The Guardian’s Paul Lewis & London Riots: 13 stories, 12,000 words, & only 1 ethnicity mentioned

As we noted yesterday, Paul Lewis’s report on the London Riots from Aug. 7, “Tottenham riots: a peaceful protest, then suddenly all hell broke loose, found it relevant to note that some Hasidic Jews allegedly were among those who jeered police, yet didn’t find it pertinent to report the race or ethnicity of any other group which jeered police, or participated in the riots.

Again, here’s the passage:

“The make-up of the rioters was racially mixed. Most were men or boys, some apparently as young as 10….But families and other local residents, including some from Tottenham’s Hasidic Jewish community, also gathered to watch and jeer at police.”

Per our post from yesterday, this seems like a flagrant violation of the Guardian’s Editorial Code, which prohibits such ethnic or racial descriptions, “unless pertinent to the story”.

So, I decided to go through the previous thirteen reports about the London Riots which were either authored or co-authored by Paul Lewis to see if the Aug. 7th story was anomalous.

As it turns out, in those reports – encompassing over 12,000 words – the only time a particular ethnicity was noted in any context relating to the riots, looters, or onlookers was the Aug. 7th reference to Hasidic Jews.

There was only one other reference to race in any context, and that was to dispel the notion that the rioters were largely black – tying in with the general narrative of the Guardian that the race of the rioters is mixed.

Here’s the quote from the Aug. 8 dispatch:

“As in Tottenham the previous night, the makeup of the crowd reflected the local demographic. Young men were in the majority, although there were women, and some older people present too, but contrary to the reports I was hearing on the radio phone-ins, these were not “black youths”: in Enfield, they were mostly white.”

Indeed, the rioters were typically characterized by Lewis as merely “youths” – a word which was used 31 times in the 13 reports. 

I contacted the Guardian’s Readers’ Editor yesterday to inquire about the reference to Hasidic Jews, and why it was “pertinent” to Lewis’s story, but, thus far, haven’t received a reply. 

Here are the thirteen reports reviewed in this post:

London riots: how did the Metropolitan police lose control of the capital? | UK news | The Guardian

Hackney rioters and police in hand-to-hand combat | UK news |

Hackney rioters directly target police | UK news | The Guardian

Enfield and Edmonton riots: ‘The mood was calmer, it felt premeditated’ | UK news | The Guardian

London riots spread south of Thames | UK news |

Doubts emerge over Duggan shooting as London burns | UK news | The Guardian

Second night of violence in London – and this time it was organised | UK news | The Guardian

We warned Tottenham situation could get out of control – community leaders | UK news | The Guardian

Tottenham riots: a peaceful protest, then suddenly all hell broke loose | UK news | The Guardian

Tottenham riots: Police ‘had not anticipated’ extreme violence | UK news |

Tottenham riots: 26 police officers injured and 42 people arrested | UK news |

Tottenham riot: Sustained looting follows night of violence | UK news |

Tottenham in flames as riot follows protest | UK news | The Observer

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14 replies »

  1. Great research Adam.

    I wouldn’t expect a formal reply from Guardian. They are busy pushing their ‘Guardian World View’ subliminally onto unsuspecting readers and your accurate ‘observation’, from their point of view, is best left ‘unnoticed’.

    They are however, getting an increasing number of comments from irate readers who are ‘on to them’ and even accuse them of encouraging civil disobedience with their stream of articles finding fault with police activities while trying to ‘understand’ the culprits.

  2. While at some point white/non-African hooligans joined the rioting, it is insane for the Guardian to try to pretend that the initial impetus was due to the strong feelings of the black community of Tottenham towards their discriminated status in England.

    The Guardian has always been eager to accuse Israel of various forms of racism, using trolls like Rachel Shabi to try to over-state ethnic differences. When it comes to their own back yard they are determined to pretend that no such tensions exist.

    With the exception, of course, of pointing out that a few Orthodox Jews actually watched one riot that was apparently occurring close to their own homes. The Guardian’s disgusting, positively medieval obsession with Jews and barely disguised anti-Semitism has rarely been more on display.

    • Sorry –

      it is insane for the Guardian to try to pretend that the initial impetus was NOT due to the strong feelings

      • I wonder if there was a Guardian version of the Wannsee Conference when they decided to actively promote anti-Semitism and the destruction of the Jewish state.

        • I wonder if there was a Guardian version of the Wannsee Conference

          Strange how the G.’s homepage makes not a single mention of Israel or Jews.
          (and yes, that was true before the riots as well)

  3. The Jerusalem Post reports:

    In the face of growing public demands for firmer action to be taken against rioters, police said they might consider using baton rounds – non-lethal rubber or plastic bullets.

    A textbook case of the use of indisproportionate and excessive force.
    I demand an inmediate investigation by the UN, the HRW preferably under the leadership of Richard Goldstone.
    I demand from the well known Turkish humanitarian organisation IHH to supply some out of date pills and some balloons to the hungry population of Tottenham. Naturally some handgun could be very useful as well. If the British border authorities wouldn’t agree to deliver it then they musn’t hesitate to use violence.

  4. Three days of riots in some parts of London and the police are up in arms with clueless politicians scratching their heads with some commentators calling for deployment of water cannons and even shoot at sight! Now imagine living under a constant threat of violence, brick throwing, looting, burning and bombing – 24/7, and you get some idea of what it must be like to live in Israel. Yet life there goes on almost seamlessly, Hasidic Jews and all. The Filth reporter Harrriet Sherwood should be moved to London and get reporting on home grown Intifada.

  5. As a matter of fact I seriously doubt that Hasidic Jews were jeering at the police anyway. It isn’t their sort of thing.

    Paul Lewis should be challenged on this. Nothing the Guardian publishes about Jews or Israel should be believed unless there is independent evidence from elsewhere. You just can’t trust them.

  6. What’s to add? We all know that the Grauniad is an illiberal, anti-Semitic rag fit only for wiping the backide!

  7. They were throwing rocks, laughing at police and givi g out food to fellow rooters. If they dont want to be called out on their rioting they shouldn’t act like criminals.