Regarding the Spectator’s article on the Frontline Club

We would like to share with you an email exchange we have obtained that sheds light on the editorial process that went into the article:

>On 6 Feb 2016, at 00:37, (JAMES KERCHICK) wrote:


Not sure if read about Oliver Kamm’s publicly quitting the Frontline Club over its public endorsement of Julian Assange. I’ve long wanted to write a take-down of that place; I went there a couple times when I was living in London a decade back, as its always been a nest of the worst kind of British foreign correspondents/NGOistas and ne’er do wells: lefty types who go native and hate the UK/US/Israel; basically a bunch of little John Pilger wannabes. Yet they exude this sort of faux-sophisticate aura that masks their ulterior agenda. I’m not sure if that piece has ever been written before, but I’m sure I could do a nice gossipy one.


>On Feb 5, 2016, at 7:41 PM, (TOBY YOUNG) wrote:

That sounds like a good piece James. Can you turn something round by the end of next week?

Worth reading that LRB profile of Julian Assange by Andrew O’Hagan. He doesn’t emerge well, though it’s a slog to get through. Vaughan Smith, the owner of the Frontline Club, has a bit part in that story as Assange’s bitch. He put up the bail money that Assange pissed away when he “defected” to Ecuador. Yet he’s still out there spinning for him.

Did you hear Kamm on LBC taking down Craig Murray? A thing of beauty:–124520

On 6 Feb 2016, at 00:46, (JAMES KERCHICK) wrote:

Cool. I’ll try my best.

All of us at the Frontline Club do our best to promote independent journalism and I am particularly proud of our work supporting freelancers and fixers. We fund and helped launch the Frontline Freelance Register ( for international conflict freelancers two years ago and we are now launching an exciting new body to support local conflict freelancers.

Pranvera and I do not exercise editorial control on Frontline’s event programme, this is developed and run by a hardworking team that pride themselves on producing an independent, thought-provoking and engaging selection of events, screenings and workshops.

As to the comments on Julian Assange, the Frontline Club has no links to him or WikiLeaks. I have laid out my reasons for supporting him in my blog.

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Best wishes, Vaughan