It was Wednesday the 26th of September 2012 and The Guardian were running a live blog about the UN general assembly. By the end of the day one of their numerous headlines/subheadings read “Ahmadinejad avoids controversy in low-key speech”. So why, given this headline, did the Guardian treat Ahmadinejad’s speech with such contempt whilst dealing with all other aspects of that day in a reasonably fair and balanced manner?
As you can see – from the 4:08pm update until the 4:47pm update – the entire blog is dedicated to childishly mocking the Iranian president and his speech. Using a combination of random tweets from pundits and the Guardians own writers they have all contributed to what some analysts call “dehumanizing the enemy”.
Looking at the comments section below the blog/article it is apparent that many Guardian readers have their own opinions on what is trying to be passed off as mature, modern, liberal journalism. Below I have highlighted some choice comments;
meffisto:“When did the Guardian sell its soul? It is so sad to see a newspaper that was held in such high esteem transformed into a crass propaganda tool. So very, very sad.”
arlcf01: “Can we have some balanced reporting from the Guardian please? We get the point- you don’t take Ahmadinejad seriously but this is meant to be a news site, so can you stick to reporting what is actually being said? If we wanted your personal opinions we would follow you on twitter”
Icarusty: “Very interesting to read the western media and readership’s response to his speech, how they are automatically dismissive and cynical, and how the US and Israeli delegates didn’t even bother to listen…. just when Obama made his speech about “doing what we must” to stop Iran having nuclear power, his Iranian counterpart talks about peace. We talk about other parts of the world being brainwashed…. what about us?”
Nivedita: “Irresponsible reporting. Sheer propaganda. Some credible evidence to back up baseless allegations will be helpful”