Is The Guardian a Tabloid?

Do I remember correctly that somebody was huffing and puffing on this very blog about how The Guardian is not a tabloid? Today, I have definitive proof for you that it is. Let me give you a little quote from this nasty rag, after which we can hopefully put the matter to rest:

Havel’s anti-communist critique contained little if any acknowledgement of the positive achievements of the regimes of eastern Europe in the fields of employment, welfare provision, education and women’s rights. Or the fact that communism, for all its faults, was still a system which put the economic needs of the majority first.

OK? Is that enough for you? Welfare, education, and women’s rights in Eastern Europe. Those existed in the Communist regimes just as much as the Yeti, the flying saucers, and the hobbits exist everywhere else in the world. A newspaper that discusses the Yeti and / or the women’s rights in Communist regimes of Eastern Europe is a tabloid, wouldn’t you agree?

As for the Eastern European Communism “which put the economic needs of the majority first”, I hope that a group of Communist party apparatchiks will roast the nuts of the lying sack of garbage who wrote this vicious lie for all eternity in hell where he undoubtedly will end up. Does this jerkazoid realize that there are millions of people living in the world right now who actually experienced the Communist care about “the economic needs of the majority” on their own skins? How dare he despise us so much as to publish these vicious, cruel lies?

And I’m not even starting on the morality of publishing a collection of insulting prevarications about somebody on the day they die. Like this super enlightening piece of garbage that passes for an article in The Guardian couldn’t have waited for a couple of weeks.

I hope that after this, at least, people will stop quoting this vile rag on my blog as a source of information about anything.

24 thoughts on “Is The Guardian a Tabloid?

  1. I guess that I’ll have to add the Guardian to the list of NYT (especially Ross Douthat) ,Washington Post, Izvestia, National Post and Fox news as a list of sources not to be quoted except in humour or contempt on your blog. Perhaps you could give me a list of acceptable sources? Perhaps including Salon, The Nation, Democracy Now and the Montreal Gazette?


    1. No, you can quote anything you like. 🙂 This is aimed at people who use these “sources” to support backwards and stupid opinions. And you never have backwards and stupid opinions.

      I like Toronto’s Globe and Mail more than the Gazette, to be honest.


      1. These rags sure do pay though. According to Reuters:

        Janet Robinson, who will step down as chief executive of the New York Times Co on December 31, will receive an exit package in excess of $15 million, according to people familiar with the situation.

        I wonder what the exit package at Salon is? My blog is zero.


      2. Also from here:

        “Apparently, The New York Times agreed. On Monday, they ran a piece that amounts to a couple paragraphs of “fresh tops” aimed at trying to make the piece current, followed by a very light, very lazy rewrite of our article. It cites exactly the same essays and materials we did, takes for granted the identity of Paul’s chief ghostwriter and newsletter editor (which our article spent a fair amount of space publicly establishing for the first time), and even interviews exactly the same sources on the same subjects. (I’ll buy that any reporter would have phoned Ed Crane up; I’ll eat my left shoe if the authors had the first idea who Carol Moore or Mike Holmes were before they read our piece.)

        Please don’t take my word for it, though: Compare for yourself. This isn’t a “follow-up” story. It’s a sloppy paraphrase whose authors expended the bare minimum effort of getting our sources to repeat quotes anew so they could use our material without citing the original source.”

        You would give these guys at NYT a fail on a term paper but this is just SOP at the grey lady so they undoubtedly got their Christmas bonus. Probably graduated from some fancy pants Eastern U.


  2. The Globe and Mail? Why???

    I agree with you about The Guardian. I would add that instead of trying to find out the good things communism brought to the USSR and its satelite countries it would be more efficient to point out how capitalism destroyed the economy of Eastern Europe.


    1. Capitalism destroyed. . . what? Where is this coming from? We only started having stuff to eat after 1991. Before that, there was simply no food, no clothes, no toilet paper, etc., etc., etc. The Communist economies produced nothing but weapons. Consumer goods were simply not there. Or did you not know? The wheat was IMPORTED from Canada into the Ukraine. Ukraine imported wheat. It’s like Alaska importing the snow.

      Just yesterday, N. asked his mother to remember what was sold in grocery stores in 1980es. She remembered margarine. There were mountains of margarine. And absolutely not a single thing more in an entire grocery store. And that’s Moscow for you.

      What economy of Eastern Europe was destroyed exactly?

      Please, please my friend, do not repeat these unenlightened myths of the spoiled rich Western pseudo-intellectuals. They know nothing about us and want to know nothing about us.


      1. When I was in Poland in 1975-1976, there was always really good jam in grocery stores, and eggs, and good bread. Milk was usually available, but often sour. Often, there was kielbasa or chickens, but rarely any other kind of meat. There was usually some kind of fresh vegetables, but not much choice. What seemed strange to me was that the people would never dream of serving anything but beef or pork to dinner guests. They were upset when my [then] wife and I fixed an American style chicken dinner for several of my colleagues. They were polite, but were pretty clearly offended. I had no idea we had done anything inappropriate.

        I don’t know whether it was worse in the U. S. S. R. or not, but most people told me things were better there than in Poland.


        1. The more you moved to the West, the better the living conditions were. All of the Soviet bloc countries did better than the Soviet Union, of course. For example, people in Eastern Germany or Yugoslavia thought we were making fun of them when we said we envied their lifestyle profoundly.


      2. What was to be destroyed, right?

        What I meant is that we should not be content with free-market economy + democracy being brought to Eastern Europe as signs of `improvement` in comparison with the communist economy. For me this is not enough. We probably disagree on this, but from a radical perspective, if we want better life conditions in Eastern Europe, journalists in The Guardian should analyze how free-market eonomy did not deliver the goods instead of trying to reassess positively the former communist regimes.


        1. ” journalists in The Guardian should analyze how free-market eonomy did not deliver the goods instead of trying to reassess positively the former communist regimes”

          -Which goods? I’m sure you are not talking about consumer goods because those were definitely delivered. 🙂 On a serious note, no, it didn’t inaugurate the Kingdom of God but it made life dramatically better on every level.


  3. I can affirm Clarissa’s statement. I travelled west out of USSR from Moscow during a camping trip in ’76 with a group of Aussies after we had previously come down from the north to Moscow. In Russia, I survived on Finnish flatbread, Russian caviar ($1 a jar) and Georgian wine with the occasional pail of kvass and a loaf of local bread. Minsk was much better than Moscow and I didn’t see fresh fruit or vegetables until we passed into Poland, and of course East Germany was even better.


  4. Oh dear that’s awful about you know FACTS but also about posting about Vaclav Havel so close to his passing. The Guardian used to be a better paper. I have since become fed up with it with its factisms and also in its support of Naomi Wolf’s ridiculous and incredible statements purporting to be facts. So many news outlets nowadays don’t seem as interested as they should be in “facts” and a depth of context. Thanks for shedding light on this one!


  5. Apparently you did not get the memo it is edgy and cool to make up reasons to rag on Vaclav Havel now that he is dead because Christopher Hitchens something something. Also communism is the most awesome thing that ever existed and just the word by itself gets me randy as fuck.


    1. You are right, I’ve seen several articles that go precisely according to the “let’s rag on Vaclav Havel now that he is dead because Christopher Hitchens something something” scenario. I fail to see the connection between Havel and Hitchens other than they both said (very different) things against the Soviet Union and they are both dead.


  6. Not to defend the Guardian, because it frequently irritates me, but that’s a “comment is free” piece and all sorts of bollocks gets published in that area, primarily in the name of freedom of speech and opposing viewpoints. That said, I do wish they’d remember the rest of that quote, whIch is: “but facts are sacred.” However crummy the Guardian is though, to my mind it doesn’t plumb the depths of tabloidness, at least not by British standards, because sadly our tabloids are really truly vile.


    1. “However crummy the Guardian is though, to my mind it doesn’t plumb the depths of tabloidness, at least not by British standards, because sadly our tabloids are really truly vile.”

      – That is very true. The British yellow press is really bad. It scares me a little, to be honest.


  7. bloggerclarissa :
    Wow, this is SO disgusting! They dump on bloggers on the one hand and steal from them on the other?

    Julian Sanchez, the blogger who made the comments on the NYT intellectual theft of his article without proper attribution, included the following addendum in his post yesterday.

    “Addendum: Just to clarify, I’m not annoyed about our reporting being “stolen”—you can’t “steal” public domain facts—or looking to get some kind of acknowledgement by name, which would be of no particular professional value to me at this point (and probably generate unwanted interview requests on a topic I’m happy to be done with). I’m annoyed that what I’d thought was a decent piece of writing and reporting got the equivalent of a rewrite by a stoned high school student adapting a review essay for an overdue book report. So readers got this mangled account—including an incredibly confused idea of what the fault lines in contemporary libertarianism are about, assuming anyone cares about these internecine pissing contests—rather than a simple link to a more thorough treatment. While I appreciate the supportive comments, nobody should really be offended on my behalf here. Be offended that people who subscribe to the Paper of Record aren’t getting the quality of coverage they’re paying for because a couple of indolent hacks are too desperate to give the appearance of being real reporters to provide a reference and do original work.”

    I like to give people the benefit of the doubt so I reviewed part of the 1600+ NYT article oeuvre written by co-author, Jim Rutenberg, assuming that this rip off was an anomaly, an outlier caused by too much egg nod at the office Christmas party and not representative of his work. During October of 2008, Rutenberg wrote an article entitled, “Obama’s Personal Ties Are Subject of Program on Fox News Channel.” The following are the first two paragraphs of the piece which was noted by blogger, Brad Delong:

    “During a weekend of Republican attacks on Senator Barack Obama’s personal associations, Fox News Channel ran a program Sunday that made provocative assertions about similar connections, called “Obama & Friends: The History of Radicalism.”

    Sean Hannity, the conservative radio and television host, was the host of the hour-long program, which raised, among other things, unsubstantiated accusations that Mr. Obama’s work as a community organizer in Chicago was “training for a radical overthrow of the government.”

    The word, unsubstantiated, rather than false is indicative of the piece such as Obama is a secret Muslim followed by a denial. One could also write in this vein,”Prominent religious leaders have made unsubstantiated claims that Obama is the Anti-Christ etc.” So much for the gray lady journalistic standards.


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