Margaaariiita!

Oh how we Russia watchers love RT’s chief editor Margarita Simonyan, the Other Iron Lady, the Gourmet. I’ve even given her a theme song, if only because this gets stuck in my head any time someone mentions that name too many times or when I order the drink.

Whenever Tungsten Maggie gives an interview you can almost set your watch to it. Today’s interview was with Financial Times. I was expecting whataboutism, and she delivered! Rick Astley would let me down before she ever does. Check it out:

“We are far less critical of western policy than western media are critical of Russia. When was the last time you read anything good about Russia? Anywhere? Name me one publication,” she says. “That’s why this cliché that Russia Today is an anti-western channel brings a smile to my face.”

HA HA HA HA! No. When it comes to criticizing government policy, RT is 100% anti-Western, almost exclusively anti-American. Take a look at their Op-Edge page some time and you’ll find article after article slamming America’s leadership, foreign and domestic policy, the supposedly monolithic “mainstream Western media,” etc. Westerners are useful to RT only insofar as they attack their own governments without ever turning the same scrutiny to the Kremlin.

Now as for Margarita’s challenge, it took me less than a minute to find not one, but two positive stories about Russia. One from Bloomberg and another from The Guardian. In fact while writing this I remembered a piece from The Daily Beast of all sources, which seems to echo Russia’s line on Syria so closely that it was actually cited by Russia Insider. In fact, my own reprinted article in The Guardian seems to have been interpreted by the Russian state media, including RT’s Russian site, as a positive piece on Russia for shattering stereotypes about the country.

Now it is true that you’re apt to see more bad news out of Russia than good from most Western publications, but there are two simple reasons for this. One reason is that even now, most Westerners, especially Americans, do not care about Russia. If I write a story about say, the wonderful benefits of Moscow’s recent craft beer revolution there’s a very limited audience there. On the other hand, if I speculate on how Trump might be a secret puppet of Putin, warn about an impending world war, or accuse Putin of destroying the liberal world order, I’m not only more likely to get published, I’ll probably be offered a staff position at a major publication.

magicmargarita

But there’s another good reason why the Western media is often hostile to Russia. Margarita might not yet be aware, but Western media publications have correspondents in Moscow who speak Russian and they have access to Russian experts. We know about how the Kremlin portrays the West as an enemy bent on taking over Russia for some idiotic reason or another. Europeans know that your domestic media is calling them limp-wristed perverts and reveling in their misfortune. Westerners know about how often Russian leaders or media personalities talk about reducing their countries to “radioactive ash” or otherwise imply that they wouldn’t hesitate to start nuclear war if they don’t get their way. They saw Russia’s tantrum when it lost Eurovision this year, and they know about the doping. We know how your leaders live in unimaginable luxury at the expense of their own people, and yet they blame all of Russia’s problems on the US State Department. We can see you. We can hear you. Now you combine that with the annexation of another country’s territory in violation of international law and several treaties signed by Russia, and a war which Russia’s leadership doesn’t have the guts to even admit after overwhelming evidence of their involvement. When you look at the big picture, is it really so hard to understand why Western media coverage of Russia tends to be negative?

But Margarita’s complaint fails on another level. Yes, Western media outlets tend to report negative news about Russia, but that’s what they do everywhere. Here’s a little trick you can try, one which apparently escapes Ms. Simonyan and the entire fanbase of RT. Using this wonderful site known as “Google,” take a major international sporting event in the past decade or so, type in its name, and add something like “problems” or “controversies.” Some of you have probably already seen examples of this regarding the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. You no doubt remember it from the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. If you focus on all these articles about problems and controversies associated with such events, you’d assume they must have been disastrous. In the run up to the 2014 World Cup, also held in Brazil, the media coverage alone would make you think that mass upheaval would take place.Some powerful favela gang leader, possibly with the assistance of a professional marketing team, promised a “World Cup of Terror” ahead of the games. It would seem the launch didn’t go so well. And in the case of Sochi, corruption was a major issue and the facilities were rife with amusing deficiencies, but it was nowhere near the disaster that some people predicted prior to the games. And here we’re only talking about sports, something that ought to be non-political.

Western media, which contrary to Margarita’s belief is not monolithic, is constantly focusing on the negative everywhere. Terrorism, violent crime, and in particular sex crimes get top billing. Look at it this way- over a period of about 30 years, a significant portion of Americans have become convinced that they live in what is rapidly deteriorating into a Third World shithole, contrary to nearly every credible statistic one can find. Where did they get that idea? Almost entirely from the American media. Forget Russophobia- Americans are far more afraid of each other than anyone else save Islamic terrorists and illegal immigrants.

Not only does the news media criticize society (often unfairly- just look at the coverage of “millennials”), but it also criticizes government policy and leaders as well. This is a key distinction between RT and the “Western media.” While RT’s news department doesn’t ignore bad news coming out of Russia, go back to that Op-Edge section and see if you can find anything seriously critical of Russia’s leadership and their policies. As I’ve noted before plenty of times, any speech by a US leader is almost instantly followed by “fact checking” articles which take apart their claims. Do we see something like this from RT after Putin’s direct line or annual press conference? Do we see RT actually investigating the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine to see if their president is lying? If you name a NATO or US action somewhere in the world, I guarantee you I will find critical voices on it from some major, trusted source. It’s simply impossible for any US effort abroad to be without some negative effect. Yet if we look at how the Russian state media relates to Putin- what a surprise! Turns out he’s the one politician in the world who actually never lies, nothing is his fault, and he’s picked on for no reason!

magicrt

And this is all without getting into the political divide in Western countries. For example, I can find all the scathing criticism I’ll ever need against Obama simply by heading over to the Fox News Channel’s website. Now at this point, an RT defender might be inclined to object. “But that’s not fair! Fox News is a conservative network, a media wing of the Republican party! Of course they would viciously attack Obama and the Democrats! They’re supporting their party. They want their party to win elections!” And my reply to that or any similar argument? Yes, exactly. As the “Western media” is almost entirely privately owned, various networks and outlets do have biases towards certain political parties. Some are comfortable admitting it as well.

It’s called diversity of opinion, and it’s proof that there is a significant difference between the two systems in question. When a US president somehow buys up all the major news outlets in America and uses ever-tightening regulations to squeeze out independent voices (including popular blogs), and when those independent outlets that remain are continually labeled treasonous and subject to harassment by unknown assailants who are never caught or punished, then we can start comparing Russia’s media to that of the US.

While certainly not the meat of the interview, it seems every story on Simonyan has to include her making highly questionable claims about the network’s exposure. This time she said this:

“RT is also proud of its presence on YouTube, where it was the first news channel to crack a billion views. “Let’s be fair, we don’t have cats and Beyoncé, but politics and news stories,”

I don’t mean to sound like a dick here, but I’m not sure many major satellite networks put as much emphasis on their Youtube channel. Whenever RT brags about their Youtube success I can’t stop thinking of Pewdiepie, the Swedish man who screams at video games and has over 46 million subscribers on his channel. Also, we’ve already established that defending RT means losing the ability to use search engines, so Alexey Kovalev did what must have been literally three seconds of “research” to discover that RT’s Youtube channel does apparently have “cats.” A lot of cats, 136 in one story in fact.

 

Now she’s absolutely right about one thing- they don’t have Beyonce. Just one clip that is six years old, apparently. That is a shockingly low amount of Beyonce. If RT was a person and Beyonce was vitamin C, the conspicuous deficiency of Beyonce would cause RT’s teeth to fall out.

I really feel like I’m going around in circles with these people. We never get anything new out of Simonyan or her boss Kiselyov because, I’m sorry to say, journalists never press them enough. Like most Kremlin supporters, these people make a priori judgments about the world in order to justify their own actions in advance. “The Western media lies and they’re not objective, so it’s okay if we lie.” Rarely do they actually put it that bluntly, but that’s the gist of it, and no one who speaks with them seems to challenge them on their assumption. I mean this is a measurable, quantifiable thing. We can count negative stories. We can look for heavily distorted or even totally concocted stories. We can look for and count the number of stories that criticize a certain leader or his policies. This is by no means entirely subjective. Even when they do manage to seize on a poorly reported story from a particular outlet, you often find that firstly, the journalist in question suffers in some way, and secondly, another media source attacks or debunks the claim. Remember that infamous story from the first Gulf War, the one where an ambassador’s daughter testified to congress about Iraqi soldiers stealing incubators from hospitals and leaving the infants to die on the floor? Guess who debunked that- the mainstream media in the form of ABC and The New York Times.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again and again as long as I have to. Yes there are serious problems with our media. Yes they failed us again and again. In this post alone I pointed out how the American media has managed to convince a significant portion of the population that they are living in a rapidly declining country when in fact the opposite is true in almost every aspect. There are plenty of think tanks, independent media outlets, journalists, and academics all throughout the West (and some in Russia as well) who raise these issues and talk about solutions. One thing that definitely isn’t a solution is relying on a network whose staff believe it’s alright to lie and spread propaganda because they just arbitrarily decided that the rest of the world media does the same. Fast food may be bad for you, but the alternative isn’t eating out of the dumpster in back. Like following a healthy diet, being properly informed means going beyond headlines, looking at a diverse array of sources, learning about how the media works and how news is made, and using critical thinking. Uncritically accepting anything claiming to be non-mainstream or peddling information “they don’t want you do know” is going to the dumpster buffet.

 

 

 

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26 thoughts on “Margaaariiita!

  1. Mr. Hack

    As you might know, I’ve only started to read your blog with interest a couple of months ago. On the way home from work the other day, stuck in traffic in a car with no AC (I live in AZ & the temperature is averaging 110 f) , I was able to listen to an interesting podcast on Public Radio that got me to think about your situation. The gist of the report had to do about the dire life that many foreign and domestic journalists and political types that live in Russia experience. Break ins, threatening phones calls, death threats, and all manner of harassment….
    http://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/npr/2016/07/26/487049242/was-that-a-russian-spy-or-am-i-getting-paranoid/

    Reply
  2. Murica Hell Yeah

    You write well and you’re entertaining but the problem is you’re basically a pinko commie hippie wine drinking surrender monkey with a wierd beard.

    Reply
      1. Mr. Hack

        I’m surprised that the recently played podcast on Public Radio elicited no response on your end? Your vantage point seems to be a perfect one to do so. It’s true that you’ve lived in Russia or the last10 years and run a blog that is often critical about Russian society and the leaders that run it?

  3. Paul Canning (@pauloCanning)

    Just today there’s a story about Brazil having to draft in police to staff security cos the company hired to do it let them down. This right after complaints about athletes’ housing. The *exact same thing* happened in London 2012. The UK media was full-on about the impeding disaster right up until the opening ceremony.

    The difference? After the Games the UK media did plenty of follow up stories on the legacy. Still are. Sochi? Those pictures of empty streets, empty apartment blocks? Suppressed.

    Reply
    1. Shalcker

      I’m sorry, but just like with “Western Media Never Reports This!” claim Jim rightfully ridicules, it’s equally easy to type “Пустые гостинницы в Сочи” (Empty hotels in Sochi) and find that those things were indeed reported upon and there were follow-ups (“year later” and all that)…

      Things were still bad for 2014 and 2015, but this year situation seems to finally work for them (most likely due to Turkey still being less-then-perfect tourist destination).

      Reply
  4. gerald sindstadt

    How cretinous do you have to be to think searching for an event you know to have already happened ,on Google, is the same as having the news presented to you live or when relevant, directly at source….and in a noteworthy place on the website or television slot? If I search on Medieval jousting on the BBC website I can probably find something…..but it doesnt mean that the BBC really cover it extensively.

    When somebody claims to have searched the Guardian for a positive story on Russia and the best and latest they can come,is some ,badly written, piece on urban construction from mid-2015…out of what must be 1000’s of anti-Russian articles on the Guardian since then……then you know they have no argument

    The British media doesn’t report anything bad about Obama. You are simply lying again.

    RT has a programme on where it is clearly supposed to be a duel between those of opposing views. The presenter wins the debate…but solely because the Russian view is the right one

    The most obvious indicator of the brilliance and truth of Margarita is that she has obsessive childish loons on the internet obsessing over them in their weblogs every week.

    CNN, Al Jazeera,France24,Euronews,Deutsche, all have identical geopolitical viewpoints….and in case you hadn’t noticed RT is an INTERNATIONAL newstation. Again Margarita is in the right

    Reply
    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      Many of your idiotic, rambling arguments have actually been covered in the post you have already supposedly read, but I’ll indulge you a bit.

      You said the British media doesn’t have negative coverage of Obama. Literally 5 seconds: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/15/nigel-farage-barack-obama-is-most-anti-british-us-president-in-history

      And on that note, let me destroy your whining about internet sources vs prime time TV. First of all, more and more Westerners are getting their news from the internet, not TV, these days. But far more importantly, Margarita and her ilk claim that the Western media don’t cover these stories. They don’t move the goal posts like you do and start whining about the time slots or venues.

      Nobody is going to be properly informed on international issues by simply watching headline news, period.Most of that stuff comes from wire services anyway. If you want to be informed, you read investigative journalism, and Vice, Guardian, et a all report those stories that Margarita claims they ignore. In fact they do a much better job of reporting it.

      “RT has a programme on where it is clearly supposed to be a duel between those of opposing views. The presenter wins the debate…but solely because the Russian view is the right one”

      WOW! What a coincidence! The Russian POV turns out to be right on the network owned by the Kremlin! I guess this explains why they never fact-check Putin’s claims or try to investigate their validity- Putin happens to be the one politician in the world who actually doesn’t lie.

      And yet somehow…His country is spiraling the drain.

      “The most obvious indicator of the brilliance and truth of Margarita is that she has obsessive childish loons on the internet obsessing over them in their weblogs every week.”

      I’m sorry I’m just trying to determine what sort of brain damage one would have to suffer before that statement begins to sound plausibly rational.

      What twisted dialect of the English language translates criticism to “obsession?”

      “CNN, Al Jazeera,France24,Euronews,Deutsche, all have identical geopolitical viewpoints….”

      Prove it.

      Reply
      1. gerald sindstadt

        ” Man gets head bitten of by Crocodile on Mount Everest” . That’s not something that is natural for me to search for on Google if I don’t know or have ever thought it would happen. Thus I need it to have been presented to me in an accessible part of the website or the story is useless as I won’t ever find out about it . You are making a cretinous argument in defence. Margarita is always in the right. Show me one video clip of the BBC,Sky news, CNN making a positive ( which is concurrent with “accurate”) report about Russia. Show me one video clip where BBC,Sky ,CNN,France 24 are covering the Turking bombing of their own citizens …which RT was the only international channel brave enough to do so.

        The Guardian is not in any way a supporter of Nigel Farage so claiming them merely stating what he says as “anti-Obama coverage” is cretinous. Iranian press presumably publish anti government comments by the US administrations over the years, so the Iranians know that America is not a friendly nation to them…..that doesn’t mean that Iranian press pushing “anti-Iranian” coverage.

        Obama had an interview with the BBC’s Jonathan Sopel. It was basically one man giving the President of the United States a BJ on television. He was in awe of this mass-murdering scum. Fawning, no tough questions about Ukraine or Syria. That ineptitude is staggering considering the scrutiny of questioning RT give to politicians on a regular basis and would do to this POS Obama if he wasn’t too feeble to appear on RT or the excellent state channels to have the Americans role in Ukraine and Syria scrutinised and criticised in the detail it deserves.

        The Russian country is performing superbly considering the sanctions and concurrent drop of oil price ………….miles better than “under siege” Ukraine is or will ever do. Anything that America does to hurt Russia has the effect of harming Ukraine 3-fold, with at least 20 years needed before that isn ‘t the case.

        RT is much superior in Investigative journalism than Vice or The Guardian which have untalented and shill journalists in the “investigative” role. Hence why The Guardian on it’s front page this is forced into plaigirising a report by RT done many months ago about FlyDubai pilots fatigue.

        As per usual RT’s coverage of the 2011/2012 protests and elections was superbly balanced. Any dimwit knows this. There was excellent fair dialogue about what was good, not so good , needs to be done and will be done under Putin

      2. Jim Kovpak Post author

        ” That’s not something that is natural for me to search for on Google if I don’t know or have ever thought it would happen. ”

        Again, that is not the argument. RT claims that the media doesn’t cover these things. Actually they do. If you took the time to browse these sites, you would inevitably see these stories as they unfold. The idea that people are ever going to be reliably informed simply by headline news on TV is simply ludicrous. News and investigative journalism are very different. One just scratches the surface to give you an idea of what major things are going on in the world (typically bad things), and the other is actually supposed to give you a better understanding of these events.

        “Thus I need it to have been presented to me in an accessible part of the website or the story is useless as I won’t ever find out about it .”

        You seem like a person who needs a LOT of things presented to you in a really accessible way, possibly several times.

        “Margarita is always in the right.”

        Actually she’s not, and this has been demonstrated dozens of times.

        “Show me one video clip of the BBC,Sky news, CNN making a positive ( which is concurrent with “accurate”) report about Russia.”

        Again, moving the goalposts. This is not what Margarita said. Also why should the news be positive? Do these networks only report positive news about their own country? Of course not- quite the opposite is true. Most citizens in Western countries tend to ridiculously over-estimate things like crime or immigration, and this is largely blamed on their media. Tons of ink has been spilled on that topic alone.

        I also already explained why there’s rarely any positive news about Russia for them to report in the original post, but I guess that just wasn’t “accessible” enough for you. Maybe I should start posting in a huge font or switch to a simplified, comic book-style layout.

        “He was in awe of this mass-murdering scum.”

        If you’re going to call Obama a mass murderer and not also see Putin as a mass murderer (start with the second Chechen War), you can be rightly dismissed right here.

        “Fawning, no tough questions about Ukraine or Syria. That ineptitude is staggering considering the scrutiny of questioning RT give to politicians on a regular basis and would do to this POS Obama if he wasn’t too feeble to appear on RT or the excellent state channels to have the Americans role in Ukraine and Syria scrutinised and criticised in the detail it deserves.”

        Show me RT refuting or challenging a Russian politician on an official Kremlin policy. I can certainly show you equivalents. Here’s Medhi Hassan challenging the Qatari foreign minister about funding Islamists in Syria and the hypocrisy of demanding democracy there while not supporting it in Qatar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2g0QDgLIG0Y

        I might also add that BBC journalists don’t challenge Russian figures enough either. Recently Dmitry Kiselyov was interviewed by BBC and the reporter let him slide on several idiotic statements he made.

        “he Russian country is performing superbly considering the sanctions and concurrent drop of oil price ………….miles better than “under siege” Ukraine is or will ever do. Anything that America does to hurt Russia has the effect of harming Ukraine 3-fold, with at least 20 years needed before that isn ‘t the case.”

        Russia’s performing better than Ukraine after nearly 10 years of high oil prices and with some of the biggest natural resource wealth in the world? WOW! WHAT A GREAT ACHIEVEMENT! The problem is when you take into account all Russia’s advantages and compare their living standards and performance with Western nations, even much smaller ones, what we see is a massive flop that leaves us asking where all this money went over the past 15 or so years.

        “RT is much superior in Investigative journalism than Vice or The Guardian which have untalented and shill journalists in the “investigative” role.”

        Speaking as someone who knows plenty of former (and a few current) RT employees, this statement is simply hilarious. Even they would laugh at you. Most of their “news” is rewritten from wire services and other sites (not that unusual, actually- many news agencies do this). As far as investigating goes, their reporters are in many cases hooked up with vetted sources so the proper Russian narrative gets told. In a real news organization, a reporter will hire a fixer and go out and find stories more or less on their own.

        What is more, RT is constantly turning nobodies into “experts” on all sorts of topics they are unqualified to talk about. Or at other times it misrepresents their political affiliations, which is why you get a German neo-Nazi telling us about how the Russian-speakers in Ukraine are afraid of a “fascist junta.”

        I’m sorry but that statement about investigative journalism is probably one of the stupidest things you’ve written here.

        “Hence why The Guardian on it’s front page this is forced into plaigirising a report by RT done many months ago about FlyDubai pilots fatigue.”

        LOL WUT?

        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35855678

        Guess that wasn’t accessible to you because someone didn’t interrupt your TV broadcast with the news. Also if RT actually managed to break this (a remote possibility from what I’ve seen), how is this really an accomplishment? The plane crashed in Russia, and a Russian state agency would have much easier access to material from the investigation.

        By contrast, Buzzfeed wrote an excellent story that traced the history of an obscure US military contractor that was buying up weapons and funneling them to Syrian rebels- these were the ones that were falling into Islamist and ISIS hands.

        But I thought the “mainstream media” doesn’t report on that. Never mind what pops up in people’s social media news feeds. Never mind that more people in the US get their news from online sources: http://www.digitalnewsreport.org/survey/2015/sources-of-news-2015/

        “As per usual RT’s coverage of the 2011/2012 protests and elections was superbly balanced. Any dimwit knows this. There was excellent fair dialogue about what was good, not so good , needs to be done and will be done under Putin”

        And any dimwit knows that RT underwent a radical transformation in 2014. Much of the Russian state media was very different in 2011-2012. You had the Moscow News, which was practically an opposition paper, you had the very objective and prestigious RIA-Novosti English service. Both of these were wiped out because the leadership decided that “objective reporting no longer exists.” And now they whine about people calling them propaganda bullhorns.

      3. Jim Kovpak Post author

        One more thing- those people who do limit themselves to headlines and the evening news aren’t likely to form strong opinions about anything, whether pro- or anti-government.

      4. Jim Kovpak Post author

        I might also add that what needed to be done under Putin (did you see them questioning why he should return at all after two terms?) basically wasn’t done. In fact Putin famously made a ton of what became known as the “May promises.”

      5. gerald sindstadt

        ‘It’s all about Iran! Don’t be duped by US & UK, “the great humanitarians” – remember Iraq’

        That is one of many videos on RT Youtube that disprove your bizarre claim that RT doesn’t ask officials tough questions . A tough examination of Churkin who is sighing in frustration( and who is in the right)
        Is it rude of me to point out that you asking me to show you this is an actual case of “whataboutism”? That BBC interview was nauseating. Compare to how they have interviewed Putin ( who kindly doesn’t shy away from anything) and this kissing with Sopel-Obama and any anti Russian politician.

        I agree for once about the BBC not appearing aggressive with the superb Kiselyov..but that is only because I suspect Kiselyov battered this BBC cretin as he is a much smarter man. Rosenburg is a russophobic dipshit and that recording was only published weeks after the media conference ,where it occured. The only explanation I can give for a delayed and short interview is that Kiselyov really went after him and he was too embarassed to edit it into the footage.

        It is simply a fact that the western media don’t report the stories that Margarita says . Apart from being in the right always, Margarita is right to make the comparison directly with her television rivals, who she gets measured up against and routinely destroys.

        The funniest thing about that BBC is that they were plaigirising RT’s story on FlyDubai. Ivor Crotty, who works for RT, was angry at them on his twitter feed for reporting the story but not making any mention of it being from RT. The excellent reporting had nothing to do with Russia , only the motive. The Middle East Correspondent got all her information from pilots based in Dubai and ex-pilots from around the world. RT’s story was also picked up on all television stations in Russia on the day I noticed.

        RT has a perfect blend of guests and superb experts. It merges the mainstream with the Alternative media, univeristy professors, journalists, bloggers, CIA officers. Just what you would want an editor to do. Ben Aris , Martin MaCauley, Liam Halligan,Mary Dejevsky, Ray MacGovern, the incomparable Mark Sleboda,Babich et al. are top-notch. They started the career of Graham Phillips and he is hugely popular in Russia. Most of the western journalists….like this dipshit who interviewed Simonyan in the FT …..are appallingly bad in theeir Russia competance.

        A man with a spanish name cannot possible be a German neo-Nazi. Tell me something he has written against Jews or blacks?

        Qatar isn’t a country anyway. Nobody can locate it on a map. It’s irrelevant that he gets criticised. They are allowed to carry on the same bollocks for decades. Russian nationalism,Polish nationalism, American nationalism,British nationalism…..all that exists…there isn’t such a thing as Qatar nationalism. Not a stain on Hassan’s reputation ,who does his job to a good standard…but the RT show that mirrors his is miles better.

        RIA is much better, objective and more followed now. Moving the goalposts with this imaginary 2014 claim is precisely what you are doing . The western establishment media got more messed-in the head russophobic after Putin stood upto the west about the removing of Assad. NOT after Ukraine . RT remained the same.

        I take it as nonsense that “former and current” RT employees would say what you claim. Their reporting is original

        Putin brought peace to Chechnya, and it is his business what happens inside Russian territory whereas the danger to Obama from Libya, Syria, Ukraine and some very poor people in Pakistan and Afghanistan is……debateable.

      6. Jim Kovpak Post author

        “‘It’s all about Iran! Don’t be duped by US & UK, “the great humanitarians” – remember Iraq’
        That is one of many videos on RT Youtube that disprove your bizarre claim that RT doesn’t ask officials tough questions . A tough examination of Churkin who is sighing in frustration( and who is in the right)”

        Link please.

        “Is it rude of me to point out that you asking me to show you this is an actual case of “whataboutism”

        It’s not rude, only incorrect. See RT and other Russian media outlets claim they are no different from the supposedly monolithic “Western media.” This is demonstrably false.

        “I agree for once about the BBC not appearing aggressive with the superb Kiselyov..but that is only because I suspect Kiselyov battered this BBC cretin as he is a much smarter man. ”

        If Kiselyov seems smart to you, I can understand why you’re demanding that your TV spoonfeed you good news about Russia every evening.

        “RT has a perfect blend of guests and superb experts. It merges the mainstream with the Alternative media, univeristy professors, journalists, bloggers, CIA officers. Just what you would want an editor to do. Ben Aris , Martin MaCauley, Liam Halligan,Mary Dejevsky, Ray MacGovern, the incomparable Mark Sleboda,Babich et al. are top-notch. ”

        Let’s see- MacGovern is an ex-CIA analyst but in recent times has become a 9/11 Truther, seriously casting doubt on his expertise.

        Sleboda is a fascist Duginite who displays a bizarre obsession with “Sodomy” online.

        The only person in there I recognize who is legit is Ben Aris, whom I’ve met in person.

        Babich is a rambling joke. One for the Moscow News he railed against soft drug legalization calling it the legalizing of “sin.”

        Many of RT’s expert commentators are conspiracy theorists or ordinary bloggers who are given the title of “political analyst.”

        “A man with a spanish name cannot possible be a German neo-Nazi. Tell me something he has written against Jews or blacks?”

        This is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen you right. You keep breaking records. Manuel Oschenreiter is the editor of Zeurst magazine, a neo-Nazi journal. This is never brought up on RT, where he speaks as an expert. Also there’s an RT documentary on refugees in Sweden where they introduce you to some people opposed to immigration without explaining that they are affiliated with neo-Nazis.

        ” They started the career of Graham Phillips and he is hugely popular in Russia. ”

        Graham Phillips is a sex tourist who knew nothing about Ukraine or Russia before he went to the former- and I doubt he ever cared. He doesn’t necessarily deny this either. He is an open cheerleader for the Russian side and he works closely with the Russian government. It must be embarrassing for them at times, especially if his handlers are forced to find women for him. There’s nothing to suggest he’s “popular” in Russia, particularly since his spoken Russian would make nearly anyone here cringe.

        “Qatar isn’t a country anyway. Nobody can locate it on a map. It’s irrelevant that he gets criticised. They are allowed to carry on the same bollocks for decades. Russian nationalism,Polish nationalism, American nationalism,British nationalism…..all that exists…there isn’t such a thing as Qatar nationalism. Not a stain on Hassan’s reputation ,who does his job to a good standard…”

        Pretty much everything you said here is utterly irrelevant. The point is that Al Jazeera is funded by the Qatari government.

        “but the RT show that mirrors his is miles better.”

        Go look at how Lavrov is interviewed on RT for comparison.

        “RIA is much better, objective and more followed now. Moving the goalposts with this imaginary 2014 claim is precisely what you are doing . The western establishment media got more messed-in the head russophobic after Putin stood upto the west about the removing of Assad. RT remained the same. ”

        It seems that your retarded tactic here is to just say the opposite of what I tell you. You actually look more like you’re trying to convince yourself rather than me or anyone else.

        “I take it as nonsense that “former and current” RT employees would say what you claim. Their reporting is original ”

        Of course you do, because what I’m saying ruins your little fantasy world and it makes you upset because you are unable to live in reality.

        “Putin brought peace to Chechnya, and it is his business what happens inside Russian territory ”

        Peace to Chechnya at the expense of spending billions of dollars and deferring to a corrupt warlord who gets to act as he pleases.

        “It is simply a fact that the western media don’t report the stories that Margarita says .”

        Gee, I didn’t know it’s their job to spoonfeed viewers positive stories about Russia on the nightly news. Then I might just as well ask why doesn’t RT do this in regards to the US? And no that’s not whataboutism.

        Look, it’s obvious to me that you’re just going to keep spitting out claims that have no basis in material reality, because as I said before, you’re more concerned with convincing yourself. So I’m just going to go ahead and dismiss you as another crank. Any replies will be filtered to spam from here on out so don’t bother embarrassing yourself further. We’re not going to have a “debate” over whether or not the Earth is flat.

    2. Jim Kovpak Post author

      Oh nearly forgot- If you want constant criticism of Obama and US foreign policy that’s in your face, prime time, and 24/7, there’s always Fox News.

      Reply
  5. Mr. Hack

    I’m more worried about your situation than his…perhaps, what we all don’t realize is that you’re being forced to write your blog from somewhere in the basement of the Lubyanka prison?…
    It does seem incredible that you have been allowed to write some of your damning indictments for 10 years now, virtually unscathed, and yet others in your profession who’ve been involved in mutch shorter stints experience all sorts of unpleasantness…the world is difficult to figure out sometimes?…

    Reply
    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      Well first of all I only started the blog in autumn of 2013, and back then I barely even posted (it also was not very political). In general I don’t think anyone in the FSB’s concerned about a humorous, English-only blog. If anyone checked me out, they’d see I have no government, NGO, or political affiliations with the Russian opposition.

      If anyone here would like to see the state crack down on me, it’s probably the hypocritical Putin fanboys from the West. Freedom of speech is only for them.

      Reply
  6. swanlakeontv

    I also spent 10 years in Russia from 2005 onwards, also as an English teacher. You held your own and more here very well Jim, though it must have felt like I feel when I have to put my hand in the toilet bowl once a month and scrape away all the crusty brown bits of shit. Keep slugging away, I was a bit harsh on you on your facebook page the other day for your criticisms of Luke Harding, who I know quite well, but having seen more of you’re writing and no nonsense analysis, I can see you are one of the good guys. Jo Mo / Joe Kilroy.

    Reply
  7. Pingback: From Jim Kovpak’s ‘Russia Without BS’ site. – Swan Lake

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