Latest on the Bella Mackie/Rusbridger Affair

Martin Bright over at the Jewish Chronicle has the latest on the news that anti-Israel biased moderator BellaM (a/k/a Bella Mackie) is actually Isabella Rusbridger, daughter of Guaridan editor, Alan Rusbridger, a scoop that CiF Watch broke last Friday.

According to Martin Bright,

I was subsequently contacted by a senior member of Guardian management who assured me that Ms Mackie was interviewed rigorously and won the job as a moderator three years ago because she was the best candidate. I was also told that it was an old story that Isabella Mackie worked at the Guardian (although perhaps not that she felt it appropriate to parade her partisan views as the anonymous BellaM).

Martin Bright also reports that the following is the official position of the Guardian in response to the JC’s report of our exposing Bella Mackie’s outrageous outpouring of hatred against Melanie Phillips in Two Minutes Hate: Melanie Phillips Bashing on the Ed Husain Thread:

“Staff at the Guardian are actively encouraged to engage with users and curate discussions in threads across the whole site, not only on Comment is Free. The well-understood convention is that staff posting in threads do so in a personal capacity and are permitted to express their own opinions; ‘below-the-line’ engagement in an opinion forum is a different role, and the expectation of impartiality that would apply to the regular work of reporters, editors and moderators does not necessarily pertain. When posting in threads, staff cannot be expected to be automatons sticking to leader lines in this informal context of online debate.

“However, they are expected to abide by the site-wide ‘talk policy’, as any user is; and over and above that, to be mindful that, as they are clearly identified in threads as ‘staff’, they should uphold a high standard of civility and avoid any behaviour that might bring the Guardian’s good name into disrepute.

“In this particular case, the staff member concerned was reminded of these guidelines; but no disciplinary action was judged appropriate or necessary.”

Just in case you’ve  missed it (and that you’re here because of the Dispatches program) this is what Bella Mackie said on the Ed Husain thread:


31 Oct 09, 9:53am

Staff Staff

I imagine she’s like that character in Little Britain who is violently sick every time she hears the words ‘black or gay.’ Except for Melanie, the word would be ‘Muslim.’

And since Jewish conspiracy theory is a bit of a hot topic ask yourself how mindful of the “talk policy” Brian Whitaker, commissioning editor of “Comment is Free”, was when he insinuated in a comment thread that pro-Israel posters are paid agents of the Israeli government fuelling Jewish conspiracy theory in the thread. Here’s an example of the kind of discourse that Whitaker encouraged:

illegalcombatant’s comment 17 Jul 09, 12:18pm

BrianWhit 17 Jul 09, 11:55am

Staff Israeli Foreign Ministry to Hire Shills for Internet Warfare Squad

Thanks for posting that Mr. Whit. There is also the GIYUS organisation that performs an identical role in spreading Jewish-Israeli-Zionist propaganda.

Their site offers the co-called Megaphone software that issues alerts which results in the faithful swarming to sites to spread the “truth” – much as we see regularly on the pages of CiF.

I suppose the name Megaphone says it all – any discourse is invariably very loud and one-way only.

Note that this same poster made the following blatantly antisemitic comment on the Debating the Holocaust Thread (which took 16 hours to be deleted) and whom the Guardian refuses to ban despite a track record of antisemitic comments as exposed in our Ban the Ant thread.


20 Oct 09, 8:42pm

Why is it that we are not allowed to debate the Holocaust?

Why is it that academics who try to do so have their funding cut off or lose their tenures?

Who came up with the 6 million figure?

And IllegalCombatAnt is but one of many examples of commenters that the Guardian refuses to ban. Now if the Guardian tolerates and actively encourages pond life like IllegalCombatAnt then do you really think that it will take disciplinary action against the likes of Bella Mackie or Brian Whitaker?

10 replies »

  1. So now we know that the adorable Bella M. is actually Isabella Rusbridger, spoiled child of the editor and daddy’s girl at the Guardian. “Bella” has been quite active in hiding her one and only job qualification: her status as daddy’s girl. I can only imagine the interview that “Bella” had when she “applied” for the job: Why should we hire you, young lady? Answer: “Because I am Alan Rusbridger’s little girl and if you don’t hire me, then when you wake up tomorrow morning, you will be grilling hamburgers at Wimpys.”
    Isabella or Bella is giving nepotism a bad name.

  2. I can just imagine what would have been written on bellam’s resume.When she applied for a job in the Guardian.

    Just these two words……….. Isabella Rusbridger……………………

  3. What is the most disgusting thing to me is that a person with such obvious biases is a moderater on CI(F).

    Surely an organisation that professes ‘fairness’ cannot employ such a heavily biased person in such a sensitive job.

  4. With respect to the endless “GIYUS” accusations, it is always fascinating that the hordes of Israel bashers and out-and-out anti-Semites (the number of deletions on the Mitzvah Day thread proves the prevalence of anti-Semites on the CIF threads) who swarm to the Israel and Judaism related threads on CIF are try to pretend that they are not part of a huge and organized conspiracy to mob the threads.

    Just as I have never met a Jew who has read the “protocols”, I have never met a Jew who subscribes to “GIYUS”. In fact, it is only these anti-Semites who seem obsessed with it, and no doubt lurk on the site daily to feed their obsessions. When I first stumbled onto CIF, I had never even heard of GIYUS and had to resort to googling the word to find out what these creeps were going on about.

    The cyber-mobbing hysteria on CIF over the Oborne article proves that beyond a doubt that there is an organized attempt by Moslems, their supporters, and anti-Semites to cyber-mob the CIF threads dealing with Israel or Judaism, no matter how peripherally.The Mitzvah Day thread, where for the first time the paper had to pre-moderate every single comment, was clearly targeted for organized virulent cyber-mobbing.

    The fact is, that these creeps are clearly obsessed with attacking Israel, and, often, Judaism, and that there is a deliberate attempt in the UK to organize them by groups such as Arab Media Watch or the Palestine SolidarityCampaign

    Nevertheless, they represent a small portion of the British public, no matter how ugly their campaigns are. The question in my mind is how far this will spread, and how far into the fabric of British society will its tentacles continue to penetrate. Invariably, what starts with the Jews invariably spreads, and ultimately the society that tolerates these attacks will pay a heavy price.

  5. Bella’s infamous ad hominem about Melanie Philips
    “I imagine she’s like a character in Little Britain who is violently sick every time she hears the words ‘black’ or ‘gay’. Except for Melanie, the word would be ‘Muslim’.” is startling in the light of the comment that she was employed because she was the best candidate.

    It makes me wonder how many other candidates there were, what they were like, what the job description is and what the criteria were. If the latter included an uncontrollable tendency towards inappropriate comparisons or the desire to become ‘famous’ and not be sure whether it is in a good way or not then they had the right girl for the job.

  6. Here’s an interesting comment posted this morning:


    17 Nov 2009, 10:10AM

    WhatRecession, totally agree with your post.

    It is time to congratulate and salute CIF & the Guardian staff, especially the Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger for their brilliant work in trying to tell the truth when and where they can despite the threats and constant bullying. Please do not give in to any criminals and bullies.


    I think he should have written “Alan Rusbridger and family” 😉

  7. I have never heard of GIYUS either,and I’m really pissed off about it, imagine all the money that I could have made all this time that I was posting for nothing.

    The reason these anti-Israel posters flock to the Guardian,is because they are made to feel at home,their garbage is accepted,and even encouraged.

    There is one consolation though,they are not in love with us because they feel inferior to us,it could have been worse, they could feel superior to us.

  8. Strange developments in moderation on the Oborne thread at Cif; one post of mine was disappeared, presumably because it referred to a comment that had itself gone completely. Then it came back again, so my repeat effort was not really needed.

    Then a commenter called PeaceCampaign, who only seems to have joined Cif this morning, has had multiple posts deleted and is now down the memory hole too. Having read them all before the moderators got there, I’m not particularly surprised.

  9. Now I’ve been airbrushed out in my entirety, so I’ve tried again. If it disappears this time, I’ll post it here so you can see my apparent violations of Cif policy in full.

  10. How appropriate that Bella M’s real name is Isabella Rusbridger. I am sure that at the Guardian, when Isabella’s daddy is not around, the staff calls her Queen Isabella. I can see Bella dancing around the staff room, singing the old 1950s song “My heart belongs to daddy”. How ironic that the Guardian, a newspaper that is forever lecturing about social justice, should give one of its cushiest jobs to the editor’s young daughter. There were surely dozens of experienced journalists who applied for the job and went through the phony interviews that were given to present the illusion of a merit selection process. But it was in the bag all along and Bella/Isabella and dear old dad knew that the fix was in.