Russian “Liberal” Media’s Foreign Sponsors

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Written and produced by SF Team: J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, Edwin Watson

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The hysteria concerning the alleged Russian “interference” in the US presidential election appears to be a mirror projection of techniques that have been used against Russia, with little or no success, with the aim of  interfering in its political processes.

While the propaganda campaign aimed at Russia has sought to foster the impression that the country’s media is strictly controlled, in actuality the “liberal opposition” newspapers and radio stations have in the past run articles and stories that, due to their nature, would be unthinkable in the “free” West. Controversial stories over the last few years have included:

  • Allegations Russian Ground Forces units are operating on the Donbass and suffering hundreds of fatalities which were being covered up by the Russian government.  By comparison, it is unheard of for any Western media outlet to run stories asserting the US or NATO military is in combat in contradiction of official government statements.
  • Endorsing the Maidan coup in Ukraine that not only brought down a democratically elected president but also de-facto destroyed the country’s political system and economy. By contrast, US media are unanimous in their criticism of any government in Latin America which is not subservient to Washington, even when its policies serve the people of that country, as in the case of Cuba.
  • Repeatedly and consistently referring to the civil war in Ukraine as a “Russian invasion” or “Russian aggression”. Again, no NATO military operation, no matter how unlawful, will ever be described in a “free” Western press as an act of aggression.
  • Articles and opinion pieces asserting the Russian government is directly responsible for the shoot-down of Flight MH17 over Novorossia, and that such action is a crime against humanity which warrants prosecution at the Hague. It is as if Western media were consistently running stories arguing Fight MH370, which went missing over the Indian Ocean, was shot down by the US Navy which then covered up the incident.
  • Claims that Russian operations in support and at the behest of the legitimate government in Syria likewise represent crimes against humanity, while supporting the jihadists.
  • An “investigation” of the 1999 terrorist attacks that cost the lives of several hundred Russian citizens in three cities that concluded the apartment houses were blown up by the FSB. It is as if New York Times’ investigation of 9/11 terrorist attacks concluded it was a CIA plot.

These media outlets’ main audience is not the Russian public but rather Western funders and supporters. Novaya Gazeta funding sources include the Netherlands and the Soros Foundation. The Dozhd TV Channel financing is opaque–its owners claim they are financing the project using own funds, which must be bottomless considering the channel has not turned a profit since it began operating. Ekho Moskvy is receiving financial support from the Voice of America Broadcasting Board of Governors, which is also supporting other “liberal” news outlets. These and other Russian media outlets figure prominently in the Fiscal Year 2017 proposed federal budget appropriation for the US State Department. Moreover, journalists working for these outlets have received a broad array of awards for journalism issued by a number of Western governments and West-controlled so-called non-governmental organizations.

Another example of a Internet media outlet created in order to push the “pro-liberal” agenda is Meduza. It was financed by opposition oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovskiy and so-called “anonymous investors.” In spite of Meduza being registered and based in Latvia, it focuses on the Russian audience and is promoting globalist agenda in Russia.

In addition to resources which are openly promoting anti-Russian propaganda, there is an array of major media outlets whose informational policy demonstrates they are pursuing political goals quite divorced from Russia’s interests as a sovereign state.

In the meantime, genuinely accomplished investigative journalists such as Julian Assange are facing politically motivated prosecutions, and there are efforts to exclude English-language Russia-based media such as RT and Sputnik from Western markets for allegedly “spreading propaganda.”

This state of affairs also raises the question why is the Russian government tolerant of media beholden to foreign sponsors. Part of the answer lies with the guarantees of the freedom of speech and press contained in the Russian Constitution, though the support of these outlets by important factions of the economic and political elite also plays a role–the Ekho Moskvy radio station is part of the Gazprom Media Holding, for example. Ultimately, however, the relatively unfettered existence of these media is a reflection of the Russian government’s confidence in its policies and its popular support, in sharp contrast to the panicked “fake news” reaction to the loss of Hillary Clinton that resulted in widespread calls to limit the freedom of speech in Western countries, lest the “wrong” candidates win elections.

Still, this is an intolerable state of affairs, a leftover from the 1990s era of Russia’s political and economic weakness, when it seemed it might become nothing more than a politically impotent supplier of raw materials to the West. Any genuine “reset” of Russia-West relations will require the West to respect the inviolability of Russia’s political institutions and processes in the same way that the West demands respect for theirs.

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  • chris chuba

    Funny, Tucker Carlson had guest on his show claiming that Putin controls all of Russian Media and then gave a whole song and dance about what ‘Putin is thinking’ by using his alleged knowledge of Russian Media. I know he is full of it because I read Russian-insider and his narrative wasn’t even close to any consensus that I could detect.

    He was discussing Putin’s alleged preference for Trump and then alleging that the Russians are now worried and surprised at how tough Trump is with his cabinet picks. My take on Russian opinion was that they were more worried about HRC and less certain about Trump. Russians were convinced that Hillary being President meant war with the U.S. because the Neocons would follow through in their mad crusade to shove Russia into a shoe box and the Russians knew that they would have no choice but to fight. But hey, silly me, I actually listen to Russians instead of read U.S. Think Tank papers.

    The guest also talked about how easy it would be to take Crimea back from Russia, we could just threaten to release the evidence that we have that Putin has embezzled billions of $ from the Russians. This proves he is a moron. If we had such evidence, Obama would have released it. In fact, we are making this accusation without evidence precisely because it does not exist. Putin is an honest man.

    • chris chuba

      Regarding all of the slanderous accusations against Putin, I have this to say about Volodya, “Many are the afflictions of the Righteous but the Lord delivers him from them all”, Psalm 34:19. You will be vindicated, if not in this world then in the world to come.

      • Arthur Smith

        Noone needs to slander him since the mother of his two daughters divorced him after 30 years of marriage.

  • NeoLeo

    They are bunch of (paid) traitors working for foreign masters, simply as that.

  • Jeff Lewin

    While I appreciate some Russian state media programming, I am convinced of my former
    Voice or Russia reporter friend’s critiques of content censorship and
    other shortcomings of the new Russian media.

    The Truth about VOR

    Over just a few months significant changes have taken place in the
    Russian news services. From specialists who carefully monitor the
    Russian mass media and the Kremlin, to the casual observers who like to
    watch events in Russia, nobody could have failed to notice that something
    dramatic has occurred.

    On 9th December 2013 came the surprise announcement that the Voice of
    Russia and the RIA Novosti news agency were to be liquidated. The
    subsequent changes were expected to be massive, and designed to
    consolidate all information flow and propaganda under Kremlin control.

    However, it is only now becoming clear just how insidious is the nature
    of the merger, which leads one to doubt whether President Vladimir
    Putin or his chief propaganda man, Dmitry Kiselyov, really do know what
    is happening within the new organisation [etc., etc.] …

    http://pastebin.com/W3vynnBv

    • Jeff Lewin

      John Robles on Voice of Russia, CIA, Russia, ZIonists, Ukraine, Russia and Snowde

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA_BypQ_wUQ

      • Arthur Smith

        Hey, did you look into the story behind this guy Robles or just found the video searching about VoR shutdown?

    • Antikapitalista

      Actually, the Russian systemic opposition and the respective mass media are so stifled… that we can only dream of such freedom in the West.

      Here, the systemic opposition is branded as “extremist” and a “mortal threat to democracy”, have no air-time in any terrestrial, satellite or cable media outlets, much less an affiliated nationwide terrestrial, satellite or cable media programme; they are squeezed out from broadcast public debates and the debates are more or less about action plans to prevent “them” from gaining more popularity and shameless deliberations on how to bend and twist the rules so that “they” do not score any more electoral wins.
      This is backed by severe restriction of freedom of speech under the pretence of “combating hate”, coupled with draconian but highly selective enforcement of the rules, with the “perpetrators” put on equal legal footing with organized criminals and terrorists.

      Those with differing opinions are branded as “mad conspiracy theorists” at best.

      On the other hand, much of the air-time (and praise) is given to so-called “independent experts” of questionable moral integrity and obscure background whose only agenda is to bash the opposition. Some of them have even taken up cyber-hazing opposition sympathizers—for which they bask in public attention and the “mainstream media” (which are mostly funded by the government anyway) publicly loud them for their despicable and often illegal behaviour as “civic heroes” or “heroes of civic activism”.

      At the same time, the bidirectional flow of information, formerly represented by many call-in programmes were slowly phased out, one by one, and replaced by childish idle chatter, squealing English-language songs and rumbling one-sided propaganda.

  • Andrew Chimilewsky’s Daddy!

    RT Made People Realize That Mainstream Media ‘is Not Objective at All’

  • Antikapitalista

    Actually, the Russian systemic opposition and the respective mass media are so stifled… that we can only dream of such freedom in the West.