Even in its twilight years the Guardian remains the gift that keeps on giving. As the tin-shaking below the pieces grows stronger (generally presenting the publication as the only barrier between the reader and incipient fascism) the pieces remain reliably ridiculous. Yet even by these standards, Monday produced perhaps the Guardian’s worst shake-down effort to date.
The article was headlined “‘Alt-right’ online poison nearly turned me into a racist”. The explanatory subtitle continues ‘It started with Sam Harris, moved on to Milo Yiannopoulos and almost led to full-scale Islamophobia. If it can happen to a lifelong liberal, it could happen to anyone.’ The author of this piece is…. ‘Anonymous’. Who knows why. Perhaps the author reflected that one day they would grow up. Or perhaps they are one of those ‘composite characters’ left-wing journalists plead when they’re caught making stuff up. Or maybe the piece was authored by someone at the Guardian who wanted to hide their face. At any rate, at the end of the article we are assured that ‘The author was not paid a fee for this piece’, which is slightly more than the normal going rate for freelancers at the Guardian these days.
Anyway, whoever ‘Anonymous’ is they have a story to tell. They claim that after the June referendum (in which ‘Anonymous’ voted ‘Remain’, natch) the author became curious about other peoples’ views. The Guardian usually mans a stern defence against such error, and for once they are proved right. For our brave ‘Anonymous’ describes listening to talks by the renowned liberal American atheist and best-selling author Sam Harris. From there ‘Anonymous’ describes falling down a ‘rabbit hole’. The fascinating intellectual development of this anonymous individual continued apace. Eventually they came over all ‘Islamophobic’ and also started to hold incorrect views on Social Justice Warriors.