Here’s what the Guardian didn’t tell you about the anti-#Israel bias of ABC’s Sophie McNeill

The Guardian published a story today on a parliamentary committee investigating the objectivity ABC (Australia) Middle East correspondent Sophie McNeill.

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The row was instigated, the Guardian’s Amanda Mead explained, in part because McNeill had expressed her admiration for Robert Fisk and John Pilger.

Of course, the Guardian doesn’t so much as note Pilger’s radicalism, nor give readers any indication why McNeill’s endorsement of him would raise legitimate concerns about her objectivity.  

So, for those unaware, John Pilger, a Guardian contributor, is a ‘radical’ who has ranted about “the criminality of the Israeli state” and “the murderous, racist toll of Zionism”, has legitimized 9/11 conspiracy theories, suggested that Hezbollah represented “humanity at its noblest” and expressed support for neo-Nazi style anti-Semite Gilad Atzmon

But, that’s not all the Guardian didn’t tell you.

McNeill has contributed to the extremist site Electronic Intifada. Ali Abunimah – the co-founder of Electronic Intifada – is a former Guardian contributor who supports terrorism, advances conspiracy theories, opposes the existence of a Jewish state within any borders and has engaged in antisemitic tropes.

Additionally, in 2013, McNeill  spoke at an event sponsored by a Sydney Palestinian student activist group called “Silence is Betrayal”. Panelists at the event discussed “activism, Palestine and Journalism”, and featured pro-Palestinian propagandist Harry Fear.  

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The event was also reportedly co-sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine – a group which has hosted extremist speakers, staged chapter events with Hamas and Islamic Jihad supporters and was condemned for using social media site to post antisemitic graphics.

More recently, a check of her twitter account revealed this response legitimizing a tweet by Marian Houk contextualizing the ‘insanity defense’ of a defendant on trial for the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir by bizarrely complaining that Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, including those killed while carrying out attacks against Jews, have been “summarily killed” and haven’t been afforded the right to plead insanity.

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McNeill’s Tweet, as with her affiliations with radical groups and expressed admiration for an extreme anti-Israel propagandist, at the very least raise serious questions about her capacity as a professional journalist to fairly and objectively cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

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