What happened when the Guardian asked me for an interview



You guys know the Guardian, right? The ones so fearlessly reporting on the personal sports teams, lives, sexuality and private conversations of British agents working at GCHQ?

Editors Alan Rusbridger and Janine Gibson boldly do hand-picked Twitter questions where anybody who supports them can ask  any supportive question they like?

They stand strong for freedom of information and government openness, don’t they?

Well, here’s a recent exchange I had when the Guardian asked me for an interview:

Dear Louise,
> I work on the features desk on the Saturday Guardian and am emailing to enquire as to whether you might be interested in being interviewed for our big slot in the main paper? I know that Decca has interviewed before and she is most keen to do so again. In light of your announcement that you are to become an American citizen we thought it might be the perfect time for an up to date conversation. Is this something that you’d be interested in?
> If so please do not hesitate to let me know
> Kindest Regards
> (Name of Guardian journalist redacted)
> Please consider the environment before printing this email.


Here’s my reply:


As well as the recent exchange re Decca (whose writing I still admire as I said) if I were interviewed by the Guardian I would be pressing them on whether they gave files identifying our intelligence agents at GCHQ to the New York Times and trafficked them around the world, and I frankly don’t trust the paper to print any of the points I would raise with them on how they did that (as is my belief) and spun the role of David Miranda deceptively.

I think you guys would hear all the questions and then print something totally different, leaving those bits out. So no. If I thought you would report it I would do it, (no matter what critical stuff you chose to print in addition), but the selectiveness on reporting your paper’s own role in that story has been something to behold.

Louise Mensch: Sent from iPhone


Aaaaaand…..reply came there none.


Come on Alan – let’s talk. You can ask me anything you like and I’ll chat as to whether you handed over the files you used to write your abominably irresponsible story in my first link here – the one where you make it clear you have access to the names, identities, and internal comms of all 6100 British agents at GCHQ – to the New York Times so you could make money through online clicks.

Because not at all co-incidentally, in August the Guardian hit its worst ever circulation figures – 189,000 – and they need this story to survive. So safety of our operatives be damned, right? Who cares about them? 


As the Guardian’s Nick Davies told Julian Assange (he laughs about it in the Wikileaks ‘We Steal Secrets’ documentary, 56 minutes in – ‘They might go after you but we have immunity.”

Let’s see in the days ahead just how much “immunity” for profiting from the trafficking of our agents’ identities the Guardian and its editors really have. 


  1. Paul · October 10, 2013

    Shame on the Guardian….for contemplating giving Louise Mensch more space to further her own deranged sense of self importance.

    Meanwhile congratulations to the Guardian for representing the best of journalism, shining a light on the liberties the UK/the US security forces have taken under the auspices of ‘fighting terrorism’. There is a fine balance between fighting terrorism and turning your society into a surveillance state, and the revelations clearly show these lines have been crossed.

    The MI5’s comments are obviously calculated to deflect justified criticism whilst instilling fear into the populace in the most cynical and manipulative way. What a shame Louise, and other so called ‘journalists’ at the right wing papers, are willing to parrot the self serving statements of MI5 to further their own leftie bashing agendas.

    The Guardian shouldn’t take any lessons in morality from you or other establishment shills in the media, your faux moral outrage is as disgusting as it is hypocritical.

    • sackcloth and ashes · October 12, 2013

      Tell us all about what the Snowden/Greenwald ‘revelations’ actually exposed about the attacks on civil liberties and the imposition of a surveillance state.

  2. Jason · October 10, 2013

    I would love to agree with Paul above but I just do not believe in British Journalism anymore. Rather than reporting the news they feel the eternal need to have an opinion on the news and quite often ‘be’ the news.

    I think a lot of it is down to the IT age. People can communicate opinions faster and more freely than ever before and papers voices have been diminished somewhat; and they simply do not like it. And thus, they have to shout louder these days to get heard.

    I am in the middle on this one. I think it is important we hear about abuses of power but do not believe those who break laws to report these things should be given a free pass.

    There is a massive level of arrogance in UK journalism that suggests they have right to behave in a certain way that the rest of us cannot. It is deluded, wrong and needs to be stopped.

    P.S I live on the assumption that my phone calls can be heard, emails can be read, my post can be stolen. It’s nothing new. Governments and criminals have been doing it for decades….and so have journalists!!!

  3. WalterWX · October 10, 2013

    Regardless of what one thinks of the Snowden case, it seems pretty strange to write a perfectly clear and completely unequivocal refusal to be interviewed by The Guardian — and then mock its journalists for not answering you back yet again. What did you expect them to do? Come begging?? Sure, they could have sent a polite ‘Sorry to hear that. Should you reconsider, let us know”. But come on, insisting they HAD to do so it just petty tokenism. “Look Mama, they’re not polite to me!”. Meh, so what?

    Stranger still, next, is it to mock Rusbridger for NOT wanting to talk with you. Eh, perhaps you missed it but +you+ just turned +him+ down, remember? And more importantly: you did so on the grounds that you essentially don’t even trust him to act in good faith when reproducing your views in that interview you didn’t want. Would you go talk to someone who accused you of such behaviour?

    Perhaps you meant you’d prefer to twitter with Rusbridger, or some other version of ‘live’ talk that cannot be edited. Obviously you would be extremely good at that, which is indeed a great quality. However, it may not be Rusbridgers’ forte. (I don’t know him at all, I’m merely pointing out there may be a perfectly reasonable explanation why he just doesn’t want to chat – even if you had NOT just two paragraphs ago essentially called him a bloody liar, which is a particularly unwelcome accusation for any journalist.) Since Rusbridger isn’t a politician or a radio/tv-journalist but a newspaper guy used to writing things down instead of tic-tac-talk, why would any fair-play-standard +require+ him to run into a live contest with you (which he may be more likely to loose than win)? Particularly so since you just refused to sit down with him and do just a standard newspaper interview.

    It’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to be interviewed. I don’t think yours is a very good reason for not wishing to be, but of course you’re entitled to your view. However, in that case it’s really weird to imply it’s somehow shameful of Rusbridger to do the exact same thing and decline talking to you for whatever +his+ personal reasons are.

    • louisemensch · October 10, 2013

      Au contraire, I would be delighted to be interviewed by them – if they would print the questions I asked and print their replies.

      But they wouldn’t do that, of course, because they are grubby little cowards.

      • Primly Stable · October 11, 2013

        “I would be delighted to be interviewed by them – if they would print the questions I asked and print their replies.”

        I’m no expert at this journalism game, but I’m pretty sure interviews traditionally involve a journalist asking the subject questions and the newspaper printin his or her replies.

        Just a thought.

      • WalterWX · October 29, 2013

        I’d say that, particularly for a self-confessed no-expert-at-journalism, Primly Stable (Oct 11) hit the nail meticulously precise on the head.

  4. MrSmythe · October 10, 2013

    lets be honest here Louise, you cant comment on the Guardians Journalism when your write for the utter lowest of the low rag The Sun! call yourself a feminist writing for a paper with page 3, hypocrite!

  5. Paul · October 10, 2013

    Of course. Louise now works for Rupert Murdoch, whose company was brought to its knees by the Guardian’s exposure of its criminal activities. Any link to this and her venom towards the Guardian newspaper is, i’m sure, purely coincidental…….

  6. Charlie · October 10, 2013

    Whatever you think about the press, free speech, etc surely everyone would agree that putting lives of operatives of our intelligence services for monetary gain, critical plaudits or just water cooler discussion is just plain wrong and irresponsible.

    I don’t see anyone else trying to hold these individuals who , seemingly, are operating above the law apart from Louise Mensch so more power to you and I wish I had a platform like yours I could broadcast an alternative view from.

  7. John Arygle · October 10, 2013

    “In June 2012, Mensch joined forces with former Labour digital adviser Luke Bozier to set up a social networking website – a topic-based rival to Twitter focusing on politics. Menshn closed in February 2013.”

  8. Rhoderick Gates · October 11, 2013

    “surely everyone would agree that putting lives of operatives of our intelligence services for monetary gain”

    But they WEREN’T published. So it didn’t happen. Pure Strawman Argument.

  9. Ian · October 11, 2013

    I suspect a debate between you and Alan would be a total waste of time, but no doubt would be positively reported by your paymasters papers.

  10. Damian B · November 1, 2013

    Is this the same Alan Rusbridger who was awarded the prestigious Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2012? One might therefore assume that this a journalist and editor who is not only widely respected by his industry peers, but also consistently trustworthy in his approach to journalistic integrity at the highest standards.

  11. ask.com · September 10, 2014

    You should be a part of a contest for one of the best websites on the internet.

    I am going to recommend this website!

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