The degradation of mainstream American press coverage of Russia, a country still vital
to US national security, has been under way for many years. If the recent tsunami of
shamefully unprofessional and politically inflammatory articles in leading newspapers
and magazines - particularly about the Sochi Olympics, Ukraine and, unfailingly, President
Vladimir Putin - is an indication, this media malpractice is now pervasive and the new
There are notable exceptions, but a general pattern has developed. Even in the venerable
New York Times and Washington Post, news reports, editorials and commentaries no longer
adhere rigorously to traditional journalistic standards, often failing to provide
essential facts and context; to make a clear distinction between reporting and analysis;
to require at least two different political or "expert" views on major developments; or
to publish opposing opinions on their op-ed pages. As a result, American media on Russia
today are less objective, less balanced, more conformist and scarcely less ideological
than when they covered Soviet Russia during the Cold War.
The history of this degradation is also clear. It began in the early 1990s, following
the end of the Soviet Union, when the US media adopted Washington's narrative that
almost everything President Boris Yeltsin did was a "transition from communism to
democracy" and thus in America's best interests. . . .
Since the early 2000s, the media have followed a different leader-centric narrative,
also consistent with US policy, that devalues multifaceted analysis for a relentless
demonization of Putin, with little regard for facts. . . .
According to the Charter
of the United Nations: "No State or group of States has the right to intervene or interfere
in any form or for any reason whatsoever in the internal and external affairs of other States."
[Under the terms of its agreement with Ukraine, Russia is entitled to have 25,000 troops
on the peninsula and currently has an estimated 16,000 deployed there. But these troops
have to remain on base.--"Ukraine crisis: Does Russia have
a case?," bbc.com, March 5, 2014]
[The US State Department has practically agreed to a federal and in fact Finlandized
Ukraine . . . the solution being proposed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
right from the start.--Pepe Escobar, "Russia 1, Regime
Changers 0," atimes.com, March 17, 2014]
[Was it not predictable that Russia, a great power that had just seen its neighbor
yanked out of Russia's orbit by a U.S.-backed coup in Kiev, would move to protect a
strategic position on the Black Sea she has held for two centuries?--Patrick J.
Putin the Irrational One?," antiwar.com, March 18, 2014]
[In the calculus of western interests there is no suffering, whatever its scale, which
cannot be justified. Chechens, Palestinians, Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis are of little
importance. Nonetheless, the contrast between the west's attitude to the Chechen war and
Crimea is startling.
The Crimean affair led to barely any loss of life, and the population clearly wanted to
be part of Russia. The White House's reaction has been the opposite of its reaction to
Chechnya. Why? Because Putin, unlike Yeltsin, is refusing to play ball any more on the
things that matter such as Nato expansion, sanctions on Iran, Syria etc. --Tariq Ali, "How Vladimir Putin became evil," theguardian.com, March 28, 2014]
[This year could also see the breakup of NATO and even the EU. Washington's reckless
coup in Ukraine and threat of sanctions against Russia have pushed its NATO puppet
states onto dangerous ground. Washington misjudged the reaction in Ukraine to its
overthrow of the elected democratic government and imposition of a stooge government.
Crimea quickly departed Ukraine and rejoined Russia. Other former Russian territories in
Ukraine might soon follow. Protesters in Lugansk, Donetsk, and Kharkov are demanding
their own referendums. Protesters have declared the Donetsk People's Republic and
Kharkov People's Republic. Washington's stooge government in Kiev has threatened to put
the protests down with violence. Washington claims that the protests are organized by
Russia, but no one believes Washington, not even its Ukrainian stooges.--Paul Craig
the US or the World Coming to an End?," paulcraigroberts.org, April 9, 2014]
[Amidst rising tensions between Ukraine, Russia and the west, the corporate media
studiously avoids Chernobyl. But Belarus and Ukraine long ago estimated its cost to
their countries at $250 billion each. One major study puts the global death toll at more
than a million human beings.--Harvey Wasserman, "The New York Times Pens an 'Epitaph' for Nuke Power,"
counterpunch.org, May 5, 2014]
[US war doctrine has been changed. US nuclear weapons are no longer restricted to a
retaliatory force, but have been elevated to the role of preemptive nuclear
attack.--Paul Craig Roberts, "Washington Is Beating The War Drums," paulcraigroberts.org, June 17, 2014