We recently reported that the Guardian removed a CiF essay (by Nabeel Rajab and John Lubbock) from their site in late January which reported on human rights abuses against Shia employees of the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), which is to host the Grand Prix in April, due to a threatened lawsuit by the PR company representing BIC.
The essay also reported more broadly on the Bahrain regime’s systemic oppression of its Shia population (in an overwhelmingly Sunni nation).
You can see an unauthorized cache of the essay at our site, here.
At the time I observed how interesting it was to see a media institution which prides itself on “speaking truth to power” – and so poetically champions the “liberal”, democratic values of the “Arab Spring” – cravenly succumbing to pressure from a Bahrain PR Firm which is reportedly associated with the despotic regime.
Well, the following recent Tweet by co-author John Lubbock, updating friends on the status of the removed post, caught me as especially worth noting.
Think about this for a second.
The Guardian, which publishes reports about alleged Israeli human rights abuses with abandon, often on nothing more than anecdotal evidence, or the testimony of one Palestinian, suddenly feels the need to fact check and independently corroborate witness testimony unflattering to the nation it’s covering!?
Can you imagine the paucity of Israel-related content at the Guardian, and ‘Comment is Free’, if such quaint journalistic practices as “fact checking”, independent corroboration of evidence, and objectivity were consistently employed throughout their coverage of the region?
Of course, Israel’s democratic nature, which includes a free press (and hosts the highest number of foreign correspondents per capita in the world) which doesn’t fear legal sanction, or extra-judicial punishment, for filing reports critical of the government, may explain why Harriet Sherwood doesn’t feel the compunction to rigorously check the veracity of her ubiquitous reports critical of the Jewish state.
Interestingly, based on the Guardian’s own data, Israel was covered over four times more than Bahrain between 2010 and 2011.
I simply can’t imagine why?!