L’Affair Sherwood just got more interesting (Guardian reporter engages in possibly illegal phone recording)

L’Affair Sherwood has just gotten more interesting.

As we posted yesterday, Sherwood berated JC Editor, Stephen Pollard, for publishing a piece by Geoffrey Alderman last week expressing relief over the death of Vittorio Arrigoni – ISM activist, evident supporter of Hamas, and anti-Semite – who has been comically characterized by the Guardian and much of the mainstream media as a peace activist

As Pollard noted, simply publishing Alderman’s essay didn’t necessarily mean he supported it, a fact that a reporter for the Guardian – who has often published essays by Islamists who openly seek the murder of Jews, and even published a letter during the Palestine Papers openly justifying the murder of Jewish men, women, and children by Palestinian terrorists – should surely understand.

But, it get’s more interesting.  Per Pollard’s blog today:

UPDATE: Ms Sherwood left me a voicemail after seeing my initial post, complaining that she did not scream. And you know what, listening to the conversation, it’s a fair point and I’m happy to change that. It felt like screaming to me as her voice was very loud on my phone. I’ve edited the post to take that out. I’ve also changed the post so that it’s made up of verbatim quotes, now that I have been able to transcribe the conversation.

How did I listen to it? Because she recorded it. She casually dropped into the voicemail the news that she had an MP3 of it.

At no point did she tell me that she was recording it. So she has broken the law. What a fantastic piece of Guardian hypocrisy, to (rightly) lead the charge against phone tapping but then to break the law so casually in recording our conversation.

Sherwood is simply out of control. Not only has she demonstrated that she sympathizes with the most ardent, vile Israel haters – destroying any semblance of claim to journalistic objectivity – but she may have violated UK law recording of the call with Pollard without his permission.

 In her blog today, Sherwood again defended Arrigoni against charges that he was anti-Semitic.  How does she know this? Well, for one, she sought the sage advice of Jeff Halper, ICAHD director, and proponent of a one-state solution who employs the Nazi analogy in characterizing Israel’s behavior.  

However, in her rigorous research into the question of Arrigoni’s feelings towards Jews, she apparently didn’t bother to look at his Facebook page, where she could have found the following:

Or this:

Or this:

Yes, I think that when you support Hamas, post a picture which says “No dogs or Israelis allowed”, as well as cartoons showing the Jewish state characterized with a blood drenched Magen David, apprehending Jesus Christ and murdering Santa Claus, that qualifies as anti-Semitic. 

Sherwood’s profound moral confusion is expressed even more clearly in the closing passage of her blog:

“Scenes of Palestinian militants handing out sweets to celebrate suicide bombings or other deadly attacks are familiar – and sickening.

Now Alderman’s rejoicing in the death of a pro-Palestinian activist seems to me a new and repugnant development.”

That Sherwood is evidently more bothered by one insult to a radical anti-Israel activist than by her paper’s continuing tendency to grant license to writers who are affiliated with, or support, terrorist groups who seeks Israel’s annihilation speaks volumes of Sherwood’s radical pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel political orientation, and it simply can no longer reasonably be suggested that she is a journalist in any real sense of the word.

She is, like so many of her colleagues at the Guardian, an anti-Israel activist posing as a journalist.   

32 replies »

  1. It is interesting to see how as time goes on she reveals her innate anti-Israel biases more and more. She was, rightly, first given the benefit of the doubt by Cif Watch as just being naive and ignorant, but it’s clear now she has an agenda.

  2. It appears that with her support for a vicious anti-Semite, Guardian chooses its staff well.

    Is a requirement to be an anti-Semite a job description?

  3. I’m not convinced that it is illegal (I note of course that you say “possibly illegal”). I read about this some time ago, so it’s conceivable things have changed or my memory is playing tricks. From what I recall it is not illegal to record a phone call without informing the other party just so long as you only make use of it for private purposes. I think that last means that you are not permitted to allow anyone else to listen to the recording. I’m not certain that in this case Pollard would fall within the definition of “anyone else”.

    But, in any event, such behaviour is completely unethical. I wouldn’t be surprised now if this whole thing was a set-up from the get-go. I wouldn’t put anything past the journalists and editors at the Guardian. They are the scum of the earth.

    That she would ask Halper’s advice is just laughable. It just goes to show how disconnected from reality she is.

  4. Recording personal calls without informing the other party is OK in the UK and most of the US. Restrications apply mainly to customer/business calls. Can’t speak for Israel, if that’s where the exchange in question took place.

  5. “Recording personal calls without informing the other party is OK in the UK”

    I was correct in my post above:

    “A recording made by one party to a phone call or e-mail without notifying the other is not prohibited provided that the recording is for their own use; recording without notification is prohibited where some of the contents of the communication—a phone conversation or an e-mail—are made available to a third party.”

    I suppose it’s possible she could argue that she was making the phone call in the course of business. In which case:

    “Businesses may record with the knowledge of their employees but without notifying the other party to

    * provide evidence of a business transaction
    * ensure that a business complies with regulatory procedures
    * see that quality standards or targets are being met in the interests of national security
    * prevent or detect crime to investigate the unauthorised use of a telecom system
    * secure the effective operation of the telecommunications system.

    They may monitor without recording phone calls or e-mails that have been received to see whether they are relevant to the business (e.g., to check for business communications addressed to an employee who is away); but such monitoring must be proportionate and in accordance with data protection laws and codes of practice.”

    My best guess is that this was a sting operation/set-up carried out by the Guardian, and their lawyers were consulted before this went ahead. I think it doubtful that Sherwood was acting alone. Pollard was in all likelihood deliberately provoked in order to obtain a reaction.

    Anyone dealing with the Guardian should take notice of this in future. Certainly, the Israeli government should be immediately informed. The Guardian is a very dangerous outfit. Another thing: if Guardian journalists are close to ISM, then ipso facto they are also close to Hamas. This makes the Guardian doubly dangerous as far as Israel is concerned.

  6. I believe our Hissy Fit Hattie the Hen has indeed broken the law:

    I supervise the clinical training of psychologists, part of which involves listening to recordings of their therapy sessions with patients. They are never allowed to record without express permission in writing from the client, and this requirement applies to every recorded session with every client.

    I also supervise research which may or may not involve interviewing and recording and the same applies.

    Until a few years ago it was possible to record telephone conversations via an answerphone tape and everyone knew when recording was being done because telephones were designed to emit a regular bleep when the “record” function was in use.

    The latest telephones, however, do not have such a function and none of my students has been able to record from telephone conversations in this manner for quite a while (perhaps because so many use voicemail now, which is stored on a central server and all of this has implications for confidentiality).

    So what’ve we got? We have Hissy Fit Hattie the Hen making a recording without permission on a device which doesn’t emit a regular sound to let the other party know that he is being recorded.

    If we want a prime example of the ethical dereliction of journalism, this has to be it.

  7. Did she make the call from Israel or the UK?
    Does it matter?
    Can a lawyer answer to these questions?

  8. As with Rodney King, anyone dealing with a reporter, especially a reporter with Der Guardian MUST record the entire conversation – AND ask the reporter questions too and their responses.

    There is no reason not to record such conversations.

  9. This talk of a “sting” is quite hysterical: tt is quite regular practise for journalists to record conversations in order to ensure they have full and complete notes. What is not so regular practise is to publish a set of accusations (“screaming”, etc) then get caught out in the lie and retract and redact your first article.

    • You are right that to call this a sting is to attribute more to Hattie the Hissy Fit Hen’s strength of character and intelligence than is merited.

      Having said that whether or not it is common practice for journalists to record conversations and interviews without permission is beside the point – it still evidence absence of ethical or moral sense or professionalism.

      I agree with Jeremy below that Hissy Fit Hattie believes that editors agree with everything they print. And yes, she must also agree that the Guardian agrees with Islamist terror activities and ideology (as if we hadn’t guessed already).

    • “This talk of a “sting” is quite hysterical: tt is quite regular practise for journalists to record conversations in order to ensure they have full and complete notes.”

      Stephen Pollard is a veteran journalist. If it were common practice in these particular circumstances he would have been well aware of the fact and would not have expressed the views that he did.

      “This talk of a “sting” is quite hysterical”

      Given you are talking nonsense about the above then such a view is certainly not beyond the bounds of possibility especially given the Guardian’s animosity to those people who support the Jewish state.

      I would put very little beyond them. After all, the most anti-Semitic play since World War II was produced with the Guardian’s assistance and even now is still available on its website. And that’s leaving aside their daily fight to deligitimise and destroy the Jewish state. Not for nothing is the Guardian known as the Der Stürmer of the twenty-first century.

      “What is not so regular practise is to publish a set of accusations etc. etc.”

      Nonsense. Such an impression was quite understandable given that Sherwood is shrill and insanely partisan. But that part was mere fluff. About the substantive part of his post, Pollard was absolutely correct.

    • Pollard is a bit of an idiot, and got caught out. And now tries to find bizarre arguments to try to make passive aggressive threats of legal action. So much for the quality of the Jewish Chronicle. Still, I didn’t really believe in its quality even before this incident.

      Imagine what the JC would have said had the Guardian published a piece saying that they were pleased about the death of Ariel the war criminal Sharon?

  10. You need to give the cached link because this link doesn’t show it. so I can’t link it to the Guardian website.

  11. This is a great piece. If Harriet implied that by publishing the article by Geoffry Alderman Stephen Pollard as editor must agree with it, than by implication Alain Rusbridger as editor of the Guardian must agree with all the Pro Hamas and Pro Terrorism articles appearing in the Guardian or on Comment is Free

  12. Despite her denial, for Duvidl the behaviour of Hatty of the Chooks really is a scream.

  13. What a strange saga.

    I wonder if this is the first time she rang someone, hurling insults at them and secretly recording it. Isn’t she meant to, you know, do some work and stuff?

    (On a sidenote, there has been a suggestion that the ‘No Dogs and Israelis’ photo was accompanied on his Facebook page with text from him condemning the photo. I don’t know if this is the case or not.)

  14. Could we pass the hat around to pay for legal advice against this woman.We may even be able to nail her.

  15. Seems simply bizarre of her to record the phone call – especially from one journalist to another. It would be interesting to hear what “reasoning” (if any) she had in doing that.

  16. Ok, so lets get this straight:

    It’s not ok for Tom Friedman (who calls for collective punishment of Palestinians, but let’s not go there) is not allowed to pontificate about Israeli policy (presumably when the good folks who are ‘true’ Jews who support Israel disagree with him only, though). But is ok for the authors of this hate site to pontificate about the intricacies of English law!

    I get it! Makes perfect sense!

  17. It’s perfectly obvious why she recorded the conversation. Anyone who ever comments negatively on Israel in the media is likely to be hounded as an anti-semite and to have their views grossly distorted in the process. Witness many postings on this site.

    • Anyone who ever comments negatively on Israel in the media is likely to be hounded as an anti-semite and to have their views grossly distorted in the process

      What utter and complete nonsense. And why record the conversation? To protect herself against potential distortion from Pollard?? The only reason I can think of is that she was hoping for some juicy quotes from HIM that she herself could pounce on.

      Either that – or they’re actually a clandestine couple, and she was hoping to prove to him the old who-talks-more-in-the-relationship thing.

      God knows.

    • “Anyone who ever comments negatively on Israel in the media is likely to be hounded as an anti-semite and to have their views grossly distorted in the process. Witness many postings on this site.” sencar

      Aww, poor prof sencar, paragon of half-truth & fuzzy logic, so victmized by the evil zionist lobby, which so worried about you that even the Mossad is monitoring your activities.

      But, seriously, it didn´t take long for you to use the infamous “livingstone manouvre”, exactly when your lies and non-sense are being unmasked.

      I told you, you don´t fool people. Everyone here witnessed your consistent attempts to throw a negative light on Israel in each and every occasion.

      You have an obsession with Israel and *you* are the on that distorts everything in order to indict her no matter what (you projectionitis is remarkable). In sum, you´re no bona fides critic of Israel, just another professional anti-zionist fraud.

    • Alright. You have a bag o’ $2000 with you. I demand it from you, even using force to take it away from you. For my actions, you hate me. Therefore, you’re prejudiced, bigoted etc. toward me.


  18. Pollard lied about Sherwood screaming at him, then tried to laugh it off because “It felt like screaming to me”. If he hadn’t been recorded the lie would have stood unchallenged.

  19. For information, Article X(i) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, states..

    “The press must not seek to obtain or publish material acquired by using hidden cameras or clandestine listening devices…”

    A complaint to the Press Complaints Commission would seem to be in order.