Russia To-D’OH!

Welcome to part two of our saga on Russia’s whiplash 180 degree turn toward Turkey! Apart from suddenly “discovering” that the Turkish government deals with ISIS or that Turkish chicken imports had listeria, the Russian media also “uncovered” other unsavory facts about Turkey. For example, RT chief Margarita Simonyan started railing on Twitter about Turkey’s denialist position on the Armenian genocide. Apparently she just happened to discover this after Turkey shot down that jet. What is more, Russian “discovered” facts about the Turkish governments oppression of Kurds. This is a new thing, folks!

I’m only bringing this up because RT’s UK channel, dutifully fulfilling its role of constantly regurgitating the foreign policy of its Kremlin masters, managed to get dinged by the UK media regulator Ofcom yet again. Apparently this is the 15th time so far, and once again the complaint is similar to those in the past- a lack of objectivity.

Ordinarily I’d ignore this, particularly because I think RT has done far worse than not give the Turkish government enough time to present its position, but as is typically the case they just had to make a statement about it and it was predictably hilarious.

“A spokeswoman for RT said: “We note Ofcom’s decision and want to make clear that the premise of our programme and the factual accuracy of our content have never been called into question.”

Well, that would probably be a first then, because I know for a fact it has, at least implicitly, in other Ofcom rulings.

“It is Going Underground’s mission to unearth the stories ignored by governments and mainstream media. This programme was raising an exceptionally serious issue related to possible atrocities committed by the Turkish military on the civilian Kurds in the town of Cizre. This shouldn’t be ignored.”

Ah yes, the familiar RT mantra: “Why doesn’t the mainstream media cover X?” The best way to answer this challenge is to take “X” and put it into Google. Typically within seconds you’ll be inundated with stories from “mainstream media” outlets, many of which were published before RT got onto the story. Take the incident in Cizre that the spokeswoman referred to. Last time I checked, the New York Times is rightfully considered “mainstream media.”  According to RT, Vice is “mainstream media,” and it looks like they reported on the massacre claims earlier than RTThe Telegraph certainly didn’t ignore the story. And that outlet RT apologists love comparing their network to, namely the BBC, didn’t ignore the story either.

But here’s the real kicker. While one can quibble over how much attention these news outlets devoted to that particular issue in a region torn apart by a war which has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and killed nearly half a million, one thing is almost certain- RT wouldn’t have been harping on this issue so much had it not been for the spat with Turkey that started last November. While the Kremlin is by no means the only government to play such petty political games, it has not only refined this behavior into an art form, but it also does so with no subtlety as its entire media machine touts the party line. Just imagine a Bush administration for life, where Fox News has gobbled up all the other major news outlets.

That’s about all I had to say on the topic, but I’ve been saving the spokeswoman’s last line for now.

“We will continue to campaign for international attention and support in preventing further bloodshed.”

Yeah. You guys are all about preventing bloodshed.

10 thoughts on “Russia To-D’OH!

  1. Billy Bob

    Why bother with this blog. You never say anything interesting or illuminating about Russia.

    If I want to read about how awful RT is i can do that in a million places, most of them written by people who are not in Russia.

    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      Well you tell me, since you’re the one supposedly reading it. Also is there some virtue to not being in Russia when writing about how awful RT is? See my being here kind of makes a difference because I know a lot of people who either worked there or still work there, plus I know how the Russian domestic media reports on things. Maybe you should spend a little more time on here before passing judgment.

    2. Mr. Hack

      I don’t know. Articles that often describe life within a country where the rule of law has been supplanted by an oligarchic system devoted to the cult of a one man ruler is interesting to me.
      It offers an interesteing contrast to the fluff offered within RT.

  2. Mr. Hack

    Have you placed your order in yet? Perhaps to sell more models to their readership, RT could
    produce a model with the head of Putler?…

  3. ramendik

    Wait, did you seriously just place a link to the BBC’s “embedded in Kiev military” report after these words, “that outlet RT apologists love comparing their network to, namely the BBC”? It’s a great boost to that comparison.

    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      Not really. BBC has reported from inside the rebel zones too. One reason why many outlets don’t do more of that is because the DNR authorities are constantly micromanaging foreign media and there’s no law there so your life can be in danger.

  4. vooks

    What promote.this sudden about turn?

    Did Russia suddenly realize that Turkey is an enemy you have to work with just as Germany,and US?

      1. Vooks

        I mean why did Putin all over sudden make up with Erdogan after he lost his plane?

        Is it that he realized the futility of lone sole hostility against Turkey was not serving their interest?

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