What The Guardian did next:
- quickly closed its comments section;
- did not allow a right of reply to those journalists singled out for denigration in the piece;
- did not allow publication of the considered response from a group of concerned academics (posted in full below);
- did not respond to the group’s subsequent Letter, or a follow up email to it;
- prevaricated in response to telephone inquiries as to whether a decision against publishing either communication from the group had or had not been taken;
- failed to respond to a message to its Readers’ Editor from Vanessa Beeley, one of the journalists criticised in the article.
Meanwhile, the article’s author, Olivia Solon, tweeting from California, allowed herself to promote her piece while simply blocking critical voices.
Conduct hardly more becoming was that of The Guardian’s George Monbiot who joined in, tweeting smears against critics and suggesting they read up about ‘the Russian-backed disinformation campaign against Syria’s heroic rescue workers’. Judging by the tenor of responses to this, the journalist misjudged his surprising intervention. It seems that people who follow these matters are able to decide for themselves who and what they find credible.