A Guardian editor is accused of launching an offensive and ‘defamatory’ attack on independent media
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
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) July 25, 2022
But there was more from Goorwich. As Another Angry Voice tweeted:
Gross defamation from a @guardian employee, especially in light of her own vile post about @RivkahBrown pic.twitter.com/KT9Rwu1Qq1
— 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
It’s likely that Goorwich’s comment stems from her stance on Jeremy Corbyn. She wrote for both Grazia and Metro about her unhappiness with his leadership of Labour. For Metro, she wrote:
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.
Featured image via Aaron Bastani – screengrab, Wikimedia and Wikipedia
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.
Leave a ReplyYou must be logged in to leave a comment.Join the conversation
Please read our comment moderation policy here.