Sunday, April 17, 2022

State of the News

Turn on CNN, BBC, France 24, DW, Euronews, etc., etc., and get the exact same news: Putin is trying to rebuild the USSR. He started by lopping off a piece of Georgia. If I may borrow from Walt Kelley, he was trying to annex President Carter's peanut ranch, and might have gotten part of it. And now Putin is trying to add the Ukraine. The world must stand up to Putin. If the world let Putin destroy the democracy flourishing in the Ukraine, he will not stop at the Ukraine, but will try to impose Soviet rule on the entire world.

Before 24 February, Russia had a national broadcast channel, a much smaller version of the BBC that had English/Spanish/French-speaking staff who tried to give the Russian take on the news in English, Spanish, and French. The English-speaking staff were based in the US, UK, and Russia. After 24 February, every effort was made by the West to shut down all the Russian channels, banning them and blocking them.

As a native English speaker, I watched the English version of the Russian national channel to get the Russian take on the news and compare that with the Western take, but after 24 Feb, the US and UK banned the Russian channel from operating in their country, so the English version lost most of its staff, and now produces very little new material: a single, 30 minute news summary, repeated all day long, and about five 30 minute discussion program a week, also repeated many times. Plus some old documentaries, many about the history of the Ukraine, all several years old.

Meanwhile, the Western version that everything on the Russian national channel is a lie is broadcast 24/7 on all the Western channels, along with the warning that Russia must be stopped, must be evicted from the Ukraine, must have all trade cut off to kill the Russian economy and thereby kill the Russian military and keep peace in the world. Or else face a brutal, world-wide dictatorship, a much larger, possibly worldwide version of the old USSR.

The West has won the narrative, at least in the West. Given that the Russian channel is blocked, most believe the Western channels about what is really happening. But is this perception that the West is more reliable than Russia based on reality or Western propaganda?

Which version is correct? The Russian? The Western? Neither?

All the Western channels reiterate the exact same story. Is this because there is only one TRVTH, and, since all are telling the TRVTH, all are telling the same story? Or is it because the establishment media channels are owned by a very small number of owners, all of whom agree to propagate the same lie, crafted by the US, translated into every major language, and then printed or broadcast on all the establishment news networks?

And then the social media are all dominated by Alphabet, Meta, Apple, and Twitter, so do the owners stamp out every site that carries a version that deviates from their preferred version if it has more than a few thousand followers? Is that why few have ever seen alternative versions of what is really happening?

So the Western version has definitely won the narrative, but is it correct?

And how can we find out?

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