As one of the UK's post-truth behemoths, the Guardian still trades on a reputation established in more honest times, before the paper carried fake news as a matter of course. Jonathan Freedland today condemns what he terms the lies of others - but ignores his paper's own record of journalistic dishonesty.
In the paper's news content you don't have to look far to find prime examples of those heinous journalistic sins Omission, Distortion and Misrepresentation. It took me just a few minutes today to find the following in this morning's report in the paper of the protests outside the Polish parliament; 'Police use tear gas to clear parliament blockade' reads the headline, but in the piece itself the gassing is hardly mentioned - "Opposition party MP Jerzy Meysztowicz told the television network that
police used tear gas to disperse the protesters who tried to prevent the
cars from leaving." In other words, the paper has no evidence for the use of tear gas, no independent corroboration, just a hearsay anecdote from one of the protesters.
Nor it seems did the paper's 'journalists' seek to confirm the story with the Polish police - or perhaps they DID check with the Polish police as to whether tear gas had been used. And didn't like the answer, and so lied about it. RT also carries the protest story - and reports "Warsaw police spokesman Mariusz Mrozek subsequently denied reports that
police had deployed tear gas against protesters, claiming that what
might have looked like tear gas in fact was smoke from fireworks thrown
And so the truth emerges. Protesters trying to prevent the convoy of official cars from leaving threw 'fireworks' - in probability marine signal flares - the smoke from which was interpreted by an inexperienced protester in a heightened state of excitement as tear gas, and the Guardian reported this as a fact.
So the Guardian's strap line is simply lousy, unacceptable, fake-news journalism, based on the single uncorroborated hearsay of a single demonstrator and officially denied by the police. It's either omission or distortion, take your pick. And in Freedland's own words, it's a lie.