Yesterday I posted about a very bizarre column in the Guardian in which a supposed Regressive Leftist, who didn’t give his name, groveled and apologized after he was nearly sucked into the malestrom of “racism”—i.e., criticism of Islam—by reading “alt-right” people like Sam Harris. It was an over-the-top piece, and you can read it by clicking the screenshot below:
Many people suspected that the piece was a joke on the part of the Guardian. I don’t believe that, for the paper has no history of publishing such stuff, and it cuts too close to the Guardian‘s Regressive Left (RL) bone. On the other hand, it could have been a Sokal-style hoax, with some person fooling the Guardian into publishing a column that was, in essence, a mockery of the RL. That is more likely, and in fact one person, a well known prankster called “Godfrey Elfwick” (known for his mockery of the Regressive Left and social justice warriors), has confessed to doing it. Many believe him. Here, for instance, is Elfwick’s confession and comments by, among others, Maajid Nawaz (go here to see the whole thread):
While I saw the piece as genuine as well as ridiculous, other Sam Harris haters thought it was great:
After some people questioned “Elfwick”‘s authorship, he sent a screenshot of his computer purporting to show that he wrote the piece on October 31, before it was published:
So was the whole thing a scam? Certainly in the sense that if Elfwick or some other hoaxer wrote the piece, they fooled the Guardian. But screenshots like the one above can be faked, and I’m still not sure the piece is a hoax, although it seems more likely.But surely the Guardian could have at least checked on the author, in which case they’d find that Godfrey Elfwick (for they surely knew his name, or else some other name they could have checked) was a well known troll.
Other people are already firmly convinced that Elfwick scammed the Guardian. I’m reserving judgment, for on the Guardian website there’s still no note that it was a hoax, and the piece is still up.
Regardless, what is clear is that if it was a hoax, it was perpetrated not by the Guardian but by an author like “Elfwick,” and second, if it was produced by a troll, the Guardian found the over-the-top RL confessional so to their liking that they bought it lock, stock and barrel.