Monday, November 15, 2004

The Guardian and the US

So I've read The Guardian pretty much daily for the last three years, since the first time that I moved to Europe, and I have to say that my disenchantment with the paper also grows daily. The things that I love about it are now pretty much restricted to the arts (esp. Alexis Petridis), Steve Bell, and some political commentary, but the actual journalism and editorial management of the paper can be infuriating. The obvious complaint, which is much-noted, is that the paper harbors strong anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiment - blindly so. With the obvious exception of pop culture coverage, the number of stories that portray the US in a flattering light are neglible.

I've picked up on something more disturbing about The Guardian's journalism in the last year or so, however. The correspondents in the US, especially Gary Younge, Julian Borger, and Suzanne Goldenberg, cover stories in the US with prose that is eerily similar to that which comes off the AP wires or from other American newssources, but without any acknowledgment of other news services in the byline. My first recognitions of this were very casual, just having a general feeling that the wording in a given story appearing in the Guardian was very reminiscent of the same story's coverage that appeared the previous day or so at CNN or the NY Times. I had that same recognition again today, and decided to pursue my hunch, with startling results.

As some of you may know, the rapper O.D.B. died yesterday. First check out how the AP described his rap style, and then check Gary Younge's appraisal:

With his unorthodox delivery - alternately slurred, hyper and nonsensical - O.D.B. stood out even in the nine-man Clan, and as a solo artist he released hit singles such as "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" and "Got Your Money."


On stage ODB's performance was unorthodox - alternately slurred, hyper and nonsensical - but in the studio he was productive, releasing hit singles such as Shimmy Shimmy Ya and Got Your Money and appearing on remixes with artists such as Mariah Carey.

The byline is simple 'Gary Younge.' Unfortunately, this is the first piece of evidence I have bothered to collect after having such a recognition, but I'll be keeping an eye on the paper's US coverage.

1 comment:

jeffrey said...

It is as you say. Seems ironic that a paper that slams the US would "steal" words from the AP. Fucking limeys. (I stole that from This is Spinal Tap). Keep up the good work Gabe.