Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Guardian Calls for Backup.

The venerable British newspaper, The Guardian, has sounded the call for backup. It wants to muster other leading newspapers to collaborate on investigating America's new president, the Great Orange Bloat, Donald J. Trump.

Openly targeting a president, imagine that.

The paper argues that it took a collaborative effort to break the Panama Papers story and nothing less has much chance of exposing the real Donald Trump.

Countless reporters are still shaken and stunned by how he singled out a CNN reporter, one of the most respected news outlets in the world, to attack and humiliate him during his first press conference since winning the elections. Worryingly, none of his fellow journalists in the room stood up for him at the time.

This wasn’t Trump’s first attack on the press, and it certainly won’t be his last. The first White House press briefing, held on Saturday, featured bullying, threats and unproven claims. That is why a new level of solidarity and cooperation is needed among the fourth estate.

American journalists should stop him from dividing their ranks – however hard their professional competition may be. They should do the opposite: unite, share and collaborate. Even if doing so would mean embracing something quite unfamiliar and new to American journalism.

The Panama Papers has showed that a formerly unthinkable project of collaboration can work. When we shared the data of the papers with a team of 400 reporters worldwide, we brought together a vast number of investigative reporters who typically compete which each other. The main reason why our newspaper, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, shared the story with competitors was simply that it was too big and too important to do alone.

Now, once again, we are faced with a story that is too big and too important to handle on our own: Donald Trump’s impact on the democracy of the United States of America.

The ultimate goal is nothing less than dredging up Trump's business ties and those of his cabinet to expose their conflicts of interest. The paper argues that, in keeping with the tradition of independent journalism and a free press, Trump is an entirely legitimate target.

Trump is now the president of the United States. He is the government. It has always been the noblest job of a journalist to check the power of government, the center of power. This seems even more important as the president acts like one of the oligarchs that journalists like the two of us, who work on international corruption, investigate again and again.

He threatened his Democratic opponent with jail, he is making promises no one can fulfill, he is mixing family and government, he is mixing business and government, he is obstructing control and he is fighting the freedom of press.

This government has decided to go down a new and hostile path. Now, it is time for us to change path, too. That’s not only just fair – it is absolutely necessary.


Rural said...

Good for the Guardian, the U.S. press core should have got up and walked out, its not like they are going to get anything but 'alternative news' from the Twit in Chief and his minions. May the world press save the Americans, not that a large portion of them deserve to be saves after voting for this Twit.

Anonymous said...


The paper argues that it took a collaborative effort to break the Panama Papers story and nothing less has much chance of exposing the real Donald Trump.

The Panama papers achieved nothing.
The rich and flatulous still hold the reins of power; possibly even more so.

Trump is set to solidify the one percents grip of power.

To add insult to injury the MSM will knuckle under for the sake of ratings.


Anonymous said...

Agreed, TB. The two Canadian media members of the consortium looking into the Panama Papers - TorStar and CBC - promised to publish the names of at least 625 Canadians with offshore accounts through Mossack Fonseca. That never happened.

To my knowledge only a handful of Canadians have been named: Fred Sharp, a disbarred Vancouver lawyer who registered thousands of companies through MF for clients, and Edmonton fraud artist Michael Ritter. There were a few others named by the Star, but what they all have in common is existing fraud convictions or disbarment.

The Star talked about a secretive network of "enablers" helping Canadians to ship their wealth offshore - lawyers, financial planners, bankers and accountants - but only names Unitrust, a small player run by Russians. Where are the names of the Canadian banks, major law firms, "reputable" accountants, etc.?

Nothing earth shattering came out of the Panama Papers investigation here in Canada. The media players seem to have chickened out on their promised revelations. As for CRA follow through, don't make me laugh. We saw how that works in the Isle of Man tax scam.


Purple library guy said...

Trump's style is very different, but it seems like in substance his approach to the press is kind of taking a leaf from Harper's book.