CiF Watch “When Pigs Fly” Edition: The Guardian treats Melanie Phillips fairly

In November of 2009, CiF Watch exposed (Guardian moderator) “BellaM” engaging in an ad hominem attack on Melanie Phillips in her capacity as a Guardian staff member: 

As we noted, “Her comment spurred post after post of mouth-frothing denunciation of Melanie Phillips in the now infamous Ed Husain thread that we reported on in our post Two Minutes Hate: Melanie Phillips bashing on the Ed Husain thread.”

Further, we noted, the the real name of “BellaM” turned out to be Isabella Mackie, and that Mackie was the maiden name of the wife of none other than Guardian editor, Alan Rusbridger.  Isabella Mackie used her mother’s surname when taking a job at the Guardian’s website to disguise the fact that she was the daughter of the paper’s editor, Alan Rusbridger.

As The Jewish Chronicle reported at the time, the Guardian issued an official statement acknowledging that BellaM’s actions were inappropriate and noted that they “reminded BellaM of the paper’s guidelines that staff posting on the site ‘should uphold a high standard of civility and avoid any behaviour that might bring the Guardian’s good name into disrepute'”. [emphasis mine]

So, given this background, it was intriguing to see the Guardian’s recent report on Phillips’ counter-attack against those (in the blogosphere and on Twitter) attaching some sort of significance to the fact that she was mentioned in the purported manifesto of Norway terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik – a list which also includes Winston Churchill, Bernard Lewis, Edmund Burke, Thomas Jefferson, Mahatma Gandhi, John Locke, and George Orwell.

The story quotes Phillips:

“A concerned reader has sent me a post by Sunny Hundal on the Liberal Conspiracy blog,” Phillips wrote. “Hundal brings us what he clearly considers to be the most important news about the Norwegian atrocity. This is that, in the ‘manifesto’ reportedly published by the terrorist suspect Anders Behring Breivik, two of my articles are quoted.

“Golly. Is Hundal suggesting that my writing provoked the mass murder of some 93 Norwegians? Doubtless with one eye on the law of libel, he piously avers: ‘There is no suggestion that his actions were inspired by Melanie Phillips, nor am I making that claim’.”

Phillips is further quoted:

“”In fact, there are only two references to me or my work in its 1,500 pages … Why has he singled me out in this way? It looks like yet another crude attempt to smear me. … The supposed beliefs of Norway massacre’s perpetrator has got the left in general wetting itself in delirium at this apparently heaven-sent opportunity to take down those who fight for life, liberty and western civilisation against those who would destroy it.”

So, yes, the Guardian quoted Phillips fairly, and didn’t in any way legitimize the lunacy of suggestions that her writings somehow influenced the Norway shooter’s actions.

Finally, however, not mentioned in the otherwise fair piece was the fact that the blog in question, Liberal Conspiracy, which smeared Phillips, also just happens to be part of the elite group of partner blogs within the Guardian’s Comment Network, and the particular blogger at Liberal Conspiracy who wrote the post, Sunny Hundal, also just happens to be a Guardian contributor.

I can only wonder what BellaM thinks of all of this.            


13 replies »

  1. Wow! Pigs fly indeed! Even more amazing – the Guardian did not allow comments at the end of this article, otherwise one could imagine the level of froth-spitting hate that would ensue.

    I wonder if and when a counter article will appear with the opposite opinion – for “balance” – you know.

  2. Sorry Adam, but the notion of BellaM thinking is oxymoronic.

    And as for the Guardian’s article, even a broken watch is right twice a day. The Guardian knew that it would be digging itself into a deeper hole if it followed Hundal’s bizarre train of what passes for thought.

    So it didn’t.

    Plus, of course, the irrefutable fact that Melanie Phillips would make mincemeat of any attempt on the part of the Guardian to overegg Hundall’s pudding.

  3. What does Bella M think about that…….Is Bella M capable of thinking????????

    Just read her posts,her Tweets,BTW I think that she is in charge of moderation……….To think that CiF had an article about nepotism…..

  4. Why the fuss? And why so defensive re. Phillips. She’s clearly an anti-Muslim bigot.

  5. Pretzelberg, you, equally clearly, lack the social niceties even to approximate to tailoring your opinions appropriately so that they are not insulting.

    Because you disagree with what she writes and says, and she is eminently sensible and clear sighted in her analysis of Islamism and its effects, does not make her an anti-Muslim bigot even if (and probably because) you say that she is. You are confusing your emotions and opinions with hard fact and presenting the former as the latter.

    Because someone like you, arguing from emotions and probably spoiling for a fight here, says that Melanie is a bigot, makes me even more sure that she most definitely isn’t.

    Your “bull in a china shop” approach is not working pretzelberg, so stop doing it and try something that might.

    • I am merely expressing my opinion.
      “you, equally clearly, lack the social niceties …”. And that ad hominem makes you a hypocrite. As does your singling me out for attention. There are many other posters here whose “social niceties” are far worse than mine or yours, but you never seem to challenge them.

      • “I am merely expressing my opinion.”

        Opinions which are grossly defamatory.

        The level of abuse has now reached such a pitch that it would no longer surprise me if Ms. Phillips were at some point attacked. If people ask me how such a terrible thing could have happened, I shall refer them to the various comments about Melanie that you have made here and elsewhere.

        • Even by your low standards, that is truly laughable. And what a hypocrite you are, having thrown baseless insults at me immeasurably worse than anything I’ve said about Phillips.

          Pathetic. And that also goes for the mental midgets recommending your post.

          • I expect truth will out in the end. Nothing I could learn about you would shock me. I do believe you are capable of virtually anything.

  6. Melanie Philips is a hate figure for the left because she crucifies their pretensions on a daily basis and commands wide support for doing so.

    She foresaw Europe’s social collapse years ago, while the politicians and media, blind and clueless, sailed our ship onto the rocks.

    • Wonderfully figurative language, Andy Gill, and very true.

      Melanie’s clear-sightedness and forthrightness causes immense cognitive dissonance to the left because she writes the equivalent that their Emperor is naked.

      Once that has been said, it takes root, and it cannot be unsaid. More and more people notice that it is, and that they have been had, but dare not admit it.

      This causes her opponents on the left, such as the woefully inadequate (at least in debating terms) Sunny Hundal – who responds in knee jerk fashion and from emotion rather than reason in order to try to achieve consonance – to self-combust, which in turn highlights her superior debating skills.

      • Three pigs……Now who might they be,hard to decide as there are so many of them in the Guardian……..