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Stop digging, Guardianistas

In its childish, impenitent comment (login: grauniad@stereo.lu, password: grauniad) – so dreadful that it seems no one on the Guardian staff wished to have the byline attributed to them – on having to sack a terror-supporting reporter, the newspaper attempts to portray blogger Scott Burgess as a disgruntled, rejected applicant for its trainee program. Burgess is the man who broke the story of Dilpazier Aslam’s background, and instead of being thankful to him for helping to rid their newspaper of a cancer, the Guardian is instead trying to damage his credibility.

Except, of course, that the Guardian is fudging on this one. And they know they are doing it in full view of the network that brought about Aslam’s downfall in the first place. Have they learned nothing?

First, check out the first instance on his blog where Burgess mentions applying for the Guardian’s trainee program. On June 1, 2004, he wrote:

Regular readers may be interested to know that I am applying for this job. As I’ll almost certainly be hired, readers are advised to quickly inform me of any competing employment opportunities they’d like me to consider.

Perhaps the Guardian’s journalists do not do irony, and so took this comment by Burgess at face value. But they had another chance to catch the joke, two days later, when Burgess submitted his application:

… I thought that perhaps my responses to these two consecutive questions might raise a chuckle:

“What would you add to The Guardian newsroom?”

Ideological balance and accurate research.

“Please describe issues of the moment in Britain and the world that most interest you. Why?”

…As an American living in Britain, I can’t help but also be interested in the way in which Americans, their society and their government are perceived – not only in Britain, but throughout Europe. While many of the negative opinions expressed by Europeans are no doubt valid, others seem to be based on crude stereotyping of the sort that is rightly condemned when applied to other national, ethnic or religious groups. I’d like to help bring some balance to the way Britain and the rest of Europe view my compatriots, not only through my writing, but also by presenting myself as an intelligent, articulate, and non-obese example.

Burgess ends his post with the question: When do you suppose they’ll be getting back to me? The answer seems to be: When you expose their wrongdoing, via an attempted smear on their website.

It will come as no surprise to anyone with a realistic view of how the media operate that the Guardian is in this instance less interested in the truth and more interested in limiting the damage to its own credibility. It is surprising and discouraging to see a media entity which claims to ‘get the blogosphere’ indulge in such shameless dishonesty, knowing full well that the evidence of the truth is public, permanent, searchable, and so easily passed along this network.

If the Guardian is as committed to the truth as it claims to be – more, as it is supposed to be – it will issue a correction and clarification of its disgraceful comments about Scott Burgess.

24 comments to Stop digging, Guardianistas

  • Chris Harper

    The Guardian = HMR (Hate Mongering Rag)

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Anyone seen the front page of the New Statesman yet? Unbelievable.

  • Steve M

    Hilarious! What a bunch of plonkers!

  • John

    Scott Campbell (Link)is saying The Independent is nowing claiming credit for breaking the story.

  • lucklucky

    Hehehe unbelievable!

  • Yes, well, the papers really don’t think it counts as breaking a story if it happens online. The Guardian’s Matthew Tempest ripped scoops off my blog more than once, with no attribution. Tom Happold from the Grauniad emailed me an apology, but they never corrected their mistakes. I don’t know if they’ve stopped taking things off blogs and printing then without attribution, but it doesn’t surprise me that the Independent is doing it, too.

    No wonder so many old media types hate the fact that blogs exist. What’s disappointing is that, till now, I regarded the Guardian as the one media entity in this country that’s been getting it right as far as blogging goes. Then they go and do something cheap and dishonest like this, as if they will not be held to account for it.

  • Chris Harper

    Johnathan: I am writing from Aus. don’t get to see latest New Statesman for days, and then I need to find place which sells it. What has it got?

  • Julian Taylor

    … a demonstration of the way the ‘blogosphere’ can be used to mount obsessively personalised attacks at high speed.

    How rather odd that the Grauniad can state that Hizb ut-Tahrir is “radical but non-violent” and then in another page admit the opposite.

  • Bernie

    This is the best bubble I’ve had all week.

  • H. Bosch

    Off topic yet again. Deleted yet again.

  • Findlay Dunachie

    This is perhaps a little off-topic, but prompted by Burgess’s statement, in his Guardian application, of his wish to counter anti-American feeling.

    A few days ago I had occasion to view a video of the first instalment of Alastair Cooke’s “America”. I had not seen it before, never having had a TV (by choice).

    It was such a cheerful and upbeat program (I didn’t know that the famous Mayo Clinic had been started by two brothers, more or less from nothing, in deepest Middle America, just for one thing) that I thought “Why doesn’t the BBC repeat this series?”

    For all that its more than 25 years old, things haven’t changed that much. And a positive, optimistic picture of the US is really just what this country needs.

    And then I thought: Is a positive, optimistic picture of the US what the BBC wants to give us?

    The idiocy of the alienation of two English-speaking nations with at base the same values is something that must be countered.

    Just showing Alastair Cooke’s “America” would help.

  • Tony

    Here’s the link to the New Statesman cover page.


  • Johnathan

    Mr Bosch, since when has Samizdata championed the cause of George W. Bush? This is a libertarian weblog, not a propoganda sheet for the Republican Party. Go and read what we have said about issues like the dreadful Kelo ruling by the Supreme Court, for instance.

  • “Why doesn’t the BBC repeat this series?”

    They did. It was shown on BBC4 a year or two ago.

  • H. Bosch

    Off topic yet again. Deleted yet again.

  • Julian Taylor

    Ok, would people PLEASE provide a warning with the link before posting anything containing Pilgerbile.

  • Julian, your link above is to the page talking about “radical but non-violent,” not the other page. Could you post the other link?

  • drscroogemcduck

    More OT from the Statesman article:

    What about Palestine? There were no suicide bombers in Palestine until Ariel Sharon, an accredited war criminal sponsored by Bush and Blair, came to power.

    Surely this is incorrect. Sharon was elected Prime Minister in 2001 and before then was Defence Minister between 1981 and 1983.

  • Findlay Dunachie

    Andy Wood

    I stand corrected (I feared I might be, not having TV). I’m glad to hear it

    But I hope it doesn’t invalidate the point I made:

    “The idiocy of the alienation of two English-speaking nations with at base the same values is something that must be countered.”

  • The Last Toryboy

    Oh dear god, no more garbage Pilger links, at least not when I inadvertently click on them early on a Monday morning, eh? I’ll be foaming about that all day now… 🙁

  • The lame response from the Guardian towards this rather disgusting scenario is typical of the paper. I am guessing their whole “internet friendly” online prescence is a load of rubbish. Then again to be honest. Is anyone at all surprised that the first MSM scalp for British bloggers was employed at the Guardian?

  • Pavel

    Scott Burgess: thumbs up! Very good job.

  • Julian Taylor

    Ken Hagler,

    I was referring to the paragraph in that linked article,

    It quotes a passage from the Koran [“kill them wherever you find them…”] followed by material arguing: “the Jews are a people of slander…a treacherous people… they fabricate lies and twist words from their right places.”

    Maybe its just me but I don’t see that as emanating from a “non-violent” organisation. Of course I could be mistaken …