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The New York Times Sinks to a New Journalistic Low in its Reporting on Ukraine

By       Message Walter Uhler       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     Permalink

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From opednews.com/populum/uploaded/nytimes-20120429-751.jpg: The New York Times keeps running opinion pieces and analyses that misstate the positions of the major environmental groups and even leading scientists.
The New York Times keeps running opinion pieces and analyses that misstate the positions of the major environmental groups and even leading scientists.
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On 8 January 2015, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk demonstrated once again that he is either a liar or an ignoramus (inspired by Russophobia) when he told a German TV channel, "I will not allow the Russians to march across Ukraine and Germany, as they did in WWII." Putting aside his ludicrous bravado -- analogous to a crazed, dying gnat promising to stop a bull elephant -- only the untaught do not know that it was Hitler's Nazi Germany that invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Moreover, while most military historians specializing in the history of the Eastern Front (including this writer) know that the Red Army played by far the greatest role in saving Europe from prolonged Nazi rule, only an ignoramus or liar like Mr. Yatsenyuk would say, "We all very well remember the Soviet invasion of Ukraine and Germany, and we have to avoid it."

Mr. Yatsenyuk, you'll recall, was the darling of Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt; two U.S. officials who plotted to place him into Ukraine's government as Prime Minister. Coincidently, Mr. Yatsenyuk became Prime Minister. Imagine that! Yet, he clearly is in over his head as a leader of what historian J. Arch Getty has labeled the "erratic state" of Ukraine.

But, "erratic" is far too mild a word to use when describing a statement made by Prime Minister Yatsenyuk in June 2014. It was then that Mr. Yatsenyuk pandered to all of his neo-Nazi supporters fighting for his regime in eastern Ukraine by asserting -- on the homepage of the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States of America, no less -- that Russians in eastern Ukraine were "subhumans." (Check the widely available screenshot.) Hitler would have been proud.

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But, if Yatsenyuk is either a Russophobic ignoramus or liar who spreads filthy propaganda about Russians and Russian history to people who have no sense of history, what are we to call the editors, columnists and reporters at the New York Times, who do the very same thing?

The Times commenced its latest propaganda campaign against Russia on 28 November 2013, when it published an overwrought editorial titled, "Ukraine Backs Down." Clearly, some Russophobe's head must have exploded. Who, but an outraged Russophobe would conclude that President Vladimir Putin's "strong-arm tactics" against Ukraine would cost Russia its chance "to find its place in the democratic and civilized world."

"Civilized World?" Seriously? "According to data recently released by the Organization for Co-operation and Development (OECD)," the Russians are the most educated people in the world. "More than half of Russian adults held tertiary degrees in 2012 -- the equivalent of college degree in the United States -- more than in any other country reviewed" (USA Today, Sept. 13, 2014). Moreover, given the resounding contributions to the civilized world by Pushkin, Karamzin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Mendeleev, Prokofiev, Tolstoy, Chekov, Nureyev, Akhmatova, Bakhtin, Pasternak, Lomonosov, Tchaikovsky, Solzenitsyn, Berdyaev, Rublev, Chagall, Euler, Balanchine, Zoschenko, Rachmaninov, Bulgakov, Chaliapin, Gorbachev, Diaghilev, Kliuchevsky, Sholokhov, Mussorgsky, Eisenstein, Glinka, Shostakovich, Kapitsa, Lermontov, Kantorovich, Repin, Herzen, Nabokov, Gagarin, Kandinsky, Mayakovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Nijinsky, Kalashnikov, Zamyatin, Tarkovsky, Sakharov, Bely, Gurevich, Faberge, Alekhine, Stravinsky and my beloved mentor, the polymath Utechin (who wrote A Concise Encylopaedia of Russia) -- just to name a few -- doesn't the editorial board at the Times sound almost as ignorant or deceitful as Mr. Yatsenyuk?

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More to the point, just four days before Mr. Yatsenyuk issued his deceitful or ignorant Russophobic rant, the Times reached a new Russophobic low when it published propaganda designed to whitewash evidence that President Yanukovych was overthrown in a violent and illegal coup.

Its propaganda piece was titled: "Ukraine Leader Was Defeated Even Before He Was Ousted." It was written by the same reporters, Andrew Higgins and Andrew E. Kramer, who performed similar hatchet jobs for the Times, when reporting on the actual events in Kiev during the period February 18-21, 2014 -- which led to the coup of February 22.

Then, the Times was quick to blame the Yanukovych regime for the sniper fire that sparked regime change. Consider the February 20, 2014, article written by Mr. Higgins and Mr. Kramer, titled: "Converts Join With Militants in Kiev Clash." Although the article mentions snipers only once, they are mentioned in the context of "thousands of riot police officers, volleys of live ammunition"and the looming threat of martial law." In addition, Mr. Higgins and Mr. Kramer claimed, "few antigovernment protesters could be seen carrying weapons." (Their observation would be refuted months later by a scholarly paper that identified snipers, fighting on the side of the protesters, who fired on police, news reporters and fellow protesters. These snipers were located in or on the Conservatory Building, the Hotel Ukraina, Kinoplats, Kozatsky Hotel, Zhovtnevyi Palace, Arkada Bank building, Muzeinyi Lane building, the Main Post Office, and Trade Union building, among others.) Thus, when Mr. Higgins and Mr. Kramer heard "reports" that "the police had killed more than 70 demonstrators," they automatically concluded that "most of the gunfire clearly came from the other side of the barricades."

Buried within another article written by these reporters that same day was an admission that they did not know "which side" the snipers were on. But the article was titled "Ukraine's Forces Escalate Attacks Against Protesters," and it began with the following inflammatory opening sentence: "Security forces fired on masses of antigovernment demonstrators in Kiev on Thursday in a drastic escalation of the three-month-old crisis that left dozens dead and Ukraine reeling""

Predictably, Mr. Kramer and Mr. Higgins failed to substantiate the "reports" that the police killed more than 70 demonstrators. Even worse, however, was their failure to identify the ideological affiliations of those persons who formed the militant groups -- called the "hundreds" (sotni) -- that did much to transform a previously peaceful demonstration into a violent confrontation.

Although Mr. Higgins and Mr. Kramer correctly acknowledged that the sotni "provided the tip of the spear in the violent showdown with government security forces," they failed (or refused) to report that many leaders and members of the sotni were self-declared fascists and neo-Nazis from Pravyi Sektor (Right Sector) and Svoboda (Freedom).

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Andriy Parubiy, for example, was one of the founders of the neo-Nazi "Svoboda" party. Mr. Parubiy was "the man controlling the so-called 'Euromaidan security forces' that fought government forces in Kiev" (Flashpoint in Ukraine, p. 91). Immediately after the coup, he served as Kiev's secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

Mr. Higgins and Mr. Kramer repeatedly misled their readers by calling members of Svoboda and Pravyi Sektor "nationalists;" as if these violent goons were indistinguishable from the thousands of "nationalists" who had been conducting a largely peaceful protest. Thus, readers of the Times -- like readers of most other newspapers in the West -- would not learn that fascists and neo-Nazis highjacked a largely peaceful protest and steered it toward a coup.

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Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San (more...)
 

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