Guardian dumps US commentator after pressure piles in from ‘usual suspects’

The Guardian has ditched US analyst Josh Trevino - but why? Find out the real reasons here...

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Trevino turfed out
On 25 August 2012 06:39

Late last night The Guardian snuck out a joint statement between itself and its recently hired US commentator Joshua Trevino.

Trevino, whose arrival was announced just 10 days ago, is the latest journalist to find himself on the receiving end of the rancour of The Guardian’s crowd of ‘usual suspects’ who have campaigned vociferously for over a week to have him removed.

Trevino’s arrival was met with ‘dismay’ from the crowd of oddities listed below, including Middle East Monitor’s Daud Abdullah, iEngage’s Shenaz Bunglawala, Baroness Jenny Tonge, Prof. Ilan Pappe and the director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Despite the clear motivations behind the letter dated 19th August, The Guardian has chosen to part ways with Trevino based on an article Trevino wrote in February of last year about Peter King where he mentioned something to do with Malaysia, while consulting for a firm with ‘Malaysian business interests’.

I’ll leave it up to readers to find out just how many Guardian Comment is Free columnists fail to declare all their allegiances and I look forward to The Guardian rooting through all their contributors to list every single one of their affiliations.

That aside, many will be dismayed that Trevino, who ended up on the ‘wrong side’ of the violent Gaza flotilla activists after some strongly worded tweets, has been ejected by The Guardian and indeed has remained silent on the matter thus far.

Trevino has served on the board of Act For Israel and is very pro-Israeli in his views on the Middle East Conflict. It is for this reason that I believe that that his article on Peter King wasn’t what lost him his job with The Guardian.

Nonetheless, it is incredibly sad and indicative of the fear of his detractors, that The Guardian has chosen to remove his platform. Trevino is an astute analyst and very well connected in the area in which The Guardian hired him – Washington, D.C. It appears that the famous quote from The Guardian's original owner, C.P. Scott, was not even enough to save Trevino:

"The newspaper is of necessity something of a monopoly, and its first duty is to shun the temptations of monopoly. Its primary office is the gathering of news. At the peril of its soul it must see that the supply is not tainted. Neither in what it gives, nor in what it does not give, nor in the mode of presentation, must the unclouded face of truth suffer wrong. Comment is free but facts are sacred... the voice of opponents no less than that of friends has the right to be heard." [our emphases]

That Trevino's removal coincides with a campaign from the hard-Left, ‘pro-Palestinian’ alliance will certainly raise eyebrows. But should we really be surprised?

Head over to CIFWatch for more information. The letter to The Guardian and subsequent joint statement from The Guardian and Trevino are copied below.

Dismay at addition of Joshua Treviño to Guardian US commentary team:

"We are writing to express our shock and dismay at the addition to the Guardian's US commentary team of a man who has openly called for the killing of people on humanitarian missions to Palestine, people who have included the Pulitzer-prize-winning author Alice Walker.

The extreme views of your new freelance contributor Joshua Treviño, whose columns will appear on your Guardian US website from tomorrow, are no secret. In 2011, he used Twitter to urge the Israeli army to murder unarmed US citizens who were preparing to sail from Greece on a flotilla to Gaza. Treviño tweeted: "Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla – well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me." He also backed a tweet which called for the sinking of the flotilla, which would have endangered the lives of all on board, and likened this peaceful mission to a "Nazi convoy".

In what way does publishing a man who clearly has no regard for the rule of law, and who advocates the killing of his fellow citizens by a foreign army, enhance the Guardian's reputation as a serious newspaper? The extremist views of people like Treviño, who have no hesitation in wishing death upon those who disagree with them, can be found on countless sensationalist, racist and hate-speech websites. They have no place in a reputable publication.

Moreover, Treviño is hardly without vested interests. He served on the board of the pro-Israel group Act for Israel, and was listed on its website as being "a staunch digital advocate of Israel". This former speechwriter for George W Bush will no doubt be bringing his one-sided political views to the Guardian and using it as a platform for his propaganda. It is a sad day for responsible and impartial journalism when the opinions of such a man are sought as an "important perspective" (the words of Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief of the Guardian US) by a supposedly progressive publication. 

Signed:

Sarah Colborne Director, Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Roger Lloyd Pack, Actor

Kika Markham, Actor

Bruce Kent Vice-president, CND

Lindsey German, Stop the War

Daud Abdullah, Middle East Monitor

Zahir Birawi, Palestinian Forum of Britain

Diana Neslen, Jews for Justice for Palestinians

Chris Rose, Amos Trust

Shenaz Bunglawala, iEngage

Baroness Jenny Tonge

Jeremy Corbyn MP

John Austin

Professor Nur Masalha, SOAS

Professor Ilan Pappe, Exeter University

Dr Ghada Karmi, Exeter University

Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, LSE

Professor Kamel Hawwash, University of Birmingham

Professor Haim Bresheeth

Professor Antoine Zahlan (retd), American University of Beirut

Professor Steven Rose, Open University

Professor Hilary Rose, LSE

Dr Les Levidow, Open University

Canon Garth Hewitt, St George's Cathedral, Jerusalem

Ahdaf Soueif Author and journalist

Victoria Brittain Author and journalist

Abe Hayeem Chair, Architects and Planners for Justice, Palestine

 

Joint statement from the Guardian and Joshua Treviño:

Joshua Treviño wrote a piece for the Guardian on February 28, 2011 titled "Peter King has hearings, but is he listening?" The Guardian recently learned that shortly before writing this article the author was a consultant for an agency that had Malaysian business interests and that he ran a website called Malaysia Matters. In keeping with the Guardian's editorial code this should have been disclosed.

"Under our guidelines, the relationship between Joshua and the agency should have been disclosed before the piece was published in order to give full clarity to our readers," said Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief, Guardian US.

"I vigorously affirm that nothing unethical was done and I have been open with the Guardian in this matter. Nevertheless, the Guardian's guidelines are necessarily broad, and I agree that they must be respected as such," said Joshua Treviño.

We have therefore mutually agreed to go our separate ways and wish each other the best of luck.

- Ends -

Raheem Kassam is the Executive Editor for The Commentator. He tweets at @RaheemJKassam

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