Rusbridger Round-Up

So the Guardian did share the names of intelligence officers abroad. Other than that Rusbridger gets through it relatively unscathed…

Good Luck, Alan!

The Guardian NUJ chapel has sent a cute message of support to Alan Rusbridger ahead of his select committee showdown this afternoon. Approved by a committee of twelve, on behalf of all 500 odd Guardian journalists, of course.

“Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger is due to appear before the House of Commons home affairs select committee tomorrow to answer questions about our publication of the NSA and GCHQ surveillance revelations leaked by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The Guardian and Observer NUJ chapel, representing the overwhelming majority of journalists at both titles, strongly supports the editor’s decision to publish this information of vital public interest and his defence of the freedom of the press to hold government and corporate interests to account.

The chapel emphatically rejects the attacks on the Guardian over the Snowden leaks and welcomes the support offered from all over the world for the Guardian’s role in bringing this information into the public domain.

We believe publication of the NSA/GCHQ stories is exactly what independent media organisations should be doing. The editor’s stand has the full backing and confidence of Guardian News and Media journalists.”

Guido agrees, there should be no question of the freedom of the press to hold government and corporate interests to account. Funny though, that they didn’t mention the alleged sending of British intelligence officers’ names abroad. No doubt Keith Vaz will get to the bottom of it. Tune in here

Just How Much Does Russell Brand Hate the Sun?

Round of applause to anyone who can get to the end of Russell Brand’s Guardian rant about how much he hates the Sun without giving up. Indeed, Russell hates them so much that he once edited their showbiz pages.

A Sun source says “he’s written countless pieces for us, I think the last was in May this year, so clearly didn’t have an issue over Hillsborough then!”

Who does he think he is, Mehdi Hasan?

H/T @leshinton

Alan Rusbridger: See You Next Tuesday

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger will face the music before the Home Affairs Select Committee next Tuesday.

Time for a yes or no answer – did knowingly or unwittingly ship the names of British agents across borders?

Maybe he could bring the sword of truth that hangs so proudly on his office wall along with him.

Sham Pain

“It was hard to stomach David Cameron preaching austerity from a golden throne” writes Guardian contributor Ruth Hardy, who waited tables at the Lord Mayor’s banquet on Monday. Guido commends Ruth for her use of cliché; rolling off all the old classics about “the cuts”, it being “like a scene from Downton Abbey”, and not forgetting the requisite moan about a “champagne reception”. Apparently not a fan of the stuff, she slams Dave for “the idiocy of calling for cuts while wearing a white tie”, somewhat bravely asking “has the man never heard of Twitter?” Well, talking of Twitter, here is a picture Ruth tweeted of herself drinking champagne in what could be “a scene from Downton Abbey”:

Has she “never heard of Twitter”?

MPs Demand Yes or No Answer From Rusbridger

Following Alan Rusbridger’s mealy mouthed letter, Julian Smith and Stephen Phillips QC have asked him to deny in unambiguous terms sending the names of British spooks abroad:

“You have also been exceptionally careful in your response to the concerns raised by us and other colleagues as to the issue of the communication of the identities, or information which might reveal the identities, of intelligence personnel.  Specifically, the inference from the contents of your letter – and you nowhere deny this – is that the files stolen by Mr Snowden have been sent by you overseas, to others over whom you have no control.  Can you please now confirm, in clear and unambiguous terms, whether you or (to the best of your information and belief) anyone at The Guardian has directed, permitted, facilitated or acquiesced in the transfer of the files, unredacted by you, which you have obtained from Mr Snowden to any person in the United States or elsewhere.”

Which is going to be a tough one to answer, to say the least…

Rusbridger’s Spooky Non-Denial Denial

Wednesday’s letter from 28 MPs to Alan Rusbridger specifically asked him to come clean about any identifying details of any member of the British intelligence services that have been distributed abroad. Something the Guardian has denied doing previously, but is now being oddly vague about. Guido has seen Rusbridger’s response, it is worth taking a look at the very careful language he uses:

“On the issue of staff names, you will be aware that over 850,000 people worldwide have access to not only the Snowden documents but to a whole range of information on GCHQ. Neither we nor any of our journalistic partners have published the identities of any personnel from the intelligence community, a point accepted and welcomed by the relevant agencies.”

All but confirming that names were sent abroad. Interesting how he denies ever having published the names. That wasn’t quite what they were asking, was it?

What is Going On at the Guardian?

Last month the Guardian flatly denied spreading the names of GCHQ intelligence agents abroad, now they are refusing to do so. The paper admits sending some of its leaked documents abroad, though now for some reason today won’t make the same denial that spies’ identities were not amongst them. Have they only just checked? Did they even know at the time?

Guido is not sure how shipping names across borders is necessary when exposing the over-reach of the NSA. It is worth noting that two of the journalists most intimately involved the original NSA coverage have now either left the Guardian or moved on to different things, in different countries…

Guardian Jobs Carries Advert Banning Female Applicants

Many of the thousands of jobs advertised on the Guardian website are in recruitment. They are currently carrying an advert for a position down in Bristol as an account director at Pure Recruitment. So far, all pretty standard. Just […]

+ READ MORE +

Psycho Huhne Versus “Fictional Stories”

Is there a better argument against state regulation of the press than the last politician to be jailed after newspapers exposed his criminality coming out and backing it? Huhne’s latest rehab rambling in the Guardian reads like a spoof:

“What’s

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Ed Balls’ £5 Million State Subsidy For The Guardian

Guido isn’t sure who this one is more embarrassing for. While in office, Ed Balls used taxpayers’ money to subsidise the Guardian to the tune of 1% of its turnover. As Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Balls […]

+ READ MORE +

Knowing Me Steve Coogan, Knowing You Alan Rusbridger

A very special guest at the Guardian’s morning conference today: Hacked Off’s very own Steve Coogan. Must have been some smiles around Kings Place when a gushing memo telling hacks how coke and hookers fan Coogan is an “ethical standard […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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