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Friday 13 May 2016

Rusbridger Departure Hypocrisy

Recent ructions at the Guardian came to a head today when former editor Alan Rusbridger - under whose stewardship the paper had brought the world phone hacking, Wikileaks, the Snowden revelations, and a stream of stories back in the mid 1990s on the last bout of Tory Sleaze - announced that he would not be taking up the chair of the Scott Trust, which oversees the paper. New editor Kath Viner is thought to have been leading the revolt.
When the news was announced, many instantly forgot that the Guardian became the first mainstream UK newspaper to win a Pulitzer Prize. Even though former Tory MP Neil Hamilton has returned to the fray with UKIP in Wales, his exposure by Rusbridger’s paper as “A Liar And A Cheat” was forgotten. The shame of the now-defunct Screws, and its subsequent closure, passed from view. The vain struggle of the Murdoch mafiosi to keep their bid for 100% if Sky live was airbrushed out in the stampede to put the boot in.
Among early entrants to this rogues’ gallery were the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who announced “RUSBRIDGER OUTbefore crowingcurrent editor Kath Viner and GMG chief exec David Pemsel particularly opposed Rusbridger’s return amid staff outcry and swingeing cuts. Today Rusbridger has confirmed he is out. Coup successful”. That was the bit they wanted to tell you.
There was also the catalogue of Fawkes naysaying over phone hacking, which they got wrong for years, whining “non-story” and too readily believing anyone but Nick Davies - who was right all along. Meanwhile, whoever now works the Steerpike account at the Spectator added “Alan Rusbridger suffers the ultimate indignity at the hands of the Guardian”. That magazine got phone hacking wrong too.
The Speccy’s editor Fraser Nelson also took grave exception to the Leveson proposals that came out of the post-hacking landscape. And, talking of Leveon witnesses putting the boot in, Sun editor Tony Gallagher smirked “Civil war breaks out at The Guardian. Can anyone tell what page it's in their paper?” He not only testified - unconvincingly - before Leveson, but has forgotten the civil war at the Telegraph that saw him get the sack.
But the most serious case of schadenfreude in the Fourth Estate was that of former Murdoch retainer Neil “Wolfman” Wallis, aka The Rasping Fuckwit, keeping a straight face as he announced “Great journalist but his arrogance driven great paper to brink of collapse: Rusbridger axed as chair of Scott Trust … The word hubris leaps to mind for most arrogant man in media: Rusbridger axed role as chair of the Scott Trust”.
Wallis has no room to call “arrogant” on anyone: he was, and is, not only monumentally arrogant, but congenitally stupid with it. He only got off the hacking charge by maintaining that, while there may have been a criminal enterprise going on under his nose, he was too incompetent to know anything about it. He’s a self-confessed idiot.

None of this shower reaches up to Alan Rusbridger’s ankles. No change there, then.


Anonymous said...

The Guardian suffered not only for the overall decline in the newspaper medium, but also because it moved too far to the right in too much of its international reporting.

In the end it pleased few, despite the good work listed by Tim. It has become a sort of print version of C4 News......that is, the least bad.

It's a measure of how corrupt is British culture that we can be thankful for such small mercies.

As for the utterly corrupt, lying, smearing, phone hacking Murdoch-Rothermere Nazis......Tim's right. They don't measure up even to Rusbridger's ankles.

monksoham said...

if as has been stated @theGuardian is second most read website for news then ask readers to become members. I think the cost when I subscribed was £5.00 a month. Gladly subscribed.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, Rusbridger has been a financial disaster for The Guardian.

There have been a handful of world-class scoops, yes of course, but the Berliner format is a huge albatross, AutoTrader was flogged off, and the paper is losing money hand over fist while attempting to become a national paper in the US (where virtually all newspapers, USA Today excepted, are local) and completely failing to develop or capitalise on its huge online readership.

As my old pal Archbishop Paul Marcinkus wisely put it: "You can't run a Church on Hail Marys."

This newspaper needs some shrewd piloting if it is to pull out of its nosedive, and Rusbridger was asleep at the controls.