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July 25, 2005

Another Notch On The Blogosphere's Barrel: Jihadi Journalist Dilpazier Alsam Fired

Violated Paper's Ethical Guidelines Regarding "Undo 'Sassiness'"

Sassed; Sussed; Sacked. From the Times On Line (registration required; www.bugmenot.com can give you a password, as usual):

The Guardian has terminated a reporter's one-year training contract after a blogger revealed the writer was a member of a extremist Islamist political party and had not declared his interest to the newspaper when he wrote for its comment pages after the July 7 attacks. The Guardian's move - according to the newspaper, taken after reporter Dilpazier Aslam refused to resign from the party, Hizb ut- Tahrir - echoes recent media oustings in America, but is the first time a British journalist has been forced to step down after coming under fire from bloggers - independent web diarists.

Scott Burgess, who runs the Daily Ablution blog, revealed Mr Aslam’s ties to Hizb ut-Tahrir, which operates legally in Britain but is banned in several other countries.

The Guardian is of course in full Dan-Rather "internet political partisan" mode, shooting the messengers. Curiously, once again, the leftwing media -- supposedly there to inform us -- is very angry at the public being informed [emphasis added]:

Rightwing bloggers from the US, where the Guardian has a large online following, were behind the targeting last week of a trainee Guardian journalist who wrote a comment piece which they did not care for about the London bombings.

The story is a demonstration of the way the 'blogosphere' can be used to mount obsessively personalised attacks at high speed.

Within hours, Dilpazier Aslam was being accused on the internet of "violence" and belonging to a "terrorist organisation" - both completely untrue charges.

Oh really? Another article in the Guardian reports this:

Different countries and organisations take varying views of the Hizb ut-Tahrir. It is banned in Russia, Germany and Holland. In this country the National Union of Students has barred Hizb ut-Tahrir from its unions, claiming the group is "responsible for supporting terrorism and publishing material that incites racial hatred".

But this terrorist-apologist-apologist continues:

These ravings were posted alongside more legitimate questions as to whether a newspaper should employ a reporter who belongs to a controversial political group linked to the promotion of anti-semitic views.

Check out the multiple layers of fact-checking here:

Mr Burgess fished out a website article written by Mr Aslam before September 11 for Hizb ut-Tahrir. He quoted one line: "Establishment of Khilafah [the worldwide Islamic caliphate] is our only solution, to fight fire with fire, the state of Israel versus the Khilafah state."

A fellow blogger, Dsquared, promptly accused him of using quotes out of context. "It is more than four years old, written when the author was a teenager, before 9/11 and during a really nasty episode early in the intifada. How many people posting on this blog would like to have their teenage scribblings used as an assessment of their politics as an adult?

Ummm, Aslam is listed in the other Guardian article as being 27. 27 minus 4 is 23, which is not generally considered "teenaged."

And yes, this editorialist is quoting someone else -- but someone else whose opinion he clearly approves of, and so he doesn't bother fact-checking. Or, here, even basic arithmetic checking. This cocksucker misinforms, either deliberately or through willful negligence, the public into thinking that Aslam wrote this hateful lunacy as but a young lad, knee-high to an RPG.

When the media exposes the dirty-doings of others, they loudly proclaim that sunlight is the best disinfectant, the public has a right to know, an informed public is the bedrock upon which democracy and enlightened civilization are built, etc., and then pat themselves on the back.

When anyone else exposes their own dirty-doings, they cry "unfair partisan attack" and "ravings."

Look, if the Guardian thinks it's appropriate to have a terrorist-supporter write columns justifying terrorism against Londoners, let them say so and explain why.

But they won't. They just fired this guy. So, publicly at least, they seem to agree he is not the sort of person they want on their staff.

I think a lot of leftists actually think the man should be promoted, not fired, for speaking the truth. And that's fine-- if that's what you believe, grow a pair and admit it, and say so forthrightly.

But they continue to play this game where they want to do things in secret -- like, say, hire terrorist-friendly Islamist extremists -- and not inform the public about it (the Guardian admits it knew of his membership in an extremist Islamist organization, and that he "made no secret of it," and further that it should have been mentioned in the tag to his terrorist-justifying editorial, but claims, rather lamely, that the editor of this piece just plum didn't know about it. Everyone else knew, except this one guy. Riiiiight.)

And then when things they'd like to do but keep from the public are revealed by nasty rightwing bloggers, they throw a hissy fit.

Well, assholes, they say that "character" is defined by what you do when no one's looking. I don't expect you lying twats to develop character anytime soon, so I will just warn you: Someone is looking, so you'd better act as if you have character, at the very least.

And you can call us all the vile little names in the book, but we're going to keep on looking, and telling people all the dirty shit you want to keep quiet. You have no right -- no more than corporations or politicians or the people you harass on a daily basis -- to keep secrets from the public.

Didja Ever Notice? When the establishment media wants to claim superiority over the Shadow Media, it makes much fuss about its multiple-layers of editorial fact-checking and oversight.

Multiple layers. Multiple. From the Greek "muliplex," meaning a theater having more than one screen showing March of the Penguins.

But whenever they fuck up -- as the Guardian did here, not revealing this guy belonged to an extremist (if not outright terrorist-friendly) organziation, or as the New York Times did, in inserting false quotes into the mouth of an armed forces reservists -- they claim that just one person was responsible for the error, and the error got through, by implication, because no one else checked that SINGLE editor's work.

Well, which is it? Either you assholes have MULTIPLE layers of editorial oversight or you have just one editor looking closely at this stuff most of the time. You can't keep talking up your MULTIPLE layers of editorial fact checking and then lamely pinning the blame on ONE editor who goofed.

I don't have multiple layers of editorial fact-checking. That's one of the reasons I make mistakes. (Other reasons: I'm lazy; also, I'm a moron.)

I have a single editor-- me. (Well, actually, I have a lot of editors -- that would be you, the readers -- but they only edit once the piece is up and public.)

If we both really have only one editor, you can't keep claiming a difference between us.

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posted by Ace at 02:36 PM

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