A Guardian commissioning editor has been accused of ‘defaming’ independent outlet Novara Media and one of its staff. In a series of tweets, the editor made baseless antisemitism slurs against Novara – and even attacked one of its Jewish team members.
Guardianista defames Novara
Siam Goorwich is a commissioning editor for Guardian Labs. This is the paid-partnership/branded content part of the Guardian‘s output. Goorwich currently has her Twitter account locked. Despite this, Novara Media has discovered that she tweeted some deeply unpleasant things about it back in March 2022.
As Novara co-founder Aaron Bastani tweeted:
When did it become acceptable for credentialed people in the media to talk like this, let alone be taken seriously? You’re an adult.
I’ll be raising this with the Guardian. Insane nonsense slandering our audience, staff and supporters. pic.twitter.com/dH3ef7cR23
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— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) July 25, 2022
But there was more from Goorwich. As Another Angry Voice tweeted:
— Another Angry Voice (@Angry_Voice) July 25, 2022
Novara commissioning editor and reporter Rivkah Brown accused Goorwich of tweeting “defamatory” content:
Fortunately for me, I've lived in blissful ignorance of this highly defamatory tweet until today. Unfortunately for Siam, I've just written a piece on UK libel law, and have the numbers of a couple of good lawyers. In the meantime, my complaint's in your inbox, @guardian https://t.co/iF2ZQKysqC
— Rivkah Brown (@RivkahBrown) July 25, 2022
As of 2pm on Tuesday 26 July, Novara has not said if the Guardian has responded to Brown’s complaint.
The Forde Report
don’t you think it’s terrifying that in Britain in 2018, Jews feel that they can’t vote for a major political party because they believe there’s overwhelming evidence that the party’s leader is an anti-Semite? I certainly do.
Left-wing sites like Novara were supportive of Corbyn – and therefore, got caught up in these accusations too. But as we now know from the Forde Report, allegations like this about Corbyn and his leadership team are untrue. As Justin Schlosberg wrote for Novara:
For all the nuanced language of the long-awaited Forde report, there is one key finding that lays bare a carefully constructed lie. It was a lie that implicated not just the right of the Labour party but a great swathe of Britain’s political and media class. And it was a lie that underpinned much of the dominant narrative leading up to, during and since Labour’s disastrous performance in the 2019 general election.
Schlosberg points out that:
This lie was not that Labour under Jeremy Corbyn had a real and serious problem with antisemitism. The Forde Report is right to call out those on the left who sought to deny or downplay the existence of anti-Jewish prejudice within the party.
The Forde report is equally clear that the antisemitism issue was indeed weaponised by Corbyn’s ideological opponents.
Perpetuating the “lie”
Schlosberg continued by describing this actual “lie”:
In order to fatally undermine the Corbyn project, it had to be shown that Corbyn himself, or at least his office, was somehow complicit in the problem: that the leadership was the problem.
The Forde Report explicitly proves this was not the case. Yet, by attacking Novara, Goorwich was part of perpetuating this lie by continuing to implicate independent media outlets like Novara. As Brown said, this is potentially defamatory – and Novara would be right to take further action.
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