No, not our local politicians.. although.. no, that’s a different blog. It’s The Guardian’s controversial Operation Clark County in the words of the Guardian’s own staff. Ian Mayes, the Readers’ Editor on the paper, gives his somewhat confused opinion.
He asked 71 staff members what they thought of the ‘operation’ and found that only 13 “thought it a legitimate and worthwhile exercise” while 44 were firmly against it. Comments given by staff included the astute observation that “intervention in the democratic processes of another country was not ‘legitimate newspaper behaviour'” – as well as being “arrogant and self-aggrandising”.
He also noted the number of critical emails – 5000 of which only 1 in 10 voiced support – but claims that “It was clear that a ‘spamming’ campaign was involved.” (The blogosphere’s response to the ‘operation’ was previously posted here.)
His own view appears to be that the “use of the voters’ list” was “intrusive” and that The Guardian had “sought to intervene in the US election, with unpredictable consequences.”
However, despite his statement of intent as Readers’ Editor, he stops short of making any recommendations and, instead, ends with a defence of the ‘operation’, as given by the editor of the Guardian, citing a “sense of impotence” which “many felt” in the face of “a crucialy important election”. Well, that’s all right then.