The Guardian Employs Terrorist Supporter

By Scott Burgess | The Daily Ablution

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26.10.05 | Some readers may have missed a recent brouhaha concerning the Guardian, in which cub reporter Benjamin Joffe-Walt egregiously exaggerated a mob attack on a Chinese dissident. The resulting embarrassment necessitated a humiliating correction, in which the young journalist (by whom the Guardian is standing) was described as having "lost touch with reality" - a state which, some might say, constitutes a virtual requirement for the denizens of Farringdon Road (as evidenced by regular contributor AL Kennedy's statement that Guardian editors "will publish frothing nonsense, so long as it might annoy someone").

Today's Private Eye, making explicit comparisons with the Dilpazier Aslam affair - to which the Eye has gleefully alluded at least three times - raises some interesting points concerning Mr. Joffe-Walt's background.

Of course, it comes as no surprise to learn that the Guardian foreign correspondent, who has 18 months of experience as a professional journalist, was moved to act as a "human shield" in Iraq (he found the experience "very stressful"). Like Mr. Joffe-Walt's dissociation from the real world, such sentiments are to be expected in the Guardian newsroom.

What's of more concern is the reporter's avowed support for a terrorist organisation (does this sound familiar?). In an interview with Newsweek magazine, he reveals that:

"I support the Earth Liberation Front. I think what they do is morally defendable as long as they donít kill people. Thatís the principle of direct action."

The ELF, a group of serial arsonists, caused over $43m worth of damage in 600 attacks between 1996 and 2002 (PDF), when FBI named them the largest and most active terrorist group in the US. They remain active.

It is of course unclear to what extent Mr. Joffe-Walt "supports" such activities, and whether his support extends to financial contribution or direct participation. What is undeniable is that he is a supporter of terrorism (defined by the OED as "the systematic employment of violence and intimidation to coerce a government or community, esp. into acceding to specific political demands").

Guardian journalist proud to support terrorists - it's starting to look like a pattern, isn't it?

UPDATE: Thursday brings another embarrassment for the Guardian (scroll to last item).