I haven't written about the whole affair because bloggers like Angry Black Lady and Karoli have done a superb job of thoroughly debunking her claims.
But I had a special interest in all of this because a couple of years ago I started hanging out at the Guardian's Comment is Free America blog. That was back when Michael Tomasky wrote several columns a day there. What I found were thoughtful columns (though I didn't always agree) and a group of commenters that ranged from the most liberal, to Blue Dogs, to conservatives, to tea partiers. I enjoyed the diversity tremendously and learned a lot.
Then Tomasky left and went to The Daily Beast. Some of us kept an eye on The Guardian to see who they would pick as a replacement (I suggested Steve Benen, of course). A little while ago they made the announcement...Ana Marie Cox. Yes, she of Wonkette and Twitter fame. I was a bit shocked that a respected news organization would make that decision, but kept my eye on the place to see how it would go. Ms. Cox produced the same shallow cynical drivel she has always been known for. I can only suspect that The Guardian was looking to capture some of her 1,370,000 Twitter followers.
And then came the column by Naomi Wolf. Now the picture is getting a little clearer. Today the Guardian's editor of Comment is Free America - Matt Seaton - published a follow-up to Ms. Wolf's post.
When a single article is recommended on Facebook 235,000 times, tweeted nearly 7,000 times, gets close to 1,000 comments and is viewed, over three days, by approximately 1 million people, it is by any account a phenomenon.
So you see where this is going.
I made several comments to that post - basically chatting with Mr. Seaton to suggest that he owed Guardian readers an apology for Ms. Wolf's column. He would have none of it. She's free to speak her "opinion." At one point, he even said this:
...see this AP report, about the role played by federal agency PERF in facilitating conference-call information-sharing between police departments on handling Occupy protests.(Emphasis mine)
If the American editor of a major newspaper had taken just a moment to google PERF, he would have found this in less than a minute.
The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) is a national membership organization of progressive police executives from the largest city, county and state law enforcement agencies.
So no, PERF is clearly not a "federal agency." If I can find that out so quickly - what does it say about journalism these days that he did not.
I say all this to point out something you probably already know. When it comes to information and news these days, we have to be our own gatekeepers. We can no longer rely of "journalists" to give us the facts. Lucky for us, the internet is there and we still have the ability to fire up our critical minds to get them.