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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/1/16

Forbes Magazine Publishes Falsehoods Supporting Hillary Clinton's Claims of Trump-Putin Connection

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Forbes came out on July 18 with a piece focused on the 2016 Republican platform vis-a-vis Russia. Its headline read, "Trump, Deferring to Putin, Deleted GOP Platform's Call to Supply Ukraine with Lethal Defensive Weapons."

There isn't anything in this headline that is demonstrably true. Interestingly, that same Trump-Putin theme is being voiced strongly by the Hillary Clinton campaign. Trump is in cahoots with Vladimir Putin they claim. There's been no factual substantiation, though.

Let's pick off a couple of the clearest points first.

Forbes said, "Under Putin, Russia is in the top list of journalists killed for political motives."

The article references the Committee to Protect Journalists as the authority on that. But CPJ's own website puts that story in better perspective. Here is the organization's list of the 20 deadliest countries for journalists:

1. Iraq: 111
2. Philippines: 75
3. Algeria: 58
4. Colombia: 43
5. Somalia: 41
6. Russia: 36
7. Brazil: 36
8. Mexico: 34
9. Pakistan: 33
10. India: 26
11. Turkey: 22
12. Bangladesh: 19
13. Syria: 17
14. Rwanda: 17
15. Tajikistan: 14
16. Afghanistan: 12
17. Sri Lanka: 10
18. Sierra Leone: 9
19. Nigeria: 8
20. Peru: 8

Although Russia really is in that top 20 list, it clearly does not top the list.

Forbes suggested these murders in Russia were political assassinations.

But CPJ instead calls them "Journalists Killed in Russia/Motive Confirmed." CPJ goes on to explain: "We consider a case 'confirmed' only if we are reasonably certain that a journalist was murdered in direct reprisal for his or her work; was killed in crossfire during combat situations; or was killed while carrying out a dangerous assignment such as coverage of a street protest."

That covers a lot more territory than the alleged political assassinations ordered by Putin per the Forbes' article. It could include a death resulting from a business dispute, a result of a war zone injury, or a result of a domestic protest gone violent, among other things.

Forbes lied. The CPJ statistics are not focused on politically motivated deaths.

Certainly the 36 journalist deaths in Russia are nothing to brag about. But here's another fact. All those journalist murders for which Forbes blames Putin didn't even happen under Putin's watch. Indeed, under Yeltsin there were more murders per year on average.

Again Forbes lied, plain and simple.

And just to illustrate the utter vacuousness of the Forbes claims: one of the journalists murdered after Putin became president is Paul Klebnikov, an American of Russian decent, and, ironically, editor of the Russian edition of Forbes.

Klebnikov was no critic of Putin, and actually admired him. According to NBC News, "He saw his ancestral homeland, after years of crime-infused chaos and government corruption, moving forward under a strong leader, President Vladimir Putin."

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William Dunkerley is a media business analyst, international development and change strategist, and author of numerous books, monographs, and articles. He has been editor and publisher of media industry information, and has additional expertise (more...)

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