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The Philip Cross Affair (craigmurray.org.uk)
70 points by anonymouslee 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments

It's a good find and will probably be a continuing controversy, but I fear transparency cannot win from adequately funded disinformation campaigns. All this controversy does is prove a point (structural disinformation campaigns exist) and give a usefull hint to such campaigns: never use a single persona as your cover. Those personas should resemble real live persons with interests and lives, not 9h * 7d continuous ops. Point made, enemy strengthened.

"“Philip Cross” not only carefully tends and protects the Wikipedia entry of Guardian editor Katherine Viner, who has taken the paper four square into the neo-con camp..."

Uh, ok, I'm not saying the Guardian is perfect or anything, but I lived in the U.S. when it was ruled by neocons, and read the Guardian from time to time (then and now). For all I know Katherine Viner is neo-con, but the Guardian is not a neo-con paper. I found it hard to take the rest of the column seriously after that part.

> For all I know Katherine Viner is neo-con, but the Guardian is not a neo-con paper.

Agreed, but...

> I found it hard to take the rest of the column seriously after that part.

What does this mean? Are you saying he is lying about his photo being removed from his Wikipedia entry by Philip Cross, for example?

How the *#%)&$ did we end up in a world in which "I disagree with your characterization of some subjective things" has become synonymous with "I flat out refuse to believe anything you claim about easily verifiable objective facts"?

Easy there. Let's extend the Principle of Charity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_charity) and assume that he means, "Since you are incorrect on something I can verify, I am skeptical on the things you say that I cannot." I'm sure he's fine on the stuff he can verify.

Viner is co-author of My Name Is Rachel Corrie, a 2005 play about the protestor killed during nonviolent resistance in the Gaza Strip by an IDF bulldozer.

Thirteen years is a long time; I know my values have changed a lot in that time. But that play doesn't seem like the output of someone committed to the mainstream narrative on Israel.


I can tell you that the Guardian shifted noticeably to the right, attacking Corbin, insisting that the British left is full of antisemites, blindly supporting Israel and generally subscribing to US interventionism and a "us vs them" mentality. Now, I can imagine it's still far from being a neo-con newspaper in US terms, but for a newspaper that was considered the voice of the left, in a European context, that's more than enough.

The Guardian has always been a newspaper with politics most closely aligned with the Lib Dems. In the past, this meant that they were left of Labour. Labour has shifted waaay to the left[1][2], past the Lib Dems and past the Guardian, so the Guardian no longer finds themselves in political alignment with Labour. I don't think the Guardian have changed their political stance substantially.

[1] https://www.politicalcompass.org/images/uk2015.png [2] https://www.politicalcompass.org/charts/uk2017

It's an interesting observation, particularly for the fact that according to those charts UK's left party has been for the past decades a right-wing party, both on the economics and the liberal/authoritarian axes.

However, I'm not British and I've never followed the politics of any British party, nor my political views have changed substantially in the past few years, so I don't think my perception of the turn to the right of the Guardian in international politics might have been influenced by the shift in Labour's position.

I feel like there should be more to right and left than pro- and anti-Israel.

It's more about easy, polemical attacks than accuracy.

> I can tell you that the Guardian shifted noticeably to the right

I don't see that at all in their reporting. The opinions section is of course a free for all of different ideologies, but in their actual bread and butter reporting I haven't seen anything like that.

Simply by covering "manufactured" diatribes in a seemingly-detached manner for a long time, a newspaper is de-facto endorsing the instigating side. The famous "let him deny it" mechanism is well-known. The amount of space the Guardian dedicates to specific topics is very telling in itself.

(This said, I personally don't see it as a "neocon paper" by any stretch. They are simply positioned in the "blairite consensus", an area that might occasionally overlap with some US neocon positions -- mostly because some neocons do move from an ideological progressive position.)

Wikipedia is a fantastic resource for math and science, less so for the lives of contemporary figures. Whatever you use it for, remember to check sources, and treat it as a starting point for further research only.

Unsurprising. On Italian Wikipedia it was recently shown that a clique of people was actively spreading right-wing misinformation and propaganda related to the Eastern border issues (Trieste / Dalmatia and so on), purging dissent through organised activities.

Any English resources?

Uhm, unfortunately not that I can find. It was the result of work from the collective Nicoletta Bourbaki, one of the many names rotating around the Wu-Ming group of Italian intellectuals. The most relevant posts on the subject (ITA) are here: [1], [2], [3].

There is a Tumblr [4] supposedly dedicated to collating non-Italian resources on Wu-Ming itself, but I don't know how often it is actually updated.

[1] https://www.wumingfoundation.com/giap/2014/11/wikipedia-e-la...

[2] https://www.wumingfoundation.com/giap/2014/05/fasci-di-luce-...

[3] https://www.wumingfoundation.com/giap/2017/02/la-strategia-d...

[4] http://wumingfoundation.tumblr.com/

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