Recently, an exceptionally remarkable phenomenon happened in the U.S. journalism world (and, to be honest, in the whole Western world), which threatens to put an end to what remains of the former reputation of one of the U.S.’s globally-known, mass media powerhouses. CNN deleted an article and all related links from its social media accounts and also apologized to Anthony Scaramucci, whom the channel accused of disreputable ties with representatives of the Russian Direct Investment Fund*. Scaramucci allegedly met with the head of the RDIF in Davos and discussed the topic of cancelling sanctions while he was a member of President-elect Trump’s transition team.
CNN, by publishing this story with the usual reference to some sort of “anonymous source,” practically provoked a new round of anti-Russian rhetoric in the U.S. Congress. It also led to a new line of attacks on Trump, as several Democratic senators immediately rushed to form some new institutional body to investigate this incident and tried to involve the U.S. Treasury, as well.
As it turned out, there was no such incident, the information about it was removed and CNN grudgingly apologized to Scaramucci. This is an absolutely atypical situation for the U.S. media – it seems to have developed some over-the-top “ethical codes” (which seem on par with the hefty Talmud) that describe the coverage standards of all possible, sociopolitical situations. These include having an eye specifically toward respect for the rights of everyone, including all minorities, and ensuring “tolerance” on the air.
Everything becomes possible when the owners and upper management of U.S. mass media powerhouses do not like the political views of the current president. They invent some fake “Russian hackers,” and a million “anonymous” sources mutter exclusively in the ears of CNN, NBC or CBS journalists (but not Fox) about some mind-blowing schemes involving the Trump team’s links with evil and ubiquitous Russians.
If one takes a look at the political sections of the leading publications and TV stationis in the United States, including CNN, then one will see that they practically only write about Russia and our hypothetical intervention. Even internal political issues are pushed to the second or third level. This is absolutely dangerous because the media create this feeling among Trump’s political opposition that there is a Kremlin plot against Western liberal democracies that is constantly twisting and out of control, and this feeling is not just sleight of hand, but a direct lie.
It should be noted that in Western media, and Putin actually pointed this out recently, there is a demonization of Russians, which means we can be accused of all sins or any crimes; the heat of this media campaign is comparable to a wave of anti-Semitism. Of course, journalists do not bother with standards and fact-checking, because they feel there is a certain united position within the political and media establishments. People will swallow anything.
The U.S. media and numerous nonprofit organizations serving the media for many years have been telling the world about how objective and unbiased they are, although in reality, they turned out to be exactly the way Trump described them − fake news. Moreover, they turned out to be producers of fake news on a systematic level, where even the editorial policies of seemingly different TV stations and web-based media carry the same terms and ideological stamps. Here is a story about Scaramucci and also an “investigation” that appeared on CBS at the beginning of the year about some businessman named Sergei Millian, who was a mediator between the Kremlin and Trump. Millian, in fact, turned out to be Belarusian.** There was no evidence of his links with Russia, except for knowledge of the Russian language, and this story simply died quietly.
The only thing that’s left is just to state the fact: “objective journalism” is broken; bring on the next story.
*Translator’s note: The Russian Direct Investment Fund is a $10 billion fund established by the Russian government in June 2011 to make equity investments in high-growth sectors of the Russian economy.
**Translator’s note: Millian is Belarusian-American.
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