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Guardian challenged over ‘fake’ Assange & Manafort story, as Luke Harding goes AWOL

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange holds up a copy of the Guardian newspaper July 26, 2010. ©REUTERS/Andrew Winning
Leading journalists have called out the Guardian for not retracting their story that claimed Wikileaks’ Julian Assange met with ex-Donald Trump operative Paul Manafort despite a lack of evidence to support the claims.

Lead by ex-Guardian writer, now co-editor at the Intercept, Glenn Greenwald, various journalists and activists attacked the publication for going silent on the ‘bombshell’ story, while at the same time hailing that they are Britain’s most trusted news outlet …

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jack

    December 24, 2018 at 10:44 am

    Any broadsheet that champions an ideology will end up as a citadel that defends its writers. They are ‘writers’ because journalism has been replaced by opinion pieces as they are cheap to produce. Employing ‘the anointed’ who opine for an ideology was the first step towards the MSM becoming platforms for propaganda. This can be seen in all major media on the so-called Left and Right as they struggle to hold on to rusted-on readership. Rather than challenge the readership, and risk driving them away, they embrace carriers of their flame. They become tribal.

    As Christopher Eastman-Nagle says:

    “Those in the business of gathering public information now have to negotiate with very aggressive and shady players who have no interest except to purvey their agenda and obfuscate/discredit everything else … This has made the whole information environment very vulnerable to colonisation by some dark players, some of which are hostile state actors, because it has become an irresistibly juicy and almost defenceless sitting duck.”

    True, but let’s not forget that less sinister and mundane reasons exist as well.

    A wound-up ideologist with an axe to grind and a laptop can produce a goldmine of opinion for relatively little cost. This can be used to sell advertising space. It is so much cheaper than proper analysis and investigatory journalism, so editors have to protect their opinion stars and pretend that they have some unique insight above and beyond chatter of the great unwashed in order to hang on to advertising income. MSM promotes them, and make them stars in the opinion universe .. tin gods who appear on daytime TV. Accordingly, the ego gratification for bloggers turned journalists is like an opium-based drug of addiction and they need ever-greater hits of outrage and hyperbole to prove their worth. This leads to a theatre show, not journalism. Comments in The Guardian are heavily censored. If you criticise the accuracy of their opinion writers you will almost never get published.

    True, State actors find it easy to manipulate the ego-driven Little Lord Fauntleroys. Israel, China and Russia do so routinely, but so does industry and government. The rise of the ‘Useful Idiot’ is not unique to the Left.

    Perhaps the most pathetic “journalism” of all time is finance news. It is like an endless opinion-based debate using a gaggle of profits, gurus and galahs that is absolutely useless as a form of analysis. It is simply a GPS system for lemmings where all roads lead to a cliff edge.

    Have a look at The Age. It is a vehicle for selling stuff to the reader – nothing more. It has been totally captured by a commercial agenda and has been a key player in selling real estate drivel.

    The Guardian may be highly intolerant and ideological, but so too is Media Watch on our ABC. Even when it makes gold-plated errors of fact it will not retract or correct the record, yet it will still present itself as a crusader for truth and integrity. It too, is just a cheap hobby horse for a personality after an ego hit.

    Media impartiality is dead because neoliberalism and technology killed it. Education became an industry and democracy is on its knees, hence these are dangerous times. Like him or loath him, our Assange has done more than anyone to expose the wizard behind the curtain.

    It is disturbing that a pathological liar and fantasist who has crusaded against Assange has not been quickly abandoned by The Guardian .. for being a crank. One can see why not, perhaps. The Guardian’s bevy of harpy feminist writers have used Assange as a patriarchy piñata for so long that The Guardian core of opinion rods will go super-critical and melt down if it is to be known that it has been blinded by ideology in the most pathetic way, and tossed a real journalist to the dogs of war.

    One might reasonably ask what other issues have been distorted by useful idiots being manipulated by players who are far smarter than the ringmasters of opinion journalism.

  2. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    December 20, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    This potential media imbroglio is emblematic of just how easily manipulated, befogged and tribalised public information is becoming within a milieu where this game has become so powerful, and the stakes being played for so enormous, that the honest truth is just bound to become a casualty.

    Of course the subjects of this Guardian report are going to vehemently deny involvement in any meeting in the Ecuadorian embassy with the Russians. Manaforte is a convicted liar on his own and his ex boss’s behalf. Assange would never admit such a meeting if it had happened. And the Russians are misinformation professionals. That of course does not mean that their denials about this story are necessarily lies, or even just very selective with the truth.

    Those in the business of gathering public information now have to negotiate with very aggressive and shady players who have no interest except to purvey their agenda and obfuscate/discredit everything else. And it is possible that the Guardian writers were targeted in a scam designed to discredit them, and everything else they have ever said.

    We are living in an environment that has long ceased to devolve around disinterested narrative and debate. ‘News’ is constantly being generated by public relations input that appears to be spontaneous, but is in fact part of a long term campaign on behalf of particular commercial or social stakeholders.

    The language of discourse has been thoroughly saturated by PR/marketspeak whose intent is the work of propaganda reality remodelers. In the end, the very basis of ordinary critical judgement gets undermined to the point of no longer being legitimate if it does not conform to the ‘the party line’.

    And as the post WW2 liberal geo-political settlements and consensus breaks up, the power/legitimacy of its main sponsor, the United States, declines, and the subsequent vacuum sucks in new contenders and opportunists, the whole architecture of public discourse becomes destabilised, opaque and devolves into axiomatic lines drawn in the ideological sand; ie, all the things you would expect in the lead up to major wars of succession.

    This has made the whole information environment very vulnerable to colonisation by some dark players, some of which are hostile state actors, because it has become an irresistibly juicy and almost defenceless sitting duck.

    If the Guardian people have been fooled on this story, and this can be demonstrably shown, it will not be a moment to celebrate. It will be an ominous warning of many more such moments to come .. and/or shut down the more courageous forms of reporting that once defined a free and robust fourth estate.

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