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Behind NATO's propaganda outlet for progressives - the Guardian's board members

tortilla con sal | 11.01.2014 12:52 | Analysis | Anti-militarism | Other Press | London | World

It is completely disingenuous for anyone to suggest that the Guardian reports on Edward Snowden's revelations are much more than a carefully managed propaganda exercise deployed in the internal power struggle of the US-Anglo elite about how best to manage their declining global power and influence.

Likewise, it is absurd to suggest that the Guardian editors are implementing a "publish and be damned" policy, as Guardian writer Glenn Greenwald has suggested, when it is inconceivable that their editorial policy on publishing Edward Snowden's material will not have been closely coordinated on the basis of the Board's relations with colleagues in the British government, in British intelligence and in the US-Anglo corporate sector.

The Guardian, 10 June 2013
The Guardian, 10 June 2013

Behind NATO's propaganda outlet for progressives - the Guardian's board members

Tortilla con Sal, 3 July 2013

In this conversation Jorge and toni discuss the underlying reality over which the revelations by Edward Snowden have been laid to camouflage the ground people think they are covering.

For anyone foolish enough to believe that the revelations of Edward Snowden are not carefully managed by the US-Anglo oligarchy, pay attention please to the information below about the Guardian Media Group board members and the board members of the Scott Trust which owns Guardian Media Group.

It is completely disingenuous for anyone to suggest that the Guardian reports on Edward Snowden's revelations are much more than a carefully managed propaganda exercise deployed in the internal power struggle of the US-Anglo elite about how best to manage their declining global power and influence.

Likewise, it is absurd to suggest that the Guardian editors are implementing a "publish and be damned" policy, as Guardian writer Glenn Greenwald has suggested, when it is inconceivable that their editorial policy on publishing Edward Snowden's material will not have been closely coordinated on the basis of the Board's relations with colleagues in the British government, in British intelligence and in the US-Anglo corporate sector.

The most likely outcome is that the Guardian and its fellow NATO propaganda outlet the Washington Post will wear Edward Snowden like a pair of shoes to get to where they want to go and then dump him the way they did Julian Assange.

go to the original link to listen to the podcast:


Notes on the Guardian Media Group and Scott Trust boards based on information from their respective web sites :

* the Chair of the Board of the Guardian Media Group, the company that runs the Guardian, is Dame Amelia Fawcett CBE and Dame Commander OBE, former head of Morgan Stanley's banking business in Europe.
* the editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, is a governor of the Ditchley Foundation a non-profit founded
"to promote international understanding and relations, especially Anglo-American relations". Rusbridger, supporter of mass-murdering NATO aggression against Serbia, Libya and Syria, hobknobs with fellow Ditchley Foundation war-mongers David Cameron, John Major, Lord George Robertson, Malcolm Rifkind, Jack Straw, Lord Carrington, Peter Mandelson and dozens of other acolytes of the NATO war machine

also on the board are

* Andrew Miller, previously with Pepsico and Procter & Gamble.
* Neil Berkett, chief executive officer of Virgin Media, previously with Lloyds TSB plc (UK), Prudential Assurance Company Ltd UK, St George Bank, Eastwest Airlines Australia and ICL Australia.
* Ronan Dunne chief executive officer of Telefónica UK Ltd (O2) also a member of the Telefónica Europe plc board and chairman of Tesco Mobile, previously with Banque Nationale de Paris plc.
* Judy Gibbons, formerly corporate vice-president of MSN Global Sales & Marketing at Microsoft.
* Brent Hoberman, a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum and a UK Business Trade Ambassador.
* Nigel Morris, chief executive officer of Aegis Media Americas and Aegis Media EMEA and a speaker at the World Economic Forum.
* John Paton, chief executive officer of Digital First Media also a member of the Board of Advisors for the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism and a member of the board of directors of El Pais.
* the previous Guardian Media Group CEO Carolyn McCall, formerly non-executive director of Lloyd's Banking Group and of the Tesco supermarket chain, is now CEO of the Easyjet airline

The Guardian is owned by the Scott Trust, on whose board in recent years have figured

* Dame Liz Forgan DBE, former managing director of BBC network radio
* Anthony Salz, executive vice-chariman of Rothschild's Bank
*Jonathan Scott, Ambac Assurance UK, a director of KPMG Corporate Finance and of the global corporate financial giant SBC Warburg

So when Gleen Greenwald announces via Skype to the cheers of a US socialist conference his faith in the integrity of the Guardian's senior editors what one is witnessing seems to be the abandonment by a broad sector of the North American neocolonial Left of any vestigial anti-imperialist common sense they may once have had


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Reflections on the category “journalism” and the revelations by Edward Snowden

11.01.2014 13:02


Reflections on the category “journalism” and the revelations by Edward Snowden

by tortilla con sal, 7 July 2013

The choices for Edward Snowden have narrowed to either returning home to the United States on whatever may be the most favourable terms he can negotiate, or taking up one of the offers of asylum from various Latin American governments on the terms those governments may require under their domestic legislation and under aggressive US and European government pressure. In that context, this video on the Guardian web site gives a very useful insight into the corporate psychology of the European and North American imperialist news media.

Charlie Rose is a liberal US media personality whose current affairs interviews give his interviewees, in this case senior Guardian editors, the chance to discuss their positions on whatever may be the issue of the day.


The video makes categorically clear the deep and close coordination between the Guardian’s senior editorial staff and the US and British government and intelligence establishments. It makes clear the commercial, corporate”scoop” rationale for the Guardian’s handling of the material made available by Edward Snowden. It makes clear the political damage control aspect of that perception management.

At one point, Guardian UK editor Alan Rusbridger asserts that the Guardian is independent, skimming over the fundamental question : What is the class commitment of the Guardian editorial team, subject as they are to the control and influence of their own board and the board of the Scott Trust, sole owner of the Guardian? What variety of independence does Alan Rusbridger invoke, given that undeniable class reality? (link: )

Very, very clearly, the senior Guardian editors are profoundly committed to the defence of NATO, of Western corporate capitalism and the imperialist structures of dominance that sustain that system through the infamous modalities of double-edged aid and odious debt. They defend that system despite its egregious failure and its massive transfer of wealth to the NATO country’s corporate financial elites.

That is why the Guardian’s editorial policy has supported NATO country aggression, for example, against Serbia, Ivory Coast, Libya and now Syria. Guardian editorial policy has been consistently hostile and deeply dishonest, to cite the most obvious cases, to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, to Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, to Rafael Correa in Ecuador and to Evo Morales in Bolivia, to the FARC in Colombia and to the anti-Zionist Resistance axis in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria.

On both Libya and Syria, the Guardian has spread baseless propaganda lies in support of the NATO propaganda and military aggression against those countries’ legitimate governments. So the variety of independence espoused by Alan Rusbridger and his colleagues is one characterized unsurprisingly by an absolute determination to defend their class interests as a privileged caste comfortably ensconced in the NATO country ancien regime. All too self-evident is the very understandable “don’t shit where you eat” rationality of the Guardian’s senior editors.

Their class is the intellectual managerial class controlling all corporate and most alternative intellectual production of news and entertainment in North America and Europe. In this respect, Glenn Greenwald’s remarks are relevant because he too insists on the moral dimension of the matter. Most probably, he does so because that is more comfortable and reassuring from his point of view than to look at the class dimension of the Guardian’s handling of the revelations by Edward Snowden. He writes :

“I’ve been continuously amazed by how intrepid, fearless and committed the Guardian’s editors have been in reporting these NSA stories as effectively and aggressively as possible. They have never flinched in reporting these stories, have spared no expense in pursuing them, have refused to allow vague and baseless government assertions to suppress any of the newsworthy revelations….. they deserve a lot of credit for the impact these stories have had……. Rather than sit on such a newsworthy story – especially at a time when Latin America, for several reasons, is so focused on these revelations – they were enthused about my partnering with O Globo, where it could produce the most impact. In other words, they sacrificed short-term competitive advantage for the sake of the story by encouraging me to write this story with O Globo.”

(Full article link :…)

This version is somewhat contradicted by the frank admission by senior Guardian editors in their interview with Charlie Rose of close coordination with the US and British authorities. In any case, few would disagree that most Guardian staff are good, decent people trying to do their best conscientiously by their own ideological lights. Of course they are. The same is true of innumerable functionaries working away in the NATO countries’ diverse institutional framework, both governmental and non-governmental. But they are doing so in a global class context and an imperialist structure that renders all their best efforts grist to the global NATO and corporate capitalist mill of domination and oppression.

Edward Snowden’s revelations serve above all to confirm detail rather than to reveal much that is decisively new. Back in the 1970s, Guardian and New Statesman writer Duncan Campbell’s Tinkerbell revelations about Britain’s GCHQ surveillance system in large part set the modern European precedent for contemporary whistleblowers like William Binney, Thomas Drake and now Edward Snowden. One is entitled to ask why the Guardian’s coverage of the revelations by Thomas Drake and by William Binney was so muted. A legitimate answer may well be that the NATO country elites were able to contain those revelations more easily than those being made now by Edward Snowden.

Let’s look at the Guardian’s joint publication with O Globo. O Globo is a national corporate owned conservative Brazilian media outlet. So politically, the publication of some revelations in Brazil’s O Globo follows the self-same pattern of damage control and perception management as publication of some of Edward Snowden’s revelations in the Guardian or the Washington Post. The Guardian itself suffers no commercial loss because it does not have a Portuguese edition. On the contrary, it accrues somewhat questionable moral prestige by sharing what has become Snowden’s media carrion with circling corporate scavengers like O Globo.

So from that point of view, Glenn Greenwald’s attempt to accrue further moral bonus points on that score for the Guardian falls flat. One might equally well interpret the move to publish in O Globo as a savvy attempt to further extend the Guardian’s and the Washington Post’s perception management of Edward Snowden’s revelations into Latin America. There is little difference in this case from the joint perception management of the Wikileaks revelations which were also handled by the Guardian along with fellow centre-right media like the New York Times, Le Monde. Der Spiegel and so on.

Of course, supporters of those media would reject the “centre-right” label, because their self-image is one of being politically and socially liberal, social democrat, progressive or even radical. But things only look that way as a result of forty years of accommodation to the rolling back of the radical, subversive tide of the 1960s, of seeking to subvert the Cuban and Libyan and other revolutions, of containing the Soviet Union and China, of consolidating the Zionist entity in Palestine and, lately, smearing the governments of Venezuela and Iran, in all of which the Guardian has been an enthusiastic collaborator one way or another.

For any one committed to anti-imperialism who has lived for any time outside the NATO country system of mind control with its strictly enforced categories of admissible dissent and inadmissible extremism, the phenomenon of the Guardian’s damage control management of Edward Snowden’s revelations offers nothing new. Most people who have written from an anti-imperialist position for any length of time are long accustomed to the marginalization and smear campaigns applied against them by the NATO country intellectual production apparatus and its alternative media counterparts.

One way this apparatus excludes ordinary people – the people whose interests they falsely purport to champion – is by the erection of production categories like “journalist” or “academic” or “expert/analyst/commentator”. If one fails to satisfy the formal corporate capitalist prerequisites for such categories one’s opinions and views don’t count. Certainly, anti-imperialist dissenting views are either systematically excluded or relegated to the status of ineffectual comment.

In fact, people outside those categories of intellectual production may have incomparably more insight, knowledge and experience of a given country or issue than the formally accredited “journalists”, “academics” or “experts/analysts/commentators”. Our experience at Tortilla con Sal has been very much along these lines. We have consistently seen woeful ignorance, downright falsehoods and disingenuous omission in the intellectual production of journalists covering Nicaragua and the ALBA countries in all the main NATO country news media we have read and in most of the alternative media.

For us, it was coverage of Nicaragua’s 2008 municipal elections that made us realize how comprehensively pernicious NATO country intellectual production is, across the board. The false anti-Sandinista reporting on those elections and their sequel was soon followed up by the completely skewed reporting of the Zionist attack on Gaza over Christmas of 2008 and, subsequently, the protests around Iran’s elections in 2009. But even this ignoble phase was surpassed in infamy by the NATO countries’ corporate and alternative media coverage of the wars against the Ivory Coast, against Libya and now against Syria.

Not only editors and journalists, materially contracted to and intellectually co-opted by their managers and their boards of directors function in terms of loyalty to their class. Academics like Noam Chomsky and Gilbert Achcar and Santiago Alba Rico, alternative media gurus like Ignacio Ramonet, anti-system figures like Al Giordano and Amy Goodman, all alike joined with their corporate counterparts in acceptance and even celebration of NATO’s catastrophic destruction of Libya. Their class solidarity with their NATO media counterparts was truly impressive.

The Libyan war made clearer than ever before the depth and reach of the global psychological war waged by the NATO country elites against humanity’s impoverished majority. In that world propaganda war, as the Charlie Rose interview shows, centre-right NATO-loyalist social democrats work hard to defend their class interests. Against them and their more reactionary colleagues are ranged the State media of NATO target countries and also a broad range of committed but informal anti-imperialist media outlets.

In our case at Tortilla con Sal, we are proud of our commitment to the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional. We do our best through our intellectual production to counteract largely fact-free coverage of Nicaragua and the other ALBA countries by corporate NATO country media, their local regional accomplices and their accomplices among the North American and European neocolonial Left. This may or may not satisfy conventional criteria for journalism. If the conventional example of the Guardian’s senior editors is anything to go by, perhaps we should be relieved that it might not.

We hope Edward Snowden makes it to safety and avoids the brutal repression prepared for him by the US authorities. We think his revelations are important in the short term because they give confirmation of what was already widely known about NATO country global surveillance abuses. But what may be far more important in the medium and long term is the further confirmation we are now finding of the intimate collusion by major NATO news and entertainment media with their countries’ governmental and corporate structures. They are all struggling to manage as effectively as possible their relentless, albeit relative, global decline.


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