Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Conversations with a Putin Shrill (Russian Propagandist)

Important Introduction: This article is not aimed at all Russians. This article is focused on the corrupt Putin and those that support him.

So yesterday I was watching the amazing story of of a highly respected journalist by the name Simon Ostrovsky who was doing investigative journalism research on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Simon`s work in Ukraine is well known. He has been covering the Russian sponsored invasion of Ukraine since the start and is one of the few credible journalists who has feet on the ground and is giving us day to day updates on what is happening.

Of course his journalism has upset Pro-Russian forces and he was recently illegally detained for several days by forces loyal to Vladimir Putin. During his detention he was beaten and interrogated. The Pro-Russian militants did their best to try intimidate and bully him. I highly recommend you watch the video I have linked above to get more insight into this story.

On the day that Simon was released he was asked to make himself presentable as his captor lied to him and told him he was about to be released. Instead he was taken upstairs to meet Evgeny Popov, a cameraman from Russian State TV. Effectively a Putin Shrill.

Before I continue with the story I just want to justify my comment about calling this man a Putin Shrill. By international standards he is not a real journalist. Press Freedom in Russia is terrible. Most African countries have higher levels of press freedom. Russia are right there at the bottom of the Press Freedom Index (as per Reporters without Borders). The government is well known for killing off journalists who try expose its corrupt practices or who are critical of Putin and/or the Kremlin. There are almost no credible journalists left working for the Russian government. It is widely accepted around the world that anyone working for Russian state television is a Putin Shrill / propagandist.

So instead of Evgeny Popov asking real journalist questions to Simon when they meet, he instead tries to frame questions or ask for explanations that might in some way, make America and the "west" look bad. Imagine this. You are a journalist, you meet someone who was kidnapped by Pro-Russian forces and the only thing you can ask the victim is how to blame the west?

Any reasonable human would be disgusted by what Evgeny Popov asked and how he went about his interview. I know I was. So much so that I actually messaged him on Twitter to let him know exactly what I think of him.

To give you an idea of how much of a propagandist Evgeny Popov is I have to show you a part of the Twitter conversation I had with him. The conversation had basically got to the point where he used an old troll technique of false accusing me of only getting my information from America (and thereby insinuating that I could not have an informed opinion on the topic).

Now this is a false claim by Evgeny Popov directed at me. There is absolutely no way that he could possibly know what media and news I absorb. For the record, I absorb ALL media. I watch America media, EU media, African media, Middle East media, South East Asian media. I literally watch it all. I even watch Russia Today, Al Jazeera and Fox News (though to be fair to Al Jazeera it really does not deserve to be lumped with the dishonest Russia Today and Fox News). I have made it a point in my life to absorb all media. I have also made it a point to study propaganda, which is why I watch Fox News and Russia Today.

If you want to know what Putin is thinking, you watch the propaganda on Russia Today. If you want to know what the Republican Party in America are thinking then you watch  the propaganda on Fox News. I have found this to be the most effective way of cutting through the bullshit presented by propagandists like Evgeny Popov.

So I call Evgeny Popov out on his lie. I tell him that he is misrepresenting me and what I watch and therefore is lying. His response was so ironic it inspired me to write this article:

I actually laughed when I got this response. Evgeny Popov is such a terrible propagandist he makes a lie about me and says that I called him a liar without evidence.

To put that into perspective, that's like me telling you (the reader) that you enjoy cold baths. When you deny that and say I am lying, I then tell you that you have no evidence that I lied.

I think Putin and the Russian government have let the people of Russia, Ukraine and the rest of the world down. Most of the world wants for Russia what they have themselves. We want Russia to have real free and fair elections (they do not at the moment). We want Russia`s press to be credible. Sending people like Evgeny Popov to do interviews is an insult to journalism and the Russian people.

I believe that Russia has a chance to be a great country. To be a respected country. Right now Putin believes the only way to get respect is to beat people. Respect is earned through honorable deeds. Not through bullying weak and powerless neighbours. However, it does seem that until Putin goes, Russia will never be a free country. They will become the isolated pariah state that Putin wants Russia to be.

To the Russians that read this. Know that I live in Africa. We have a stronger currency than Russia does. We have more freedoms than Russians do. We have a less corrupt government than Russia does (though our government is still corrupt.... its not half as bad as Russia). We have a free press in my country in Africa. We are allowed to criticize our leaders and the ruling party in national media. Under Putin you are falling behind countries in Africa. It is time to wake up and change your leaders.

Evgeny Popov, it is good that you got to meet Simon Ostrovsky, now you know what a real journalist looks like.