26 August 2012

Trevino is Fired - The Guardian Does the Right Thing for the Wrong Reasons

Trevino Fired Not Because He is a Fascist - 

But Because He's a Corrupt Fascist!

The Guardian's Dishonest Statement That Fools No One
The racist rat found British readers a little more discerning than the normal Texan

Trevino Even Looks the Part of a Neo-Con Nutcase
It would be nice to think that the Guardian had got rid of Joshua Trevino, the far-Right Texan Republican who they hired as US Correspondent, because he was an advocate of genocide, concentration camps and the transfer of the Palestinians as well as glorifying in the death of unarmed peace activists. 

The Guardian had their chance.  They could have fired Trevino when his tweet ‘Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla – well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me." was first revealed.  Instead they  published a lying ‘clarification’ that fooled no one, not even Israel’s most ardent supporters. My 2011 Gaza flotilla tweet: a clarification.

Matt Seaton - Head of US Cif was the only one to openly defend Trevino - next time he'll stick to the only subject he's an expert in - bicycling!
Instead I was barred from posting comments to CIF because I’d called some Zionist a ‘fool’.  Presumably telling the truth resumably that is a greater offence in the eyes of the idiots who go by the name of CIF Moderators than justifying the death of innocents.

The only person who was apparently taken in was the hapless Matt Seaton, Head of  the American , who was sent out to bat for Trevino.  Maybe Seaton had to defend the indefensible.  Clearly possessing a spine isn’t a qualification necessary to being a Guardian US Correspondent.  Instead he should have told his editor Janine Gibson to go take a running jump.   If Gibson possesses any integrity, she will hand in her notice and depart arm-in-arm with Trevino.

I have to confess that the post by Trevino that I found most appalling wasn’t his tweets about the shooting of Alice Walker and co. on the Gaza flotilla, nasty as they were.  It was his considered comments that the setting up of concentration camps in Iraq were a good idea and cited the concentration camps that Britain set up in South Africa (where a mere 26,000+ women and children died) as an example. (The Guardian Hires Racist Sack of Garbage, Joshua Trevino as its US Correspondent) .  I was banned from writing for CIF, at the urgings of the Zionist lobby, because I had the temerity to compare things like the Nazis forbidding the renting and ownership of property to Jews in 1939 with similar provisions in Israel today by the Jewish National Fund.

What kind of hypocrisy forbids legitimate comparisons between the policies of the Nazi regime in respect of the Jews and Israeli policies regarding the Palestinians.  After all it is a fact that the Nazi policy towards the Jews was in favour of the transfer of the Jews to Madagascar (or indeed anywhere) up 1941.  Trevino likewise supports the transfer of Palestinians from Israel.  Where’s the difference?

This episode suggests that although the Guardian had to face up to the fact that many readers of the Guardian would not put up with this fascist as a commentator/correspondent, (the Guardian never could decide which), the strategy of appealing to the Republican right in the USA remains unchanged.  As someone who hasn’t bought a copy of the Guardian since news of Trevino’s appointment was announced, I am on a personal level happy that I can return to purchasing it, even though it is going rapidly downhill.

But the question remains.  If the Guardian are happy to have as a correspondent this racist scumbag, what other surprises have they in store?  As it happens not only was Trevino a racist, but a corrupt one who hadn’t declared his connections with the Malaysian regime and a group called Malaysia Matters, whilst posting that bogus sodomy charges against the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia Anwar Ibrahim .  Of course Trevino was also an anti-gay bigot to add to his other vices.

This reminds me of the threatened impeachment of Richard Nixon, US President, back in 1974.  Most Guardian writers these days are too young to remember Watergate and simply take it as another history lesson (whilst learning all the wrong lessons).  But what struck me, having become politically aware during the campaign against the Vietnam War, was that Nixon faced almost certain impeachment, not for having waged a secret war with Henry Kissinger in 1970 against Cambodia, resulting in over a million dead and the ascendancy of Pol Pot, who killed at least another one million in the most horrific circumstances imaginable, but because he had had lied over a relatively minor break-in at the Democrat’s offices in Watergate.

But we should not be churlish.  Let’s hope that Gibson, Seaton, Freedland and all the other superficial pundits who inhabit the Guardian’s editorial chairs these days, will learn their lesson.  And above all, congratulations should go, above all, to Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada, for his intrepid and consistent  campaign to have Trevino removed.

Tony Greenstein

Guardian dumps Joshua Treviño

Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Fri, 08/24/2012 - 21:01

Citing his failure to disclose a major conflict of interest, The Guardian has dumped Joshua Treviño, nine days after it announced it had hired him as a columnist.

The announcement came as outrage from Guardian readers continued to grow over his history of incitement and hate speech directed against Palestinian solidarity activists, Muslims and others.

In a joint statement with Treviño, The Guardian said:
Joshua Treviño wrote a piece for the Guardian on February 28, 2011 titled “Peter King has hearings, but is he listening?” The Guardian recently learned that shortly before writing this article the author was a consultant for an agency that had Malaysian business interests and that he ran a website called Malaysia Matters. In keeping with the Guardian’s editorial code this should have been disclosed.

    “Under our guidelines, the relationship between Joshua and the agency should have been disclosed before the piece was published in order to give full clarity to our readers,” said Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief, Guardian US.”

    I vigorously affirm that nothing unethical was done and I have been open with the Guardian in this matter. Nevertheless, the Guardian’s guidelines are necessarily broad, and I agree that they must be respected as such,” said Joshua Treviño.

    We have therefore mutually agreed to go our separate ways and wish each other the best of luck.

I had raised the issue of Treviño’s conflicts of interest in my 18 August Al Jazeera article “What’s gone wrong at The Guardian:

According to The Guardian’s own editorial code, journalists and commentators must disclose outside work and organisational affiliations that could pose a conflict of interest. Treviño, as has been disclosed, works as a paid consultant to Republican candidates for elected office. But there’s much more readers deserve to know.
In July 2011, Treviño was caught in a curious controversy where a website in Malaysia accused him and another US blogger of running a website named Malaysia Matters, allegedly secretly paid for by Malaysia’s prime minister and another politician in order to improve their image. Treviño told reporter Ben Smith, then of Politico, that the story was “completely false”. But Smith stated that Treviño “misdirected” him.

    While Smith was unable to get to the bottom of the murky financial arrangements behind Malaysia Matters, he revealed that, in 2008, Treviño had approached a number of prominent US bloggers, “offering them a free ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ Malaysian junket, paid for, he [Treviño] said in an email at the time, by business interests associated with Malaysian politics.

    When challenged on this rather odd activity for a journalist, Treviño wrote to Smith: “I also offer people paid trips to Israel” - as if that were the most normal thing in the world for a blogger to do.

Do Treviño’s new bosses at The Guardian know this? Do they know on whose behalf Treviño - a former member of the advisory board of Act for Israel - is writing? And more importantly, are they planning to tell their readers?

There is more information from Sarawak Report whose investigations were key to revealing Treviño’s Malaysian connections.

The Guardian has done the right thing. It may have cited the conflict of interest in order to save face, but that reason was certainly enough to call into question the decision to hire Treviño. Treviño’s dishonesty was also on display in his mendacious “clarification” of his tweets calling for violence and gloating over the deaths of unarmed civilians, which The Guardian has yet to correct. That is pending business.

But everyone who contacted The Guardian to express their views on its disastrous judgment should be pleased with this outcome. The Guardian should reflect deeply on this debacle and work to rebuild readers’ trust.

I also suggest that people write to the following at the Guardian to welcome the decision taken in the end, even though it was done for the most trivial of reasons.  

Alan Rusbridger, Editor in Chief: alan.rusbridger@guardian.co.uk
Jonathan Freedland: Editorial Team jonathan.freedland@guardian.co.uk 
Janine Gibson, Editor in Chief Guardian US: janine.gibson@guardian.co.uk
Matt Seaton, Editor Comment is Free US: matt.seaton@guardian.co.uk
Ombudssman Chris Elliott: reader@guardian.co.uk
Comment is Free Editors:  cif.editors@guardian.co.uk
Becky Gardiner, Editor CIF:  becky.gardiner@guardian.co.uk
Joseph Harker, CIF Editorial Team:  joseph.harker@guardian.co.uk
Brian Whittaker CIF Editorial Team: brian.whitaker@guardian.co.uk

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