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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/27/14

NYT's One-Sided Ukraine Narrative

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But the Times' prejudice over the Ukraine crisis has been even more extreme. Virtually everything that the Times writes about Ukraine is so polluted with propaganda that it requires a very strong filter, along with additives from more independent news sources, to get anything approaching an accurate understanding of events.

Since the early days of the coup, the Times has behaved as essentially a propaganda organ for the new regime in Kiev and the State Department, blaming Russia and Putin for the crisis. [See Consortiumnews.com's "Will Ukraine Be NYT's Waterloo?"]

Embarrassing Gaffes

In the Times' haste to perform this function, there have been some notable journalistic gaffes such as the Times' front-page story touting photographs that supposedly showed Russian special forces in Russia and then the same soldiers in eastern Ukraine, allegedly proving that the east's popular resistance to the coup regime in Kiev was simply clumsily disguised Russian aggression.

Any serious journalist would have recognized the holes in the story -- since it wasn't clear where the photos were taken or whether the blurry images were even the same people -- but that didn't bother the Times, which led with the scoop.

However, only two days later, the scoop blew up when it turned out that a key photo supposedly showing a group of soldiers in Russia who later appeared in eastern Ukraine was actually taken in Ukraine, destroying the premise of the entire story.

Herszenhorn himself has been one of the most biased Times' reporters. [See Consortiumnews.com's "Ukraine, Though the US 'Looking Glass.'"]

Now, since Ukrainian voters -- with the exception of those in the rebellious eastern provinces -- have selected a new president, billionaire businessman Petro Poroshenko, the question is whether the twisted and distorted U.S. narrative will stop President Barack Obama from taking pragmatic steps to defuse the crisis.

Poroshenko, who has done past business in Russia and knows Putin personally, appears ready to de-escalate the crisis with Ukraine's neighbor. After Sunday's election, Poroshenko vowed to repair relations with Russia and Putin, who himself has made conciliatory comments about respecting the election results.

"Most probably the meeting with the Russian leadership will certainly take place in the first half of July," said Poroshenko. "We should be very ready tactically in approach to this meeting, because first we should create an agenda, we should prepare documents, so that it will not be just to shake hands."

Poroshenko also has voiced a willingness to accept greater federalism that would grant a degree of self-rule to the provinces in eastern Ukraine. And, there are tentative plans for Obama and Putin to meet on June 6 in Normandy around ceremonies honoring the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Thus, the principal remaining obstacle to some reconciliation of the Ukraine crisis may be the deeply biased reporting at the Times and other mainstream American news outlets, which continue to insist that the story has only one side.

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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at
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