Monday, March 10, 2014

the professorial president and the small strutting hard man

medialens | Channel 4 News did have one welcome exception to its 'mainstream' news coverage on Ukraine when it published a blog piece by its correspondent Alex Thomson. He noted that much of the media coverage of the protests in Kiev had been 'completely one-sided', adding:

'Vladimir Putin is an easy bogeyman. He is everything we want a "Big Bad Russian" to be. In his shirt-removing, animal hunting absurdity he is too easy to pigeon-hole. [...] for now "big bad Russia", "big nasty Putin" and "poor heroic Ukraine" looks a little too simplistic to me.'

But such a refreshingly realistic perspective appeared to be too dangerous for the 'pinko-liberal' Jon Snow-fronted C4 news as broadcast on television. Perhaps Thomson is tolerated on the C4 News team so long as he doesn't become too pushy, and instead restricts his hardest-hitting journalism to the blog.

Other dark, dingy corners of the internet harbouring the few further examples of well-rewarded journalists expressing dissent included the Mail Online, of all places. Peter Hitchens noted

'What continues to strike me about this whole row is the inability of most people to view Russia as a country, or Russians as people. Russia is portrayed as a bogeyman, and its people as either oppressed or as tools of a new Hitler.

Hitchens added:

'I still hope this will end without tears or blood, but the overblown, piously shocked rhetoric of western politicians and media is making that much harder.'

And indeed the danger of violent conflict tragically remains high. Chris Marsden notes today that:

'Washington spent the weekend ramping up pressure on its allies to intensify the provocations and threats against Russia over Ukraine.'

Marsden adds some of the vital context that is so lacking in 'mainstream' news coverage:

'The US has spent the past two decades seeking to eliminate Ukraine as a strategic buffer between Russia and the West, sponsoring the "Orange Revolution" in 2004 in an ultimately abortive attempt to install a wholly pro-Western government. Washington and its allies have tried to do the same in other former Soviet states by integrating them into the structures of NATO and the European Union, encouraging Georgia, in particular, and former Soviet republics in Central Asia to take the path of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

'Washington has been funnelling money into the region for years and has now opened the taps all the way. According to an admission in December by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, the US had invested "over $5 billion" to "ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine."'

Nuland is the US official who infamously said in a leaked phone call last month: 'Fuck the EU', letting slip the US's intention to interfere in Ukrainian domestic affairs. As Patrick O'Connor observed:

'The Obama administration's rhetoric about "democracy" and the Ukrainian people's right to determine their own future is a charade, concocted for public consumption. Behind the scenes, government officials speak frankly with one another about the real agenda—advancing Washington's geo-strategic and economic interests in Eastern Europe by installing pro-US and anti-Russian puppet figures in the Ukrainian capital.'

By contrast, as we noted at the start, BBC News continues to portray Obama as a 'professorial president' with decent intentions, striving to export democracy, good governance and freedom around the world. The huge chasm between image and reality is an appalling media deception perpetrated on the public which is paying for it out of its own pocket, as well as in terms of the awful consequences of this cynical propaganda.


woodensplinter said...

The small strutting hard man has been nominated for a nobel peace prize

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