A Dramatic Example of The Guardian’s GroupthinkMay 17, 2011 14:07 by Pesach Benson
Stephen Pollard explains a strange phone call revealing something about the mentality of The Guardian staff.
Pollard, the top editor of the Jewish Chronicle, was harangued by The Guardian’s Israel correspondent, Harriet Sherwood over this over-the-top commentary on the murder of Vittorio Arrigoni in Gaza. She doesn’t have to agree with it, but that wasn’t the issue Sherwood was stuck on.
I’ll let Pollard explain:
. . . not something I would have written. But then the editor of a paper doesn’t agree with everything in the paper. Ms Sherwood doesn’t seem to realise that.
‘How could you print that? Don’t you think that is a disgusting thing to say? You are happy to publish that?’
I pointed out that it’s not my view but it’s the view of the writer.
‘That is disgusting. He was a peace activist!’ she screamed back.
I pointed out that Mr Arrigoni was not a ‘peace activist’ but a member of ISM, a hardcore anti-Israel group. Ms Sherwood then started screaming at me in a frankly unintelligible manner, but which included more about him being a peace activist and asking me: ‘So you take pleasure in someone’s murder at the hands of Hamas?’
I pointed out again that it wasn’t my piece.
‘But you’re the editor! You must think it worth publishing’.
I asked if she thought Alan Rusbridger agreed with everything in the Guardian, to which she mumbled something in response.
On and on it went, including her telling me exactly what she thought of my morals. Noted.
Utterly bizarre. Or maybe not, given what she writes in the Guardian.
The very idea of editors only publishing articles they agree with smacks of groupthink, something I’ve long suspected at The Guardian.