Guardian

Guardian frames Egypt ‘Spy Stork’ row as sign of increased xenophobia under military regime


In terms of entertainment value it’s hard to beat recent reports that Egyptian police placed a stork under arrest late Friday after a mysterious device was found attached to its feathers, fueling accusations that it might have been used for Zionist espionage.  Evidently, the stork was taken to a police station, and ‘interrogated’, but soon cleared of wrongdoing after veterinarians realized that the bird was bearing nothing but a wildlife tracker installed by French scientists.

stork

A migrating stork was held in an Egyptian police station after a man suspected it of being a spy. Photo, AP

However, the story doesn’t end there, at least not if you’re a blog which monitors the Guardian.  Almost as enjoyable as the story itself was the account of the episode by the Guardian Cairo correspondent, Patrick Kingsley.  

Though his story, Eyes on storks? Egyptian fishermen thought bird was a foreign spy, Sept. 2, was, in fairness, mostly light-hearted and cheeky, being the Guardianista he is, he naturally somehow failed to note reports that some thought the bird was spying for Israel, while imputing the following political significance:

But the stork’s treatment comes amid a wider rise in xenophobia in Egypt this summer. Since the army forced out ex-president Mohamed Morsi in a widely backed move on 3 July, the country has been consumed in a wave of pro-military nationalism.

One side-effect has been the blaming of the country’s ills on foreigners – from American diplomats, to Syrian refugees and western journalists.

Whilst blaming the stork’s apprehension on the current mood of jingoism – in contrast, presumably, to the ‘enlightened internationalism‘ under the Muslim Brotherhood – is itself quite comical, those of us who’ve ‘covered’ previous instances of spy animals can refute the reporter’s thesis by noting other examples of Egyptian ‘xenophobia’.

A couple of years ago there were reports that some Egyptians were blaming Israel for a shark attack that killed a German tourist in the Red Sea. Such suspicions were best articulated by the South Sinai Governor, Mohamed Abdel Fadil Shousha, who said the following:

What is being said about the Mossad throwing the deadly shark in the sea to hit tourism in Egypt is not out of the question, but it needs time to confirm”.

This all prompted Chas Newkey-Burden to illustrate the anti-Zionist paranoia the following way at his blog, (using a graphic by Jonathan Sacerdoti):

shark1

Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water

Oh, and finally, contrary to the Guardian reporter’s theory on a military regime-inspired fear of migratory foreigners, the “Zionist shark attack” took place in 2010, before the military regime and before Morsi, undermining the suggestion that the stork arrest can be tied to societal fears stoked by the current ‘wave’ of militant nationalism.

(You can get up to speed on the complete list of Zionist Spy Animals here.)

30 replies »

  1. I thought CifWatchers might be interested in this article in today’s paper:

    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/sep/02/the-guardian

    It confirms from independent and respected sources (National Readership Survey Print and Digital Data and Ofcom Communications Market Report) that “the Guardian, the Observer and theguardian.com – remain the most-read quality newspaper combination in Britain for daily, weekly and monthly reach” and that “the Guardian and the Observer are the most trustworthy, accurate and reliable newspapers in the UK”.

    They must be doing something right.

    • As I’ve told your mates several times recently, if that is true, and the Guardian/Observer is becoming MORE popular, and MORE widely read and MORE trusted, then it is all the MORE important that they are held to account when they publish inaccuracies, distortions and lies. That makes CifWatch MORE important, not less.

    • It confirms the abismal moral and intellectual level of the British intelligentsia, and the resurrectionl of the good old traditional European anti-Semitism.

    • Losing a pile of money every day – yes the most read quality paper in the UK.
      Seems to me its readers either got their copies free from the BBC, are on benefits or are cheapskates who wouldn’t pay for it.
      Its trustworthiness, accuracy and reliability are well known especially in their reporting from the ME. If really the Guardian are the most reliable, accurate and trustworthy paper in the UK then the UK media is really doomed.

    • “They must be doing something right.”

      Bashing Israel repeatedly does make for heavy traffic. Not moderating message boards where folks are invited to spew racist filth about Jews– a whopping .05% of world population– equals dollar signs.

      In other words, the sweet, peace loving Guardian (as well as others, like the shitzone that is the LA Times) use strife over Israel to set and sell ad rates.

      Blood. It’s today’s Money.

    • Israel has existed for 65 years. They have fought wars by themselves. Now they have the US support. They are already the safest country in the region and quickly becoming one of the smartest, best defensed countries in the world.

      I’d say they’re doing something right.

    • sencar,
      You’re back! (Did you ever really leave?)

      “the Guardian and the Observer are the most trustworthy, accurate and reliable newspapers in the UK”.

      And yet as we witness here on a daily basis, they clearly are not accurate.

  2. alexa don’t be misled. The survey that sencar trumpets is a poll of 36,000. A large poll, but, a poll of a small minority of the total UK population.

    Of the ‘quality’ newspapers the figures are the following;
    “The Guardian” / “Observer”
    print 2,781,000
    online 2,475,000

    “The Times” / “Sunday Times”
    print 4,347,000
    online 178,000
    much larger print but much smaller online readership, what sencar failed to remind you is that “The Times”/”Sunday Times” are behind a ‘paywall’ where as “The Guardian”/”Observer” is free.

    “The Daily Telegraph”/ “Sunday Telegraph”
    print 3,051,000
    online 1,848,000
    again larger print but smaller online readership, and again sencar failed to remind you that on 26th March 2013 the “Telegraph” announced the introduction in the UK of a limited paywall.

    Also noticeable is sencar emphasising ‘quality’ newspapers.
    If you were cynical you might think this is because the combined readership of “The Sun”/”Sun on Sunday” is 13,476,000 considerably larger than Guardian/Observer
    “The Daily Mail”/”Mail on Sunday” combined readership is 11,970,000 again considerably larger than Guardian/Observer. Even the “Daily Mirror”/”Sunday Mirror” has a combined readership of 7,885,000 also larger than the Guardian/Observer.

    • Thanks Gerald. I accept all your statistics but assume you are not including the despicable Sun and Mail as ‘quality’ newspapers. Their web sites are mainly soft porn for a start.

      In my view the attributes of ‘trustworthiness, accuracy and reliability’ earned by the Guardian are of far greater significance than the reader numbers and you may find it difficult to argue with these.

      • “Thanks Gerald. I accept all your statistics..”

        sencar not my statistics they are from the National Readership Survey, the parts you ‘surprisingly’ left out.

        Interestingly you mentioned web sites that are mainly ‘soft porn’. As I’m sure you are aware the word ‘pornography’ is derived from the Greek word ‘pornographos’ which means the ‘writing of harlots’ which many will say is an apt description of “The Guardian” and its “Comment is Free” website

      • “In my view the attributes of ‘trustworthiness, accuracy and reliability’ earned by the Guardian are of far greater significance than the reader numbers and you may find it difficult to argue with these.”
        So what we’re really talking about here is your opinion.
        If someone doesn’t think the Guardian is the most accurate and reliable newspaper in the universe all one need do is to point out that it says so in the Guardian.

    • “The survey that sencar trumpets is a poll of 36,000. A large poll, but, a poll of a small minority of the total UK population.”

      I thought you knew something about polling, Gerald. If you do you will know that a poll sample of 36,000 gives highly reliable results in terms of how it reflects views of the general population. Political voting polls typically involve samples of 1000 and are regarded as statistically acceptable.

      • “I thought you knew something about polling, Gerald. If you do you will know that a poll sample of 36,000 gives highly reliable results in terms of how it reflects views of the general population. Political voting polls typically involve samples of 1000 and are regarded as statistically acceptable.”

        The size of the poll is not the important thing sencar it is how the sample is composed that is important. For example if you asked 36,000 fans of Arsenal Football club what they think of Arsenal it would not be more representative of the country than a poll of 1,000 of people across the country properly weighted by the usual demographics.

        • “The size of the poll is not the important thing sencar it is how the sample is composed that is important.”

          You are teaching your grandmother, Gerald. Do you seriously imagine that a body such as Ofcom doesn’t employ competent pollsters? Techniques for identifying valid sample structures are well established. Given such the size of the sample is of overwhelming importance and the reliability of polling results can be calculated very precisely from sample size.

          That aside, your first argument was based on the inadequacy of a sample size of 36,000. Your statisticians (if you have ever employed any) would laugh such a judgement to scorn.

          • sencar I have not employed statisticians, but I have and do work alongside them, as well as having a number as friends and neighbours. When you live as close as I do to the ONS (Office for National Statistics) that is only to be expected.

            Guess what sencar not one of them has heard of you.
            So in a poll of people I carried out among statisticians, and others, employed by the ONS using your real name Brian McDevitt no one has heard of you. Does that mean that you do not exist or are not as you have claimed in the past a statistician?

            • “Guess what sencar not one of them has heard of you.”

              When chatting to your statistician friends I wonder whether you asked for their opinions on your absurd notions about sampling, Gerald.

              • “Does that mean that you do not exist or are not as you have claimed in the past a statistician?”

                No answer Brian?
                If you want to claim again that you are a statistician then please supply credible and verifiable proof or stand condemned by your refusal to supply it as a fraud.

                • I have no need to provide you with proof of my professional status, Gerald. Suffice it to say that I studied statistics at university and used it professionally throughout my career. I occasionally comment here on statistical matters. My credibility rests on the truth of those comments – which I notice you don’t seriously challenge.

                • Brian you can twist and turn as much as you like but your credibility is non-existent.
                  You have condemned yourself as a fraud for all to see.

                  In future just sign in as ‘Brian the Fraud’ everyone will know who it is.

    • I thought some of the claimed readership figures seemed large when compared to the ABC circulation figures of newspapers, so I checked the survey website.
      Of the 3,000 interviews they carry out every month they do interview more than one adult in the same household, which obviously bumps up the readership figures.

      But the real ‘eye-opener’ is this definition copy and pasted from the NRS website,
      “This takes into consideration anyone who has read or looked at a publication for at least 2 minutes in the past 12 months”

      All of 2 minutes in the past 12 months. Mind you I am surprised that some readers of “The Guardian” can manage to read for more than 2 minutes continuously based on the evidence of the intelligence level they display here and in other places.

      • You are teaching your grandmother, Gerald. Unfortunately, the old broad is a little batty due to Alzheimer’s.

  3. Yes sencar the Guardian reported the “Jenin masasacre” the peak of accurate and trustworthy reporting. But somehow Rusbridger couldn’t stand the honor being so reliable and was forced to apologize for the outright lies he published. And this only one example…