George Monbiot, 2006: Our Rivers Will Run Dry

Guardian green and resident loony lefty George Monbiot looked into his crystal ball and made a somewhat brave prediction about “our rivers” back in 2006:

The Thames today:

How’s that working out for you?

H/T Christopher Snowdon

Exclusive: Guardian Promises to Stop Paying for Readers Swagbucks Scam Defrauds Cost-Per-Click Advertisers

Following MediaGuido’s exclusive story this morning, the Guardian have admitted to using the services of the company which paid people to read their website. In a statement they claim they did not realise the service involved traffic whoring and have promised to stop:

“The Guardian is currently in a testing phase with a company called Vertical Searchworks who offer promotion of video content through a large network of US-based sites. We were not aware of our content being promoted through online reward sites, such as Swagbucks, as part of this testing phase. We would never knowingly promote our content through these sites. We are asking for this to be taken down with immediate effect.”

The real question lies with the advertisers who paid out on a performance basis. Will the Guardian be reimbursing those advertisers who were deceived into thinking their adverts were being watched by genuine readers?

Scam Traffic Boosting Website Pays You to Read Guardian Questions Raised Over Digital Advertising Revenue "Click Fraud"

SwagBucks is a Los Angeles-based “online rewards” website, which allows its 4 million users to make money by earning virtual currency for watching videos, completing surveys or clicking links, then exchanging it for cash. It is a ruse used by other websites to boost their traffic; they offer ‘SwagBucks’ for users who click on their links, boosting performance related advertising revenue. One website that appears on SwagBucks is theGuardian.com. As you can see below, users are being offered the chance to “earn an easy 1 SwagBuck when you watch 2 videos or read articles” on the Guardian website.

Click on the offer and you told you will have “1 SwagBuck awarded when you watch 2 videos or read articles from our trusted partners”. The links from the “trusted partner” go to videos on the Guardian website.

Digital revenue for the Guardian was reported to be up 28.9% to £55.9 million last year. Guido wonders what the Guardian’s advertisers, who pay up depending on how many impressions its website receives, think about its traffic being inflated by users being paid to read its content…

*NB Nobody we contacted from the Guardian admitted having any knowledge of Swagbucks.

Psycho Huhne’s Lecture on Loyalty

It is worth savouring Chris Huhne’s lecture to the Tories in the Guardian this morning. “Whatever happened to loyalty?” he hectors, with a straight face telling us how the LibDems are saintly but the Tories are experts in betrayal. He would know, having betrayed his own wife, his children, his party and knifed rival after rival down the years. Huhne’s column is becoming increasingly unhinged…

D-Noticed Issued on Naming Spies

A D-Notice yesterday went out warning editors against naming spooks:

LEGAL NOTICE: DEFENCE ADVISORY NOTICE: IDENTITIES OF PERSONS CONNECTED
WITH THE SECURITY SERVICES – NOT FOR PUBLICATION

Please see below DEFENCE ADVISORY NOTICE

Editorial Legal Services

DEFENCE ADVISORY NOTICE

Private and Confidential:  Not for publication, broadcast or use on social
media.

To all Editors,

There have been a number of cases over the last 2 days where editors have
attempted to establish a link between a person’s identity and his
membership of the security services.  Any such linkage is likely to cause
a significant increase in the threat to a person’s life and to that of his
family, major disruption to current security operations and a significant
cost in attempting to relocate households.

May I take this opportunity to remind editors that DA Notice 05 advises,

inter alia, that the following should not be published:

‘…..   (b) the identities, whereabouts and tasks of people who are or
have been employed by these services or engaged on such work, including
details of their families and home addresses, and any other information,
including photographs, which could assist terrorist or other hostile
organizations to identify a target…..’

No responsible editor would want to name serving spies active in the field surely? It’s not like the authorities are looking for an excuse to go round smashing up journalists’ laptops. Oh…

Facts are Sacred

…reports the Guardian this morning. Today, under cross examination, Dan Evans has confessed Coulson never actually used that word:

C.P. Scott would be turning in his grave…

Guardian Sells Autotrader Stake for $1 Billion Moment of Tax Truth for Guardianistas

In 2011 this blog ran a Guy News investigation into the Guardian’s offshore tax dodge in the Caymans. We followed it up in 2012 and Guido personally asked Alan Rusbridger and GMG plc’s CEO to explain the continuing holding of assets offshore. No reply was forthcoming. In 2012 we checked to see if GMG was still using GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited, the controversial tax-exempt corporation which it set-up in 2007.

Subsequently in 2008 The Guardian claimed GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited, a GMG-owned company, would be transferred into their investment partner Apax’s offshore structures, normally when this happens there is a name change. The name is unchanged to this day, strongly suggesting the ownership was unchanged. At the very least Apax/Guardian will have saved themselves $5 the million in stamp duty which would otherwise be due to HMRC by doing the transaction offshore:

No pronouncement from Polly Toynbee as yet. Guido is consulting beancounters on further tax implications of the deal…

Further reading on the Guardian‘s tax hypocrisy:

Michael White on Guardian: “How Petty We Can Be”

Fearless exposer or political wrongdoing and campaigner on behalf of the public Michael White reckons revealing the cost of MPs’ vanity portraits is beneath a respectable publication:

Clearly he hasn’t seen the front page of his own paper this morning:

20140114-085130.jpg

How petty. 

Simon Hoggart 1947 – 2014

Guido particularly enjoyed one of Hoggart’s last pieces about learning Tony Benn ‘loathed’ him:

“To be loathed by Tony Benn is something any political writer of my age would sell their grannies for.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Guardian Take the Dubya Defence on Unpaid Interns

The Guardian have tried to respond to Guido’s revelation that the moralising paper were advertising for unpaid interns:

“Guardian News & Media advertises editorial experience opportunities twice a year. These opportunities range from a few days to a maximum of two weeks and are not internships.”

Just because it is only two weeks?[…]

+ READ MORE +

Guardian US Boss Out After a Year

CEO of Guardian US Michael Bloom has quit. He had only been in the job for just over a year but Guardian Media Group have today announced he “will leave the company to pursue other opportunities”. No replacement has been lined up so new deputy chief executive David Pemsel is brought in to cover.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Guardian Advertises for Unpaid Interns After Claiming Exploitation is "Ruining Journalism"

The Guardian has been a vocal campaigner in sticking up for unpaid interns. Their pages have played host to an endless list of articles making clear where the paper stands. “Join the fight against unpaid internships”, they have urged. […]

+ READ MORE +

Guardian Rewrites Mugabe Crowd Reaction

Robert Mugabe turned up to the Mandela memorial this morning. Here is how some trusted news sources reported the reaction of the crowds:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Rusbridger Round-Up

[…]

+ READ MORE +

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.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

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?[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

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