Granted, some of these Russian fears may be overwrought, but the Kremlin has to worry about threats to Russia's national security just like any other country does. If you were in Putin's shoes, what would you do? Would you turn your back on the plight of the eastern Ukrainians? Would you let a hostile military alliance push up against your borders with a potential nuclear threat, especially given the extra-legal means used to remove Ukraine's constitutionally elected president?
Even if the U.S. press corps fulfilled its obligation to tell both sides of the story, many Americans would still condemn Putin's acceptance of Crimea's pleas for re-entry into Russia and his assistance to the embattled eastern Ukrainians. They would accept the U.S. government's relentless presentation of the Ukraine crisis as "Russian aggression."
And, they might still buy the story that we're endlessly sold about the Ukraine crisis being a premeditated move by Putin in a Hitlerian strategy to conquer the Baltic States. Even though there's zero evidence that Putin ever had that in mind, some Americans might still choose to believe it.
But my point is that American journalists should not be U.S. government propagandists. Their job is not to herd the American people into some "group think" corral. A good journalist would want to present the positions of both sides with some evenhandedness.
Yet, that is not what we have witnessed from the U.S. news media on the Ukraine crisis. It has been nearly all propaganda nearly all of the time. That is not only a disservice to the American people and to the democratic precept about an informed electorate. It is a reckless violation of professional principles that has helped lurch the world toward a potential nuclear conflagration.
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