The Washington Post brings the Guardian back down to Earth

2 July 2013

The Washington Post has had a crack at Mr Steerpike’s favourite game: trashing the Guardian. Full marks to them for a knock out job.

The Post describes Britain’s most sanctimonious rag as

‘a newspaper that’s small and underweight even by British standards’. \


Then the Groaner really gets it where it hurts:

‘… the Guardian has its own sacred cows. Unlike its American media cousins, which have traditionally sought neutrality in their news reporting, the Guardian hews to the British model of identifying with a political party. The paper has been liberal since its founding by Manchester mill owners and cotton merchants; in the last British elections it supported the minority Liberal Democrats.


BOOM! And it gets worse for the

‘financially struggling, frankly liberal newspaper with a newsprint circulation of fewer than 160,000 copies daily (which makes it roughly the size of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)’


One more Yankee salvo:

‘the paper lost about $1 million a week from 2009 to 2012. It continues to lose money, according to [Alan] Rusbridger. “We’ve been through lean times like everyone else,” he says. “Last year wasn’t great.”’


The piece asks why a failing British newspaper would be interested in an American spying story. The theory doing the rounds is that the NSA fanfare was as financially motivated as it was journalistically. Veteran editor Alan Rusbriger sees the Guardian brand as an international solution to the domestic problem, which may explain why he was in New York when the NSA story broke.

Speaking of the story, it’s a shame that the original charge that the NSA had ‘direct access’ into the servers of software companies has not yet been proved. But what does that matter when there are flags to be planted on new soil, eh?

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  • Camp Swank

    Wow: and that was from the Washington Post, a newspaper I wouldn’t normally touch with a proverbial. God only knows what the saner Washington Times would say of the Workers’ Daily sorry Pravda Guardian.

  • Patricia

    Mr Rushbridge looks like he’s been banged over the head by a ciabatta loaf.
    I almost feel sorry for the Guardianistas.

  • Martin Jennerson

    I really hope that this horrible muck-raking rag fails in its efforts to internationalise its brand. Its recent Australian edition went straight for the “everyone’s racist & hates wimmin, innit?” jugular. Sickening if this style of low grade muck catches on in USA/AUS

  • the viceroy’s gin

    The WaPo is crashing just as hard as the Grauniad, or any other old media lefty swamp. They’re just siding with their circulation base here, which is pure Washington Beltway statist.

  • allymax bruce

    This is biggest load of trash MSM churnalism ever; they’re both Zionist owned, thus, have the same principles; you-gotta-picka-pocket-two!

    • HookesLaw

      Racist rubbish. Are you a clan man or a Klansman?

  • paulus

    Im probably one of the few people who read the guardian, shamelless milne, is truely shameless. It is opinion not fact and he has every right to express it. But never fall into the trap of thinking it should be shut down, this is what makes this the greatest Country on the Earth. We profoundly disagree with him but we defend his rights.

    This is what they are trying to do to us but honestly and decency will always win.

  • thanksdellingpole

    Rusbridger looks like the type who’d such Bill Knighty off.

  • Curnonsky

    The Washington Post is embarrassed by being outflanked on the left by the Guardian, thereby exposing it (together with the New York Times) as Obama’s in-house staff newsletter. The Post would have been all-too-supportive if Bush were still in power. And any American newspaper whose initials are not WSJ had better tread lightly while sneering at the Guardian’s circulation and balance sheet; they all wrap fish just as well.

  • John Smith

    Oh leave it alone, its readers & commentators are happy procrastinating. Its harmless

  • jp99

    Shame there isn’t a line plotting the rise of Rusbridger’s salary during this time.

    Others … “liberal” means left wing for the WP. The Manchester Guardian was Liberal. The Guardian is “liberal”. The word has been debased

    • global city

      It’s actually ‘Liberal-Left’, which has always seen itself as anti western, anti capitalist, pro-‘revolutionary’, oppressive paths to conformity and utopia, etc, in that silly, student, mixed up sort of way!

  • George Scoresby

    This is quite an embarrassing piece to be published on the Spectator site. I despise the Guardian. But why “conservatives” and “right-wingers” think the surveillance state is a great idea, is beyond me. Throw away lines such as “Has not yet been proved…” are extremely naive.

    What we know this week, is a lot more than we knew last week. And it’s known because the leftist are paranoid and looking for it. Perhaps it’s time the rightists became a little less complacent about what our overlords are up to.

    • ButcombeMan

      The “rightists” or most of em are probably rather sharper and already could have guessed at or expected most of it.

      We pay spies to spy, they do spy.

      I am complacent because they do and they are our spies.

      The Post has it right.

      Ignoring the D notices was about money.

  • Andy

    Why would any one buy the Fascist Rag ? Without Autotrader cash it is bankrupt.

  • paulthorgan


    The practice of a foreign office buying up a newspaper for sympathetic coverage has resumed?


    Which country would benefit from buying up a newspaper that trashed the USA, day in, day out?

    Perhaps the same one that used to bulk buy copies of the Morning Star during the Cold War to keep it afloat?

    Just sayin’…

  • lcbrown

    “And it gets worse for the ‘financially struggling, frankly liberal newspaper with a newsprint circulation of fewer than 160,000 copies daily (which makes it roughly the size of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)’ KAPOW!”

    Really? Let’s check shall we?

    Guardian circulation: 160,000
    UK population: 63,181,775
    Guardian circulation/population: 1 : 395

    WP circulation: 474,767
    US population: 316,163,000
    WP circulation/population: 1 : 665

    Hmmm, not really that much of a “KAPOW”, I’d say…

    • Spyro

      But the whole of the US wouldn’t buy the ‘Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’ would it ? Which actually makes it worse – that the nationally printed guardian is outsold by a local newspaper. KAPOW !

    • Greystead

      On the other hand, the Washington Post is not a national newspaper in the same sense that the Guardian would claim to be. The Post has for many years only been printed on the east coast and ranks up most of its sales in a relatively small area around Washington i.e. DC, North Virginia and Maryland. A very rough estimate of the total population in those areas would be 14.2 million. That gives the WP circulation/population ratio of around 1: 30. KAPOW indeed.

    • george

      Guardian circulation: 160,000
      population of liberal lefty Islington in 2010: 199,130

      circulation/population ratio 4:5

      now thats pretty good coverage

    • JabbaTheCat

      There are no national papers in the US because the country is so large. The WP daily editions are printed for the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, which is about 15 million residents over the three states. That works out around circulation/population 1:32.

      • Curnonsky

        Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today are all national newspapers that are printed in every region of the country.

        • HookesLaw

          What has this got to do with the print area of the WP?

          USA Today is a pretty thin paper. Circulation 1.8 million. The WSJ is a specialist paper.
          Is the NYT national? I thought it was local to New York and the east coast. Its a big seller within its region, but I cannot see anybody in San Francisco buying it.

          • Curnonsky

            USA Today is printed nationally although much of its circulation consists of copies shoved under hotel room doors. The Wall Street Journal has evolved into a broad-spectrum newspaper – the first section is strictly news and its editorial page is very influential, particularly on the Right. Like the New York Times it publishes regional editions across the country and has printing plants that allow it to be delivered in most major metropolitan areas. Unlike the New York Times it is very profitable.

    • ganef_returns

      You ignore the number/choice of daily newspapers in making your calculations.

  • aanpakkuh

    What the Washington Post seems to fail to grasp is that Guardian does not really support the Lib Dems but is in the Labour camp. Last elections the Guardian opportunistically stood behind Lib Dems because Labour seemed unlikely to win outright majority and hence would need support from Lib Dems to form a governent, while Lib Dems could also helpt to get somekind of voting reforrm through parliament that would suit Labour.
    Labour has bought the Gaurdian through relentless advertising of avalange of public sector jobs. It’s Campbell’s cleverest trick by far and should be a mandatory ingredient of any media, politics or sociology curriculum.

  • JunkkMale

    ‘The Washington Post brings the Guardian back down to earth’
    Presuming this to be on the planet of the same name?

    Often hard to be sure with the Graun.

    “…frankly liberal newspaper with a newsprint circulation of fewer than 160,000 copies daily..”

    Well, indeed. And making it all the more odd that the BBC seems to rotate its ‘speaking for the nation’ guests mainly from it, the Indy or New Statesman. Also a smidge shy on the ABCs.

    Maybe Polly, Owen & Laurie know something we don’t?

    Possibly about market-rate contracts?

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