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