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Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Guardian: "We bring you only the news you want to hear"

A great pickup by Just Journalism:
In an incredibly candid blog entry on media self-censorship by veteran Guardian journalist and staunch Israel critic Michael White, he confesses:
‘middle class ill-ease in going after stories about immigration, legal or otherwise, about welfare fraud or the less attractive tribal habits of the working class, which is more easily ignored altogether.’
By contrast, in, ‘Media self-censorship: not just a problem for Turkey,’ Israel is put forward as one of the archetypal ‘targets’ of The Guardian:
‘Toffs, including royal ones, Christians, especially popes, governments of Israel, and US Republicans are more straightforward targets.’
White, who has been at the publication for 30 years, also alleges that positive stories about Tony Blair are rarities despite other ‘tyrants’ being granted positive coverage:
‘Nor has it been easy to smuggle anything creditable about Tony Blair into the paper for several years now, though tyrants with more convincing leftwing credentials sometimes get the benefit of the doubt.’
In his final comments he implies that The Guardian – in common with other publications – has an overwhelming tendency to simply tell its readers what they want to hear, rather than produce journalism which might challenge their ingrained prejudices and preconceptions:
‘And remember, dear reader, that we are also striving much of the time to tell you what you’d rather know rather than challenge your prejudices and make you cross.
‘As the old saying goes, we are all guilty.’
Of course, those old prejudices were instilled by the same pseudo-journalists at The Guardian to begin with, so even in this surprising mea culpa, White does not take the full responsibility that his newspaper has for anti-Israel sentiment in England.