You won’t find this update, about the Guardian’s allegations about Milly Dowler’s voicemails being deleted by people working for the News of the World, on the BBC News website. The BBC, as the broadcast arm of the Guardian, has an editorial culture of omitting stories that paint the Guardian in a negative light and thus will act as if the story does not exist.
So rather than rely on the world’s largest news gathering organisation, with the unique way it is funded, we cross the globe to Australia’s Telegraph to learn that:
T Mobile, the company that bought the One-2-One network that Milly’s Nokia phone was registered to, yesterday confirmed that any voicemail messages left on her phone would have been automatically deleted after 72 hours whether they were listened to or not.
The Guardian, for all its lofty and self regarding cant about high standard and media ethics, went to print with allegations that were at best single sourced. Its award winning investigations team, being fed information from police insiders, either made no effort to check if there was a technical reason for the voicemail deletions, or did check but omitted it from the story despite knowing their claims could be untrue. This is not just shoddy, it is downright irresponsible.
But why did it happen?
Sitting in his comfortable ivory tower, the Guardian’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, saw within the story Nick Davies had drafted the vehicle with which he could escalate his petty, vindictive and politically motivated assault on Rupert Murdoch and News International. The phone hacking story had been relentlessly pursued – not out of journalistic desire to expose unacceptable behaviour but to service an agenda to ruin Murdoch. A nakedly political agenda of the centre left, big government, authoritarian establishment, dressed up as exposing abuse by a ‘power elite’:
Via a single campaign the Guardian could undermine Murdoch‘s desire to regain control of BSkyB – thus preserving the BBC’s monopoly of news broadcasting in the UK with its centre left editorial slant. Sure, many people would be appalled at the behaviour of the News of the World, but it would take something more emotive to provoke the kind of outrage that could result in serious and permanent damage.
The news that people working for the News of the World hacked the voicemails of a missing schoolgirl would be bad enough. But the claim that NotW journalists or investigators deleted voicemails to make room for more emotional messages they could eavesdrop was the dynamite to hole the NotW below the waterline. No matter what other evidence there was of NotW voicemail hacking, it was that claim that was intended to play to the famously sentimental British public and spark a kneejerk backlash that would benefit the Guardian.
Don’t be surprised. The Guardian is well versed in underhand methods to suit its own agenda and interests. It is already trying to wriggle out of its responsibility for repeatedly reporting so vehemently its claim about the deletion of voicemails. Years ago the Guardian ran a vicious and hypocritical campaign to undermine the then owners of the Observer, Lonrho, its proprietor, Tiny Rowland and a number of Observer journalists so it could seize control of the Observer as a ready made Sunday stablemate. Shamelessly using and manipulating the Dowler family and their lawyer, Mark Lewis, the Guardian machine swung into action – this time against the NotW – again to suit its own self serving interests. This time Rusbridger and Co have been caught red handed and did what they could to bury the correction to their frequently used claim about voicemail deletions.
I’ve sometimes felt like I was wasting my time over the months trying to get people to see and understand the Guardian’s agenda, methods, and the dishonesty and hypocrisy of some of its prominent journalists. Most people wanted to focus on other things that seemed more interesting. But now it seems a lot of those who ignored the story being set out on this blog (including other newspapers and media), because the Guardian supposedly has prestige and this is, well, just a blog, are starting to see the Guardian for what it is. The number of hits in recent days shows this story is starting to pique people’s interest.
Where now from here? This is almost certainly not the first time the Guardian has acted this way. This is just the tip of the iceberg. So, the question people must now ask themselves is what other falsehoods has the Guardian retailed to an unwitting public in support of a self serving agenda? It is time to look at the Guardian’s editorial history with fresh eyes.