Private Eye is cast upon the #AssangeCase Aug/Sep 2020 issues

By Joe Brack of EF Press

The relationship between Private Eye and WikiLeaks, two publishers with very similar aims and objectives, is recovering slowly since the nadir of 2011 when claims of antisemitism and a disputed phone call between editor Ian Hislop and editor Julian Assange, divided two successful publishers known for their ground-breaking exposures of corruption and criminality by successive administrations around the world.

Interestingly, both The Private Eye and Julian Assange received the Gavin Mac Fadyen Award for Journalistic Integrity given by The Whistler. Gavin Mac Fadyen was WikiLeaks Director.

As witnessed at the Old Bailey for the past 4 weeks lead prosecutor QC Lewis used extensive quotes from Leigh and Harding’s book on WikiLeaks, ‘Shadow State’ to justify the US extradition request without the defence being able to cross-examine either as to their ‘reporting’.

Step up Private Eye, no. 1529, 28 August 2020 that, in advance of his trial, featured in the Street of Shame: ‘Blond Bombshell’, lambasting the Guardian for their ‘Paul Manafort visits Julian Assange’ fake story,

and in particular rubbishing Luke Harding’s Russiagate conspiracy, with: ‘There was no long-term Russia-Assange-Trump plot. WikiLeaks just did what it does, publishing documents it has grabbed from any source’, much like Private Eye.

Private Eye does repeat the Guardian’s claim that they fell out with Assange because WikiLeaks published the DNC emails showing election fraud via Russian agents thus helping a Trump victory.

Alan Rusbridger claimed he fell out with Wikieaks because ‘they published that which should not be published’ at the Frontline Club in 2019, refusing to elaborate.

An examination of the Guardian’s fraught history with the UK Security Services reveals a much darker side to their volte-face on WikiLeaks when Luke Harding himself reported on the shocking Edward Snowden raid back in 2013.

The Guardian intimidated by a Security Service raid, club hammered their own hard drives in their underground car park to prove they would not retain Edward Snowden material.

At this point it becomes most evident that compliance with State Security overrides any genuine public interest and investigative reporting the Guardian was once renowned for and sadly the Scott Trust’s independence and bravery replaced by venture capital and limited liability of a private, corporate entity.

Private Eye have continued with their investigation and in no.1532, 9 October 2020 ‘In the Courts’ detail Judge Vanessa Baraitser rejection on the first day of the trial of Amnesty International application to observe via the Cloud Video platform as well as 40 other NGOs and journalists, as it threatened her ‘ability to maintain the integrity of the court’.

Private Eye refers to this integrity, where a member of the public took a photo of Assange in the dock and distinguishes Human Rights NGOs, ‘Amnesty won’t take illicit photos of Julian Assange in court or from a live video feed – but having an observer would put it in a stronger position to question other issues about the “integrity” of Assange’s extradition hearings.’

Indeed! As we await the closing submissions and Vanessa Baraitser’s judgement on 4 January 2021 one hopes that Private Eye continues to report on US v Julian Assange, especially in light of the serious ramifications for editors and publishers should the US request succeed.

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6 Responses to Private Eye is cast upon the #AssangeCase Aug/Sep 2020 issues

  1. Obviously I’m pleased that Private Eye is reporting the Assange case. However Private Eye under Ian Hislop is the Establishment’s court jester.

    Its behaviour throughout the fake anti-semitism attacks on Corbyn and the Labour left was pathetic. It was in step with the rest of the street of shame. Who did they employ as ‘ratbiter’ to attack comrades of mine in Brighton? Nick Cohen, warmongering cold war columnist for The Guardian who has been bitterly hostile to Julian Assange.

    We all know that those who went on about ‘antisemitism’ were not interested in any other form of racism such as the Windrush scandal and the hostile environment.

    Under Richard Ingrams Private Eye was an edge magazine but today it is all but useless.

    I tried to interest them in the Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is without doubt Israeli sponsored and funded and who I am presently suing for libel. It is clear beyond doubt that these McCarthyists have their own agenda but Private Eye remain uninterested

  2. Allen Jasson says:

    Incidentally, we now have Kia Starmer leading the Labour party; darling of the establishment elites, a former Police prosecutor (clearly a background of long-standing empathy with the working class), selected by the BBC as a tolerable leader of the opposition (just so that there IS some semblance of an opposition to talk about) so long as he doesn’t press any real working class issues.

  3. Allen Jasson says:

    I thoroughly agree with Tim Hart. Ian Hislop fits the Tony Blair Design Pattern. Like Australia’s Philip Adams he’s a “Tame Leftie” just as Tony Blair was as Bob Hawke was to the Australian Government – a Tory Prime Minister leading the Labour Party in government (ultimately into War). These sycophantic Armchair Lefties have a consistent trait of advocating irrational wrong directions at critical moments and a general softening of left ideals.
    Masquerade is exactly the right word.
    I once knew a slaughterman who told me that an Abattoirs uses a Pet Sheep to lead sheep from the holding pens, otherwise, because they sense the danger, they are hard to lead.

  4. Tim Hart says:

    I understand the reason – indeed the need – for a concilatory tone at the moment in this regard, but I think you are overegging the similarities. Ian Hislop and Private Eye are establishment entities masquerading as anti-establishment. Julian Assange is authentically anti-establishment..

    • efpress says:

      Hard to disagree. A reminder of Private Eye’s anti-establishment, Peter Cook, origins may help nudge Ian Hislop toward a better understanding of Julian Assange’s case and replace his cuddly, funny critic hat with Panama Papers Investigative reporter one.

      Joe EF Press

  5. Jamie says:

    Thank you EF Press for this interesting article. I am glad to see that Private Eye, who lost it’s way for a while is now reporting fairly on this abuse of a journalist.

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