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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/5/14

Media on Ukraine: What Happened to Journalism?

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By Reginald Johnson

As the United States continues to ramp up the manufactured "Ukraine Crisis" to gain geopolitical advantage over Russia, mainstream press outlets have once again abandoned their role as impartial purveyors of vital news.

Major media operations like The New York Times, The Washington Post and MSNBC, have become virtual propaganda machines for the Obama administration as it seeks to paint Russia as the villain in the Ukraine situation. Every outrageous statement or claim by Secretary of State John Kerry or President Barack Obama about Ukraine is dutifully reported by these media, with little attempt to give a countervailing view or put the claims in context. Crititical reporting has basically gone out the window.

The one-sided reporting has gone on pretty much unabated since a putsch took place in February in which militants, led by neo-Nazis, ousted the pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, from power. The American government, whose representatives had openly encouraged protests leading up to coup, quickly recognized the new regime. The new leaders pledged to seek closer ties to the West and join the European Union.

Coverage of both the rebellion and the establishment of a new government has been decidedly positive. Press reports have largely glossed over the presence of fascists in the uprising and in the new regime. There was wide acceptance in the mainstream press of the claim by the rebels that government snipers had shot and killed Ukrainian citizens participating in the protests, and no investigation of reports that right-wing militants had in fact, done the shooting.

When Russia moved into Crimea in Ukraine to protect its Black Sea fleet at Sevastopol, Russia was denounced by both the Kiev government, the Obama administration and the press for breaking international law and being "expansionist." It was true that Russia was breaking international law, and that's wrong. But media reports on this issue rarely brought up, or brought up only sparingly, Russia's legitimate security interests in taking back Crimea, which had been part of the old Soviet Union until 1954.

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Reginald Johnson is a free-lance writer based in Bridgeport, Ct. His work has appeared in The New York Times, BBC-Online, the Connecticut Post, his web magazine, The Pequonnock, and Reading Between the Lines, a web magazine affiliated with the (more...)
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