Guardian Editorial Conference Descends into Trans Row over Moore Article

Such was the expected turn out for the Guardian’s editorial conference this morning it was held in the larger downstairs conference room. Lisa Nandy was due to address the editorial conference…

The discussion kicked off with – unsurprisingly – the Coronavirus issue. After a while this was exhausted when a voice not heard before explained she no longer felt safe working at The Guardian following Suzanne Moore’s article this morning. Colleagues stared at their shoes as Jess, who works for the commercial rather than editorial side, ranted on. Another woke colleague spoke up to back up Jess. The columnist Hadley Freeman spoke up to say that columnists were supposed to be provocative. A third person spoke against Suzanne Moore being given a platform for her views, a back and forth followed with it turning into what was described to Guido as a “full-on, high pitched tense debate”.

The article’s reference comparing the treatment of Polanski and the feminist Selina Todd was a particular point of controversy – even though it was not in reference to trans people. Somebody claimed it was a dog-whistle. People wondered where Lisa Nandy was. Jess repeated she was not safe and walked out. Guardian editor Kath Viner summed up the discussion. Lisa Nandy was a no-show. Probably for the best…

UPDATE: In 2013 a previous Moore article was eventually removed in an act of self censorship by Alan Rusbridger. See Have Cocks and Have Nots

mdi-timer 3 March 2020 @ 13:00 3 Mar 2020 @ 13:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Clause for Owen Jones Moment

Guardian journalists have today been emailed by the editor, Kath Viner, a detailed set of company “social media guidelines.” “This document explains how we expect Guardian News & Media (GNM) employees and contributors to behave on social media”. Guido – an occasional contributor to the Guardian – the word rate means it is not worth abiding by the rules at the cost of lost banter. Buried inside the document there is specific clause that was apparently included as a result of complaints about Guardian journalists baiting Owen Jones on Twitter in an uncomradely way.

The ‘Owen Jones Clause’ appears under the subheading of “Tone”.

“Do not use social media to air internal disputes with colleagues or contributors, or with the Guardian”

Traditionally a drunken punch up outside the Coach & Horses in Clerkenwell was the accepted way to resolve internal disputes between Guardian hacks. Bloody tweeting snowflakes…

Hat-tip Mark Di Stefano
mdi-timer 21 September 2018 @ 17:47 21 Sep 2018 @ 17:47 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Guardian U-Turns to Take Seumas’ Line

Curious about-turn at the Guardian over the last 24 hours. Thursday’s paper ran this strong leader criticising Corbyn and backing Theresa May’s conclusion on Russian responsibility:

“Mr Corbyn’s reluctance to share Mrs May’s basic analysis of the Salisbury incident made him look eager to exonerate a hostile power… Britain has been targeted with a chemical weapon and it is almost certain that there is only one plausible culprit with the means and the motive. The prime minister might not have as many tools for retaliation, unilateral or international, as she would like. But she has judged correctly that the time for equivocation, given the sinister nature of Mr Putin’s regime, is over.”

Yet this morning’s paper pours scorn on the previous day’s leader, running a story headlined: “UK’s claims questioned: doubts voiced about source of Salisbury novichok”. It echoes Seumas Milne’s line comparing the situation to Iraqi WMD, and quotes “arguments” on “social media” that the novichok could have come from “some non-state group, maybe criminals”. It even links to the infamous conspiracy theorist Craig Murray’s blog claiming “Israel undoubtedly has as much technical capacity as any state to synthesise Novichoks”. The decision to promote a source like Murray, a man who has spent time in a residential mental health facility, has caused bewilderment in the Guardian newsroom…

Guardian hacks are wondering why their paper’s line has changed so dramatically in such a short space of time. They doubt a respected journalist like Ewan MacAskill would write such an odd piece without instructions from above. Surely nothing to do with Seumas giving his old friend Kath Viner Corbyn’s big op-ed this morning…

mdi-timer 16 March 2018 @ 10:25 16 Mar 2018 @ 10:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Kath Viner Not Keen on Seumas Affair Story

A Guardian source tells MediaGuido those photos of lefty lothario Seumas Milne were the talk of the newsroom yesterday. Hacks at Kings Place spent the day speculating about the identity of their former colleague’s blonde companion. Yet for some strange reason the tale doesn’t make today’s paper, despite being all over rival broadsheets. Seems editor Kath Viner is not keen on Seumas affair stories… 

mdi-timer 11 July 2017 @ 10:38 11 Jul 2017 @ 10:38 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Guardian: “How Did the Language of Politics Get So Toxic?”

viner

Today’s Guardian publishes an opinion piece asking “how did the language of politics get so toxic?”. It criticises the “verbal violence” of metaphors used by the media, those who use words like “treachery” and “vermin“, and asks: “Why have we forgotten Jo Cox?”. The article has been tweeted out approvingly by the paper’s editor Kath Viner…

Of course, this is the same Guardian which has in the last month published headlines claiming Brexit is “an act of treachery”, accused Michael Gove of “weapons-grade treachery” and another calling him a “political serial killer”. The same Guardian which sells on its online shop t-shirts, mugs and prints of the famous Nye Bevan quote calling Tories “lower than vermin”:

bevan

How did the language of politics get so toxic, indeed…

H/T Daniel Sugarman
mdi-timer 1 August 2016 @ 09:01 1 Aug 2016 @ 09:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Seumas Milne’s Closeness to Guardian Editor

There has been consternation in Labour circles and at the Guardian over Seumas Milne being allowed to work for Jeremy Corbyn while “on leave” from King’s Place. The bizarre arrangement suggests he still has his column waiting for him if and when things go south with Jezza. How was the curious deal allowed to go ahead?

Guido hears that the key factor was his very close personal relationship with Guardian editor Kath Viner. The couple have been close friends for years and Kath is known to have always loved his column. Though staff on the paper have been perplexed at why £340,000-a-year Viner, a relative moderate politically, is so enamoured with the handsome revolutionary firebrand. Kath – 44 years-old and unmarried – is such a close ally of Seumas that he even “canvassed on her behalf for several months” when she was campaigning for the editorship. Sources say he was drumming up support for her “night and day 24/7”, causing many raised eyebrows at the time. The Guardian and the Labour leadership are closer than they’ve ever been…

mdi-timer 11 November 2015 @ 11:22 11 Nov 2015 @ 11:22 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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