely independent and challenging; and also witty, stylish and fun If this …

Request to Guardian for response & right of reply to Solon White Helmets article

Following are two letters sent to the Guardian by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media in response to an article titled How Syria’s White Helmets became victims of an online propaganda machine which appeared on December 18. The article claims the White Helmets have become victims of ‘Russian propaganda’. The letters express concern over the factual accuracy of the article and deplore the refusal of right of reply to those attacked in the piece. The letters were sent on December 23 and January 5 respectively. As of Jan 13 no reply has been received to either. Originally at Tim Hayward’s blog. From the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media: Seeking Truth About White Helmets In Syria The recent Guardian article by Olivia Solon attacks those investigating and questioning the role of the White Helmets in Syria and attributes all such questioning to Russian propaganda, conspiracy theorizing and deliberate disinformation. The article does little, however, to address the legitimate questions which have been raised about the nature of the White Helmets and their …

How anyone who questions the White Helmets narrative became victims of the Guardian propaganda machine

the Guardian recently published an article by Olivia Solonclaiming criticism of the White Helmets in Syria was a disinformation program ‘propagated online by a network of anti-imperialist activists, conspiracy theorists and trolls with the support of the Russian government.’ The Guardian, in contravention of proper journalism, refuse a right of reply to people libelled in this article.

Guardian trashes White Helmet sceptics

Today’s Guardian (December 18th) plumbs new depths in its narrative on Syria. A Spotlight Piece by Olivia Solon – her profile refers to her as “a senior technology reporter for Guardian US in San Francisco” – carries the header, How Syria’s White Helmets became victims of an online propaganda machine.

The Revolt Against Reason: Jonathan Freedland’s latest polemic broken down

A response to Ratko Mladic was unlucky. These days most war criminal go free

#blamePutin continues to be the media’s dominant hashtag

by VT The decline of the falsely self-described “quality” media outlet The Guardian/Observer into a deranged fake news site pushing anti-Russian hate propaganda continues apace. Take a look at this gem: The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has accused prominent British businessman Bill Browder of being a “serial killer” – the latest extraordinary attempt by the Kremlin to frame one of its most high-profile public enemies. But Putin has not been reported anywhere else as making any recent statement about Browder whatever, and the Observer article makes no further mention of Putin’s supposed utterance or the circumstances in which it was supposedly made. As the rest of the article makes clear, the suspicions against Browder were actually voiced by Russian police investigators and not by Putin at all. The Observer fabricated a direct quote from the Russian president for their propaganda purposes without any regard to basic journalistic standards. They wanted to blame Putin personally for the suspicions of some Russian investigators, so they just invented an imaginary statement from him so they could conveniently do …

Monbiot, Syria and Universalism

I’m worried about George. An admirer of many years standing of his excellent columns charting what John Smith’s even more excellent Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century refers to as “capitalism’s destruction of nature”, I’m dismayed both by his stance on Syria and manner of defending it. His latest Guardian piece, yesterday – A lesson from Syria: it’s crucial not to fuel far-right conspiracy theories – is depressingly typical. The man who writes with such clarity, such evidence based reason, on the ties between environmental recklessness and big money repeatedly shows himself prepared to suspend his critical faculties – while projecting that very sin on his opponents – when it comes to Syria and the Assad ‘regime’.

“Conspiracies don’t happen….here.”

The US alphabet agencies recently released some formerly classified files on JFK. There’s nothing much in them, because well…why would there be? Supposing the CIA were complicit, who’s going to release, 50 years after the event, the evidence of their own coup? We haven’t covered it here, at OffG, because it doesn’t really need any attention. It’s a charity dump, a distraction. It allows Trump to look like he’s combating the Deep State, when in fact he’s firmly on the leash. That the CIA or FBI didn’t suddenly produce proof of their complicity in JFK’s assassination is not evidence of anything. Jonathan Freedland, writing one of his toxic editorials in The Guardian, begs to differ.

Why no-one talks about how “nice” Hillary Clinton is…

Over 11 months after her (catastrophically bad) loss in the Presidential election, the Guardian is still gamely waving Hillary Clinton’s battle standard. Apparently Clinton is currently doing the press circuit in the UK to promote her book “What Happened”, culminating in a hard-hitting political interview….on the Graham Norton Show. Zoe Williams, Guardian-columnist and leading candidate for shallowest person in the world, watched this interview and decided to ask the hard question: Why does nobody mention that Hillary Clinton is perfectly nice? The comments on said article went into great detail about how nice Clinton is. That’s why they were moderated to oblivion and closed after just a few hours. So, since The Guardian doesn’t want answers to Ms Williams’ question BTL, we’ll post them here, above the line. That’s what we’re for, after all. In brief, no one talks about how nice Hillary Clinton is…because she isn’t. She’s a liar and a war criminal. That’s not a debate or an opinion, those are proven facts. But, while this answer is complete, it’s hardly a fair …

Guardian Plugs War Criminal’s Book

by Kit Nobody should be surprised to learn that Alistair Campbell, the former Blair PR guru, suffers from psychological problems. Obviously, lacking empathy to the extent that you can start an illegal war with a peaceful country, for the lone purpose of enriching corporate interests, would be a red flag to any psychiatrist worth his salt. Even supposing you weren’t entirely psychopathic beforehand, the associated guilt-rotting of the soul, after the fact, would surely be enough to drive one mad. Just look at Blair. Look at his mummified, rictus grin and tell me that’s not a man whose evil has stained his face. No, no one is surprised that Alistair Campbell has mental problems. And, sadly, no one is surprised that the Guardian gives him column inches – not just to whine about the stress involved in coordinating (among other things) mass-murder – but also to plug his book. I will not name it or link to it here, it doesn’t deserve the clicks. In any right-thinking society, this man would be in prison for …

The Guardian’s propaganda on Venezuela: all you need to know

With the Constituent Assembly elections due to take place on July 30th, the Guardian published a piece titled “Venezuela elections: all you need to know”. But instead of breaking through the fog of falsehood and misinformation that is typical of the mainstream media’s coverage of Venezuela, the Guardian comes up with another propaganda piece laden with lies, distortions and omissions. In this article we go through the Guardian’s piece, clarifying the falsehoods, adding the conveniently omitted information and questioning the whole narrative that is presented.

Jonathan Freedland’s Corbyn Apology

In an attempt to restore some his fast-disappearing credibility, Jonathan Freedland gives a half-hearted, over-qualified apology to Jeremy Corbyn. It’s self-serving, dishonest, and far more revealing than he meant it to be.

“Is free-speech really worth all this hassle?” – Gaby Hinsliff

by Kit I’ve never written a response to a Gaby Hinsliff column before. I’ve never felt the need. In much the same way that I’ve never written an online review of sliced bread or an essay about cardboard. It’s…there, I suppose, and it does a job, but it’s hardly worth getting excited about. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. Mahatma Gandhi The Manchester bombing was “let happen” by MI5 because of the Conservative party’s disastrous dip in the polls. That was the theory tweeted by Rufus Hound, a comedian. As theories go, and it is still just a theory at this early stage, it’s not at all outlandish. History is full of precedents of power structures making people believe they are under threat in order to secure their position. As Hound succinctly put it, #Reichstagfire. The bombing, whether real or staged or allowed to happen or planned by MI5, will allow May to talk about strength and stability some more, allow the Tory’s to attack …

The Guardian Takes Aim at Venezuela’s Democracy

by Joe Emersberger from TeleSUR The British newspaper recently published an editorial saying that President Nicolas Maduro’s government must be threatened with “pariah status.” From 2006 to 2012, The Guardian’s output on Venezuela was dominated by its Caracas-based reporter, Rory Carroll, who tirelessly demonized, ridiculed and lied about the government of former president Hugo Chavez as it made rapid progress on reducing poverty. The Guardian recently published an editorial saying that President Nicolas Maduro’s government must be threatened with “pariah status” by the “international community“ if it does not hold presidential elections by the end of 2018. This comes from a newspaper that continually attempts to rehabilitate former British prime minister Tony Blair, a man who played a key role in launching a war of aggression that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. But no pariah status for him. The imperial hypocrisy on display is stunning. The Guardian editors cited the New York Times editorial board to back up their stance on Venezuela. In 2002, the New York Times editorial applauded a U.S.-backed military coup …

Graun celebrates Macron’s avowal to despoil working people, wreck infrastructure & enrich banking class

by Catte Macron is more Obama than Obama. More Blair than Blair. A creation, groomed and glossed for this “spontaneous” bid for power by the banking class he unashamedly represents. The Guardian unsurprisingly has numerous pieces (comments-disallowed) pushing this glibly smiling drone as the Saviour of France. Here’s an example to give you a flavour. All predictable and barely worth discussion. But one of the pieces has a little blue sidebar summarising their darling’s policies and position, which so completely encapsulates the destruction of meaning in political language we are currently witnessing that it should be noted. Here is a screen cap: You see, the Guardian defines itself as a “centrist/liberal Left” outlet, so, of course it supports “liberal Left” polices. How does it do this and still be the paper of record for Wall Street and the neocons? Easy. It just plays Humpty Dumpty and redefines what words actually mean. Here is what “centrist/liberal Left”, as encapsulated by Macron’s policies, now means for the Graun and the class it represents: 1) ”REMAKE THE FAILED …

Guardian’s new low of journalistic abdication

The world stands on the brink of global conflict. Nuclear war is currently a serious possibility. The US launched an attack on a Russian ally state based on completely unproven claims that it had used chemical weapons on its own people. No investigation to verify these claims has yet been undertaken. Responsible journalism needs to play an urgent part in pulling the situation back from the brink. It needs to point out the lack of data and the requirement for cool heads and rational thinking. But today, of all days, this is the Guardian’s headline. “Again.” Could there be a more complete abdication of journalistic responsibility to question and inform? Do the Guardian editorial staff who sanctioned this offence realise they are not simply advertising their own lack of moral fibre but may also be propagandising for the end of the world, themselves and their loved ones? Or does some innate hubris make them feel immortal and invulnerable? If so, by the time they realise they were wrong it will be very much too late …

Global Laundromat update: “Bank did bank things with famous person”

Perhaps this is the beginning of a new series for the Guardian? Maybe in the future we can expect stories entitled “Man who voted Brexit regularly beats wife” and “Angela Merkel lives in the same city Adolf Hitler called home”. I think the “Global Laundromat” scandal might not be having the massive impact that The Guardian expected it to (personally, I blame the rather silly name). When it was launched yesterday it was meant to be a splash, but it has landed more like a ripple, so far failing to even repeat the short-lived intensity of the Panama Papers. Todays article is simply a readjustment of all same talking points mentioned several times each yesterday, only chopped up into a different order. Like that episode of the Simpsons where Marge keeps chopping up one Chanel suit into a variety of different outfits. You can tell they are desperate to get people clicking, because they’ve tried to tie it into an actual talking point: Donald Trump’s “Russia connections”. The entirety of this “new information” is contained …

“Global Laundromat” has the Guardian in a Spin

by Kit The latest “breaking” story from the Guardian and Luke Harding is hitting the headlines. Almost exactly 1 year after the explosive anti-climax that was “The Panama Papers”, Harding and the coterie of NGOs for which he acts as de-facto spokesperson have a big announcement to make: Banks launder money, and some of it is Russian. We are nearing the anniversary of the release of the Panama Papers, a “big story” involving years of work, hundreds of leaked documents, a team of exceptional journalists (and Luke Harding) and a dramatic reveal: “Sometimes, very rich people use legal loopholes to avoid paying their taxes.” The list of implicated parties included heads of state, celebrities, athletes, David Cameron’s dad and a cellist that knows Vladimir Putin. We all remember who the Guardian decided to focus on, and we all know why. Today the same crack-team (and Luke Harding) are releasing the long-awaited sequel to their original hit. “The global Laundromat”, it’s called. It’s a product of a years-long investigation into money laundering in ex-Soviet states, using …

Google employs army of censors “quality raters” to combat horrid things on the web

It seems the unofficial Minitrue we predicted in yesterday’s piece is already here. Google’s “Quality raters” will, from Tuesday, be combing the net with fresh vigour looking for “upsetting-offensive” things and making sure we never get to see them. The article in the Guardian covering this new development highlights its use against the usual suspect – “Holocaust denial”, which is of course the thinnest and most entirely acceptable end of the wedge. The one they always use as a poster child for censorship of any kind. But we would have to be cosmically naive to believe Google’s anonymous and entirely unaccountable “10,000-strong army of independent contractors” will stop there. We should also remain a little sceptical about Google’s vaguely worded claim that these new guidelines will not effectively remove certain opinions from the web. The only way the quality control can work is through promoting some sites while suppressing others. We might not be concerned when white supremacists sites are being targeted for such suppression, but what about alternative health sites? Truther sites? Or indeed …