Bryan Hemming

short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography

How The Guardian Changes History

Shaun Walker´s photo

Oliphant and Walker spot a Russian convoy at the ‘dead of night’? Photo: Shaun Walker

Having read an article by Eric Draitser entitled There Goes The Guardian Lying About Ukraine…Again! on the alternative website counterpunch, I emailed Eric, pointing him towards my own evidence regarding The Guardian’s recurring problem with facts regarding the war in Ukraine. This is particularly important, considering the confrontation threatens to drag Europe into a war that could erupt into a nuclear exchange. The paper’s cavalier attitude towards manipulating the truth on such serious issues is nothing less than frightening.

Shaun Walker’s articles on Russia and the Ukraine in The Guardian often draw accusations of heavy bias against Russia in the comments section. Not without reason. The photo above was presented as showing part of an illegal incursion into Ukraine by a Russian armoured convoy last August. Shaun Walker is credited as having taken it. Roland Oliphant of The Telegraph claimed Walker and he had come across the convoy driving through a hole in the fence at the ‘dead of night’. Even if the photo is genuine it gives lie to the story. The armoured vehicles are driving on a good tarmac road. By the rear tail lights of the vehicle in front and the sky we can deduce it is dusk or dawn. It certainly is not the ‘dead of night’. We can also suppose the two men are sitting in, or on, the vehicle behind. One thing is clear, they are nowhere near a hole or a fence. And they can’t possibly have been concealed, as their account hints towards. The troops manning the convoy would have to be blind not to be aware of the two journalists right in their midst.

The original story – now in The Guardian archives – has been tampered with. The photo has been moved from an article written by Walker in November 2014 to an article published in August 2014. We might ask why. From his article, we can assume Eric Draitser saw Walker’s original, and not the revised version.

In the days of Soviet Russia, the western press often featured articles on the way Russian newspapers altered photographs and printed propaganda and lies. It seems the West is now resorting to similar tactics. If we can’t trust our media to be responsible, it follows we can’t trust our governments either, as they often feed it, especially in times of conflict. Therein lies the road to totalitarianism.

If anyone knows of a screenshot of the original articles, I would appreciate them getting in contact through my comments section. Your name and details will not be published without consent.

I publish the text of my email to Eric Draitser, along with the relevant links, here:

Hi Eric,

Having read your latest article in counterpunch, I thought you might be interested to read my own little piece of armchair research into Bellingcat, published on my blog last September 10th, where I did a bit of digging into its funding: MH17 – Brazen censorship by The Independent.

As for Shaun Walker, The Guardian archives appear to have been tampered with since you last looked. In There Goes The Guardian Lying About Ukraine…Again! you mention a Guardian article Russian military vehicles crossing the border into Ukraine by Shaun Walker published on August 15th 2014 where he claims to have witnessed a Russian armoured convoy crossing the border into Ukraine.

You say: “There is only the word of The Guardian’s reporter Shaun Walker, who conveniently could not get a photograph or video of the alleged military vehicles crossing into Ukraine.”  As you correctly point out, the original article did not contain a photo of the convoy Walker claims to have seen. Yet, magically now it does. And Shaun Walker is given the credit for having snapped it. There is something a little disturbing about that, as to judge from the photo he would’ve had to have been driving one of the armoured vehicles in the convoy, or riding in it. Yet according to Roland Oliphant of The Telegraph, he and Walker had spotted a Russian armoured convoy driving through a hole in the fence, which separates Russia from Ukraine, at the dead of night.

I know very well the original didn’t include the photo because I happen to have posted an article dealing with that very point on my blog. Shaun ‘wish I’d brought my camera’ Walker was published on August 17th 2014, the date can be verified from wordpress site records. Not only has the Walker article been tampered with but so has the headline. Now posted as Aid convoy stops short of border as Russian military vehicles enter Ukraine (the link is exactly the same as it is in my original article) it does contain a photo of a convoy, credited to Shaun Walker. Yet that photo did not appear in a Guardian article until November 12th 2014, when it accompanied a different article by Shaun Walker under the headline *Russian tanks and troops crossing into Ukraine, says Nato commander. The photo of the convoy Walker claims to have witnessed, and was previously in that article, has been replaced by a video.

By removing the photo from the November 12th article to insert it into the August 15th article The Guardian brazenly attempts to give the August article credibilty it didn’t formerly possess, as Walker didn’t produce one shred of evidence to back his claim at the time. I know the photo wasn’t there because I wrote another article about it called Shaun Walker is caught invading Ukraine by his own camerawhich I posted on November 13th 2014. 

This manipulation of the article by the placing of a photo which was not there previously is an exercise in deception. It demonstrates that The Guardian is content to alter evidence on extremely serious matters that threaten world peace and security.

Bryan Hemming

*The plot deepens. Though the link for this article is the same one I published in Shaun Walker is caught invading Ukraine by his own camera! I discovered the article has either been subsituted by one by Ewan MacAskill, or Shaun Walker’s name has been omitted as joint author.








12 comments on “How The Guardian Changes History

  1. Bryan Hemming
    August 14, 2015

    Almost a exactly year after this article was published, yesterday, I received a comment from someone I assume would rather I didn’t publish his name. I take the liberty of publishing the text exactly as FF wrote it, without disclosing his identity:

    Someboody tweeted a link to your article today (and I realized your article is several months old already).

    You asked:

    >> If anyone knows of a screenshot of the original articles, I would appreciate them getting in contact through my comments section. Your name and details will not be published without consent.

    I have taken a mht-snapshot of shaun walkers article, It dates from 15.08.2014, 11h24 Berlin time. it does show the photograph. If you are interested, you may contact me. Please add subject “Shaun Walker, Ukraine””

    I’m not sure what FF means by Berlin Time, but will assume he means CEST (Central European Summer Time) to begin with. If we take CEST as our yardstick, 11h 24 CEST is the equivalent of 10h 24 BST (British Summer Time). Shaun Walker’s article is logged as being published on Friday 15 August 2014 12.49 BST. With the best will in the world I cannot see how on earth anybody could get a screenshot of an article more than two hours before it was published.

    Even if I assume the MHT screenshot was made at 11h 24 CET (Central European Time), to be more helpful, that still translates into 11h 24 BST, as opposed to 12h 24 (Greenwich Mean Time). That means the screenshot would’ve been taken more than hour earlier than the article appeared.

    I suggest FF has confused his times, and thinks GMT and BST come one hour earlier than CST and CEST instead of one hour later. Even mixing BST, GMT, CEST and CET up to the point of madness, to get a result more suitable to FF, the screenshot would still have been taken 25 minutes before the article was published.

    I advise to you check and re-check over and over again until you come up with something more plausible, FF. Nevertheless, thank you for getting in touch, and forgive me for not taking you up on your kind offer of sending the MHT. I’m sure you can understand my reasons, the photo did not appear with the original article at any time.

    The revised version of the article – with the added photo – appears below showing the original time it was published.
    Screenshot Shaun Wlker


  2. rangewriter
    February 25, 2015

    Great sleuthing, Bryan. You know, I see an amazing best seller in all of this. If the media and the politicians are all in bed and getting richer by the minute, you should be able to profit from your diligent investigation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bryan Hemming
      February 26, 2015

      Thanks, Linda but, without wanting to make this an exercise in false modesty, the complacency and clumsiness of many journalists make it only too easy.

      It is the contempt they appear hold their readers in I find so despicible. After all, without readers they wouldn’t have jobs. They seem to take great pride in the fact they can get away with this sort of stuff. And they do get away with it most of the time. Luckily, I have a good memory, as do a lot of other bloggers, who toil away far more diligently than I. I try to keep up with their blogs, as I regard many of their creators as unsung heroes fighting to preserve our liberties, often for little or no reward.

      To be perfectly honest, I would far rather concentrate on my fiction, spending all my time creating worlds inside my head. But there are moments in history we have to do something, as the threats we face become too great to ignore. I feel one of those moments is now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Theodorakis
    February 23, 2015

    Reblogged this on OffGuardian.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bryan Hemming
      February 23, 2015

      Thanks. What a very good idea OffGuardian is. Having had comments modded by The Guardian and The Independent for no reason I could fathom, I stopped wasting my time.

      The standard of comment on The Guardian has really gone down. It often seems like one set of trolls at war with another. I have the feeling more and more commentators are in the employment of various interested parties, none realising they no longer represent the views of a genuine cross section of society.

      The newspapers themselves are rearranging their layouts to generate more clicks. Now you have to click two or three times, where before you only had to click once. It’s just a cynical attempt to persuade advertisers more clicks are worth more revenues.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. colltales
    February 22, 2015

    The saga continues. I’m Twitting this.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. awful
    February 22, 2015

    “The Guardian is content to alter evidence on extremely serious matters that threaten world peace and security.”

    This is what I just don’t get with these propaganda journalists. They are contributing to the threat of a potential war yet they don’t seem to grasp that its also their family members and friends that will also suffer. Not just a false enemy but their children, mothers, wives, brothers, sisters etc etc.

    So why do they do it? Money or just an inane sense of hatred towards Russia or a peoples who are willing to fight to defend their land (Eastern Ukrainians). Maybe they are too scared to report the truth for fear of the US?

    If it all goes off will they be able to share the safety of the bunkers that the US, Ukrainian and EU politicians have at the ready. As you’ve been protecting them I’m sure they will welcome you in or will you be stuck outside like the rest of us?


    • Bryan Hemming
      February 23, 2015

      Journalism is a very cynical business where you have to sell yourself down the river, while stabbing a few backs on the voyage, to get anywhere. The leading papers don’t take you on unless your soul is for sale, that’s the reason it attract so many recruits from the establishment. Though I did know a few journalists, my own experience of the business is limited to writing a couple of travel articles for The Independent.

      However, it’s no secret that much of the Western media has been infiltrated by the secret services. I personally knew a war correspondent for a leading UK newspaper, who was a former officer in the British Army. Nothing wrong with that by itself, except for the fact he developed a taste for heroin, which is a weakness easily exploited. Another journalist friend of mine once told me about an extremely suspicious story he filed from Kabul, regarding two Pakistani scientists planning an anthrax attack on the US, not so long after 9/11. It sounded extremely far-fetched when I first heard it on the BBC World Service in Spain. At that time I didn’t know he, and another journalist I also knew, were the source. That wasn’t something I found out until I returned to the UK.

      As I don’t remember all the details – though I have most of them stored back in the UK – I’m not naming names here. The story is a bit stale now, but I would like to do something on it at some point in the future.

      However, I’m not so foolish as to think the Russian, or most of the rest of the world’s media, is much better.

      By the way, I’m not quite convinced you meant what you said in your last sentence: “As you’ve been protecting them I’m sure they will welcome you in or will you be stuck outside like the rest of us?” but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be happy among such company. I definitely won’t be knocking on any doors, as I feel I might be met by the barrel of a gun.


  6. auntyuta
    February 22, 2015

    One word: Propaganda.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Patrick Armstrong
    February 22, 2015

    Good catch. Here’s what I wrote at the time about this piece of bogosity.

    Then picked up by JRL.
    See # 24

    I need hardly say that I never got an answer from them

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bryan Hemming
      February 23, 2015

      Thanks for the valuable links. Since the advent of the net my trust for the mainstream media has all but evaporated.


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