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Email to Naomi Klein  
Posted by Mordecai on September 29 2007, 09:53 » Uploaded 29/9/07 10:41  

Dear Debra & Naomi,

I'm writing because I notice that Naomi has attracted the attention of Medialens. As you may know, Medialens targets "liberal" journalists who aren't, in their opinion, critical enough of the "liberal" media.

You should also know, however, that their method involves public email campaigns to "out" their targets. This can become vicious and slanderous - for example, they promoted the view that Iraq Body Count are "actively aiding and abetting in war crimes".

George Monbiot, after becoming a target of Medialens, wrote: "Rather than offering a clear, objective analysis of why the media works the way it does, who pulls the strings, how journalists are manipulated, knowingly or otherwise, you appear to have decided instead to use your platform merely to attack those who do not accept your narrow and particular doctrine [...] As a result, you are in danger of reproducing the very problems you criticise. You appear to me to be confronting one form of bias and intolerance with another."

Medialens aren't without merit - they've written some valid material on the hypocrisy of the BBC, etc. But the effect of their campaigns against people like Monbiot appears in most cases to be divisive and destructive. I would warn Naomi against getting drawn into email correspondences with them, as these will become public and will likely result in email campaigns directed at Naomi.

Best wishes,


(The above was sent after I noticed the following email sent from Medialens to Naomi Klein):

Dear Naomi

Hope you're well. I'm co-editor of a UK-based media watchdog, Media Lens. In your latest posting on the Guardian Unlimited website, you praise a number of regular Guardian journalists, including Madeleine Bunting, Seumas Milne and Gary Younge. I notice you also have a Guardian advert and link on your website. What is your view of the Guardian's performance in relation to the issues you discuss? Specifically, for example, what is your opinion of the Guardian's coverage of the Iraq war?

Best wishes
David Edwards

COMMENTS Post comment


Comment 01 – sonny September 29 2007, 13:17

And it begins....

"I was wondering if it's not a contradiction for the author of No Logo such a close relation with a logo, The Guardian Unlimited, that has so much responsibility for the Iraqi genocide. A logo,..." - Gabreile Zamparini, e-mail to Naomi Klein

Comment 02 – SteveK September 29 2007, 14:48

Someone below mentioned the "closed world" from which this kind of thing arises. I think that's true. It reminds of Prince Charles's ridiculous statements. He's in a closed world because virtually everyone he has contact with is going to agree with him, so he hardly ever gets to hear direct criticism, or ridicule of his views.

Everyone needs to have their own opinions ridiculed by people close to them from time to time. Otherwise you become self-important and delusional. Zamparini and Medialens increasingly sound that way.

Comment 03 – Julie September 29 2007, 15:31

The medialens peeps seem to think Naomi Klein has done something wrong just by praising some Guardian columnists. How silly is that?

Comment 04 – ALP September 29 2007, 17:51

In response to a sensible comment from Kebz, the Medialens editors have resorted to their usual semantic games in denying they are "attacking" anyone. Well, Monbiot certainly thought they were "attacking" people - he used that very word (see Mordecai's post, left).

And of course Medialens freely and copiously use words such as "attack" themselves to characterise criticisms of themselves or their heroes. They once even used the phrase "maelstrom of vitriol" to describe a fairly mildly-worded BBC article about them.

But any words directed against them which imply they might not be 100% pure and compassionate, they reject. For example, they deny that they "campaign" against individuals, as that word presumably has negative connotations in the context of merely "questioning" individuals. The Holy Inquisition were big on "questioning" individuals, too.




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