Guardian

Guardian’s handling of Josh Trevino story exposes its fault lines.


According to an article by Helen Lewis in the New Statesman, the Guardian’s handling of the disproportionately vocal protestations from a small group of well-known anti-Israel activists (with Ali Abunimah at the helm) to the appointment of Joshua Trevino as part of its US team, is becoming downright bizarre. 

Lewis recounts Abunimah’s version of the story (as previously discussed here), including the amended press release which apparently went from describing Trevino as a member of the editorial team to a member of the commentary team. 

“As this screen capture shows, the Guardian edited its original press release. This is the new one:

Today the Guardian announced the addition of Josh Treviño to its commentary team in the United States. Formerly of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Treviño will be the newest commentator for the Guardian‘s growing US politics team through his column On Politics & Persuasion which launches on Monday 20 August.

And this is the old one:

Today the Guardian announced the addition of Josh Treviño to their editorial team. Formerly of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Treviño will be the newest Correspondent for the Guardian’s growing US politics team through his column “On Politics & Persuasion” which launches on Monday, August 20.”

Lewis then approached the Guardian herself:

“I contacted the Guardian, and a spokesperson told me “this really was just a straightforward error, albeit an unfortunate one”, adding:

I can confirm that there has been no change in Josh Trevino’s terms of employment – the contract has not been altered and he has most certainly not been “demoted” as some articles have suggested. In fact, a simple mistake was made in the press release and this was later corrected. It was clumsy but there is no change to Josh’s position.”

Ah! So it’s all down to an administrative mistake. Well, I suppose the Guardian would very much like everyone to believe that, but such a claim does nothing to explain Trevino’s clarification article on the subject of his flotilla Tweet which appeared on August 16th – the day after Ali Abunimah began  his campaign against Trevino with his first post on the subject at ‘electronic Intifada’. 

Had the Guardian itself considered Trevino’s Tweet problematic, surely either Trevino would not have been hired in the first place or an article of clarification would have appeared before or in conjunction with the press release of August 15th announcing his new position. 

But neither of those scenarios took place, which appears to indicate that the Guardian did not view Trevino’s appointment as a ‘hot potato’ until Abunimah began his crusade, with others soon tagging along. Only then did the damage control begin, in the form of the revised press release, the clarification article, the publishing of a letter protesting its own hiring policy and now, per Lewis, the “error” story. 

It is all too apparent that not only does the Guardian (or at least parts of its editorial team) not have the courage of its own convictions, but that it has allowed itself to be influenced and dictated to by an anti-Israel lobby determined to scupper the appointment of a writer it considers to be too ‘pro-Israel’, even though he was hired to write about a subject completely unrelated to the Middle East.  

Put in simple terms, the Guardian has reduced itself to the level of a phone-in reality show in which audience participation dictates who stays and who goes. 

Of course the Guardian’s track record shows no comparable sensitivity to public opinion when protests are voiced concerning anti-Israel contributors – even when they are members of a proscribed terror organization. 

But at least one thing is now crystal clear: for some reason the Guardian ascribes importance to the opinions of a bunch of fringe campaigners who aspire to bring about the dismantling of a UN member state and thereby deny one nation alone the right to self-determination. 

Be that because of an organizational culture of sympathy for that ideology or out of fear of losing its niche as the anti-Israel campaigner’s paper of choice, the fact remains that the Josh Trevino story has placed a useful spotlight on the Guardian’s fault lines. 

24 replies »

  1. I don’t know why you’re so supportive of Trevino. If you look at many of the facts, it makes perfect sense that they hired him. First of all, he absolutely hates Jonathan Pollard, and supports Jonathan Pollard’s anti-Semitic sentence. Trevino has also repeatedly tried to endanger Jews and Christian Israel supporters who are active in an anonymous Jewish pro-Israel effort, even working directly with Hamas supporters and anti-Semitic Christian missionaries in that effort. The guy is no mensch, not a solid Israel supporter, and certainly not worth defending. And if you really think about all the facts (granted, some aren’t necessarily public, but I’m speaking the truth), you’d see how the Guardian’s hiring of Trevino makes perfect sense. He’s weak on Israel and is in bed with Jew haters. His extremist remarks make him a perfect target for Guardian readers. All true Israel supporters should be against him, as he makes us all look insane.

    • It’s not so much about support for Trevino. I and many others here don’t support him at all. The CiFWatch articles are about the Guardian’s hiring of him and subsequent controversies and intrigues at the Guardian resulting from that hiring. There have, of course, been speculations from CiFWatch commenters on what the Guardian was up to in hiring him, many of them along the same lines as your own theory about the hiring.

      • “His extremist remarks make him a perfect target for Guardian readers. ”
        I’m in agreement with you jewess.

      • Not in an official capacity. His cordial relationship with Jillian C. York (a vicious anti-semite and Israel hater) is a matter of public record. What is private, is how he has conspired, with her, to try to endanger Israel supporters. Are you not troubled by his hatred of Jonathan Pollard and his conspiring with anti-Semite Christian missionaries to endanger Jews?

        • And yes, Jillian C. York is a Hamas sympathizer: http://www.thejidf.org/2009/12/huffington-post-gives-voice-to-pro.html He’s pals with her and has tried to breach privacy, safety, and security of Jewish and Christian Israel supporters, with her. So why defend this scumbag? Please do your homework. It’s bad enough that you published an anti-semite here, now you’re defending one, too. For a site that’s supposed to be fighting anti-Semitism, you probably shouldn’t be supporting those that espouse it.

        • “His cordial relationship with Jillian C. York (a vicious anti-semite and Israel hater) is a matter of public record.”

          I’m not sure I understand. I Googled Jillian C. York and Josh Trevino and it didn’t turn up anything. Who is Jillian C. York, and how is she connected to Hamas?

          • I provided you a link. She’s a Hamas sympathizer. So, again, you’re not concerned about Pollard? Or anti-Semitic missionaries? Cause his being pals with a Hamas sympathizer in his effort to endanger Israel supporters is just 1/3 of the problem. Do you have anonymous writers on staff here? Don’t be surprised if/when Trevino tries to out them, as he has tried to do to other Israel advocates.

            • …thus, if you support the privacy, safety, and security of Jewish and Christian Israel supporters who choose to do their advocacy anonymously, you probably shouldn’t be defending Trevino, who has repeatedly tried to endanger thousands of us, working with both a Hamas sympathizer (York) and an anti-Semitic Christian missionary.

              • And besides, this is the Guardian we’re talking about—notoriously one of the most anti-Israel and anti-Semitic publications on the planet. Don’t you think they had a reason to hire Trevino? Of course they did. It’s because he’s a fraud that just pretends to be pro-Israel. In his hatred of Pollard and his trying to bring harm to Jewish and Christian Israel advocates, he has proven that he’s on their level.

                • “Don’t you think they had a reason to hire Trevino?” Sure.

                  “It’s because he’s a fraud that just pretends to be pro-Israel.”

                  I don’t know where you’re getting this.

                • Don’t you think they had a reason to hire Trevino? Of course they did. It’s because he’s a fraud that just pretends to be pro-Israel.

                  Oh, cripes. I’ve always been lost on those movies involving multiple double bluffs.
                  So please do explain this one to me.

            • I mean a hyperlink (url). What’s your source? I’ll answer your question about Pollard after I find out what you’re basing your initial accusation against Trevino on.

    • This IS a blog about the Groan. For someone who is busy with work and many children your unqualified presence does surprise.

  2. the Guardian has reduced itself to the level of a phone-in reality show in which audience participation dictates who stays and who goes.

    Except that’s not true, is it?

    Trevino’s first G. article was duly published yesterday:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/20/romney-ryan-counterintuitive-champions-medicare?newsfeed=true

    Of course, the anti-Israel likes of Ben White were straight in there trolling away. But that’s another issue.