There is no finer example of the vindictive streak possessed by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog than their unyielding campaign against the deeply subversive Guardian. And a particular favourite of the Fawkes folks has been to focus on the operating losses incurred by the paper and its online operation over the years.
The Guardian? Er yeah, it's more skint than me after a night on the piss, shit no, town, getting arseholed, bollocks no, more media contacts. Who can help me get legless. Oh sod it
The attacks on the paper, and editor Alan Rusbridger, are typified in their scale and ineptitude by a July 2012 post, “Guardian losses picture data special”, which recycled a graphic that wrongly asserted Rusbridger’s monthly salary to be the amount he was paid for the whole year. Never mind the accuracy, keep putting the boot in. And, as the man said, there’s more.
Next month came “Guardian CEO Andrew Miller Spins Losses to Staff” – and yes, I know, The Great Guido accusing others of spin is an interesting one – trying to give the impression the losses were increasing and by inference were unsustainable. Then last July came “Guardian Still Losing Half-a-Million a Week”, once more making the accusation of spin.
Readers were pitched such terms as “haemorrhaging” money, so we can be in no doubt of the impression this copy is intended to give. And that impression, not for the first time with the Fawkes rabble, is one whole pile of weapons grade bullshit. Because Guardian Media Group (GMG) has been sitting on a cash pile worth hundreds of millions, and now the final security brick has slotted into place.
GMG’s remaining stake in Trader Media Group (bought or sold a car recently? You may well have used their website) for a cool $1 billion. So the paper and its website might lose $50 million a year? With that much dosh available, being invested and grown all the while, such numbers are not going to be a problem. The securing of the title “in perpetuity” looks rather more settled now.
And, as the Columbia Journalism Review has pointed out, the Guardian brand, thanks to its targeted expansion and involvement with Wikileaks, Phonehackgate and the Snowden revelations, is becoming not merely recognised, but a significant presence, across the globe. Moreover, GMG still has a stake in profitable business and events firm Top Right Group – future sale of which could yield yet more.
Dominic Ponsford at Press Gazette put it well: the sale “sticks two fingers up to the Guardian-haters who take glee in the paper's huge annual losses and like to predict its imminent demise”. Who he might have meant is only too clear from the annual sniggering of The Great Guido. Right now, the Guardian looks set to outlast Staines and calmly ride off into the future.
That means the Fawkes folks are just full of crap. Another fine mess, once again.