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Why Has the Guardian Declared War on Assange and WikiLeaks?


You hear it all the time these days. People are constantly asking, ‘What happened to the Guardian’?

It’s no secret that once respected UK newspaper, The Guardian, has been going rapidly down hill for years. It really hit rock bottom this past November 2018, when it published a bona fide fake news article which featured a false conspiracy theory crafted by the ‘news’ organisation’s serial fabricator and resident Russiaphobe, Luke Harding. The plot claimed that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange multiple times in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Despite the fact that the story was known to be fake, The Guardian’s editors were painted into a corner and rather than do the honourable thing and own-up to their mistake, and maybe fire a reckless Harding – instead  doubled-down and stood by their spectacular propaganda piece and its creator.


All of this is rather ironic, considering how The Guardian had milked Assange and WikiLeaks in order to sell papers and re-establish its own ‘street cred’ amongst the liberal intelligensia only a few years earlier when Assange, WikiLeaks and Ed Snowden were the cause célèbre and the toast of Islington and the Frontline Club crowd. Back then, the paper was regarded as the vanguard of brave journalism speaking truth to power. Oh, how times have changed.

It’s clear by surveying their coverage over the last three years, that the brain trust at The Guardian decided to humour the official conspiracy theory commonly known as Russiagate, which surmises that the Kremlin somehow colluded with the 2016 Trump campaign in order to help get Trump elected. This has been proven to be a work of fiction, particularly after the release the highly underwhelming Mueller Report this month, but it still colours all of the Guardian’s editorial lines which also means they are blaming Assange and WikiLeaks for colluding with the Russians to hack and publish the DNC and Podesta Emails in the summer and fall of 2016. This is another official conspiracy theory which is not actually grounded in any forensic finding, but rather ‘intelligence’ and claims made by various US officials and dutifully parroted by the mainstream press, including the Guardian. In fact, the most compelling forensic evidence to date indicates that the DNC emails were leaked, and not ‘hacked’ by the “GRU” (supposedly Russian military intelligence agency).

None of these realities register with the editors at The Guardian though, leaving onlookers wondering whether or not their political editors’ desks have been wholly taken over by the intelligence services. How else can you explain their slavish adherence to the CIA and MI5 official line on this and every other major international story, especially those featuring Russia as the antagonist? Perhaps the government’s clandestine network of mainstream journalists involved in the Integrity Initiative has something to do with it. It may be part of the puzzle, but that still doesn’t explain everything.

Five Filters explains the wider context here…

The Guardian has profited a lot from Julian Assange’s work, but over the years has become increasingly hostile towards him. Journalist John Pilger writes:

The Guardian has exploited the work of Assange and WikiLeaks in what its previous editor called “the greatest scoop of the last 30 years”. The paper creamed off WikiLeaks’ revelations and claimed the accolades and riches that came with them.

With not a penny going to Julian Assange or to WikiLeaks, a hyped Guardian book led to a lucrative Hollywood movie. The book’s authors, Luke Harding and David Leigh, turned on their source, abused him and disclosed the secret password Assange had given the paper in confidence, which was designed to protect a digital file containing leaked US embassy cables.

Julian Assange, now held in Britain’s maximum security facility, Belmarsh Prison.

On 27th November 2018, the Guardian published a story by Luke Harding headlined “Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy”. It has since been shared over 162,000 times on Facebook alone. The Guardian has not provided any evidence for it, and has refused to retract it. In an interview with the Observer, journalist Glenn Greenwald, who used to work for the Guardian, said:

The Guardian’s happy to be used …if you publish something like a totally fake story, there are so many benefits to it and almost no consequences. …If you look at Luke Harding’s traffic metrics, they went through the roof. That’s an incentive scheme to continue to do shitty journalism.

In their excellent alert on the Assange arrest, Media Lens writes of the claimed meeting:

No shred of evidence has ever been produced for this claim, which WikiLeaks and Manafort have both vehemently denied, and the story has been widely regarded as fake from virtually the hour of its publication. Luke Harding, the lead journalist on the story, and his editors Paul Johnson and Katharine Viner, have never apologised or retracted the story; nor have they responded to the many challenges about it. As we have previously noted, the Guardian has a disreputable record in publishing nasty, abusive and derogatory pieces about Assange.

More recently Greenwald commented:

..I’ve come to peace with the fact that this story will never be retracted even though everyone – including at the @Guardian, I am sure – knows it is utter bullshit – a joke – but it’s still worth noting because it shows how unmoored the media is to any notions of accountability

Below, we’ve compiled a list of 44 Guardian articles to show you how the Guardian has treated Julian Assange and Wikileaks. We’ve also put together suggested actions for you to consider and a list of articles analysing this output.

If you haven’t already, it really is time to Dump the Guardian and support independent media instead…

Continue this story here at Five Filters

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