Australian-born journalist and leftist intellectual John Pilger admitted on Wednesday that he has been “phoning it in for a while now” on the topic of Ukraine.
“To be honest, I had to Google Viktor Yanukovych when all that Maidan business started,” Pilger said.
Having located Ukraine on a map and after carrying out extensive research on Wikipedia, Pilger said he then applied what he and several other leftist intellectuals refer to as “the formula.”
“It works like this. The US, EU, NATO, IMF, Monsanto, etc. appear to be supporting one side in a conflict, in this case, Euromaidan versus Viktor Yanukovych and his Russian backers. I might not know anything about Yanukovych or Russia, but if all those other governments are criticizing them, that means they must be good. Working backwards like this, I determined that Yanukovych must have been a progressive leader who was trying to look out for Ukraine’s working class by opposing IMF-imposed austerity.”
Pilger wasn’t the only leftist intellectual applying “the formula.” Noam Chomsky also admitted to falling back on templates in order to create talking points about Ukraine and Russia.
“I haven’t paid attention to Russia in years,” Chomsky admitted in an interview. “On Democracy Now! I was asked about the murder of this opposition politician, or NGO worker, or something, named Boris Memtsov or Nermtsev or whatever. A lesser leftist intellectual would have been shitting bricks right there, but I’ve been doing this for a while. I just started rambling about the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and my old favorite trope, where I talk about how our government is hypocritical.”
When asked if Chomsky thought there was anything wrong with self-proclaimed “anti-imperialist” intellectuals openly endorsing the 19th century great power politics of other countries, Chomsky said that there’s no problem “so long as you’re not talking about the US or one of its allies.”
“Sure, if some neoconservative think tank pundit endorses toppling governments in the Middle East or Latin America so as to secure US economic interests, I’ll be all over that,” Chomsky said. “But if Russia does the exact same thing, using openly imperialist rhetoric to justify its actions, I’m happy to back them up even if it is indisputably far more authoritarian than the United States. I didn’t get to be idol of so many white American college students by dialectical thinking and nuance, you know.”
Filmmaker Oliver Stone announced his plans to make a documentary about the “US-sponsored coup” in Ukraine after meeting with Viktor Yanukovych in Moscow late last year. He too admitted that he hadn’t really done much research into Ukraine, Euromaidan, or the conflict with Russia.
“You don’t have time to do research when you’re investigating conspiracy theories,” Stone explained. “The whole mainstream media was saying that Yanukovych was corrupt and authoritarian. Obviously if that’s what they were saying, it couldn’t be true. As it turns out, Yanukovych himself told me it was all a lie.”
Stone’s working hypothesis is based on deriving conclusions from the “propaganda” against Yanukovych and Russia.
“Our corporate hegemony advocates neo-liberal politics which lead to massive inequality between the rich and poor. Based on this, and based on the fact that the corporate media assails Russia and Yanukovych’s government, I’ve managed to determine that the real reason Yanukovych was overthrown was that he was planning to unveil a new socialist system whereby each citizen would receive free housing, food, education, and medical care. Apparently they’ve been planning to implement the same system in Russia for quite some time, but they can’t because the US State Department is meddling in their internal affairs.”
When asked about Ukrainians and Russians who are opposed to their own governments, the filmmaker shook his head.
“Obviously they are misguided. What kind of person would question their own government, assuming it’s not the American government or that of one of its allies? These people need to open their eyes and really see what’s going on in their country.”