11 December 2009

Why is the Guardian giving a platform to Sarah Palin?

I will disclose at the very start of this post that I like The Guardian. It's the Jim Callaghan of what used to be called 'Fleet Street' before everyone moved out (and most of the pubs closed); it's a bit wishy washy, but it's heart is in the right place. And I don't buy the paper often enough because all the good content is online, but I would very gladly pay a subscription if they established one (something I can't say about the Murdoch press, which I hardly ever read anyway. I have a dartboard with David f***ing Aaronovitch's head on in my office). Comment is Free is one of the best comment sites anywhere on the web - full of right-wing nutters of course, but hey, it's care in the community, right?

But I certainly don't buy the Guardian - or click on the website - to read crap by Sarah Palin about how Copenhagen should be boycotted. This sort of rubbish should be left to the Times and in particular the Telegraph, who has its own in-house team of loonies such as Christopher Booker and James Delingpole.

There is in fact an increasing proliferation of syndicated or freelance duff right-wing articles in the Guardian. While some would argue that airing the opposing point of view is a useful exercise in open-mindedness, the right-wing press never reciprocate (when was the last time you read a left-wing article in the Telegraph?) and all it really does is piss off the readership. Which probably increases the number of hits on Comment is Free, but doesn't do much for the paper's coherence, or credibility.

The Guardian should focus on what it does best - marshalling progressive forces for a forthcoming election where the left will need as much help as it can get. Leave the climate scaremongering to the right-wing papers who get paid by vested interests to do this sort of thing. And guys, sort out a system for charging for online content and you can stop losing millions of pounds a year. This is getting really urgent now.

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