"The degradation of mainstream American press coverage of Russia, a country still vital to US national security, has been under way for many years," Professor Stephen Cohen wrote in his recent article for The Nation, speaking about the attitude of US press towards the Olympic Games in Sochi and President Vladimir Putin.
"If the recent tsunami of shamefully unprofessional and politically inflammatory articles in leading newspapers and magazines-particularly about the Sochi Olympics, Ukraine and, unfailingly, President Vladimir Putin-is an indication, this media malpractice is now pervasive and the new norm," the professor wrote.
The author mentioned such major newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. The first one published an op-ed piece penned by Vladimir Putin last year. According to Cohen, "American media on Russia today are less objective, less balanced, more conformist and scarcely less ideological than when they covered Soviet Russia during the Cold War."
The degradation of American media started during the 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the historian believes, speaking about the benefits that the United States was obtained from the presidency of Boris Yeltsin. Some media still describe Yeltsin as an "ideal Russian leader."
During the 2000s, all pro-government U.S. media began to demonize Putin, "with little regard for facts." According to the historian, no first echelon publication will find any problems in Yeltsin's Russia. Instead, they all write that it is the fault of Putin the "autocrat."
Cohen paid special attention to the Olympics in Sochi, citing a specific example. "Even before the Games began, The Times declared the newly built complex a "Soviet-style dystopia" and warned in a headline, Terrorism and Tension, Not Sports and Joy. On opening day, the paper found space for three anti-Putin articles."
"Facts hardly mattered. Virtually every US report insisted that a record $51 billion "squandered" by Putin on the Sochi Games proved they were "corrupt." But as Ben Aris of Business New Europe pointed out, as much as $44 billion may have been spent "to develop the infrastructure of the entire region," investment "the entire country needs,"" Steven Cohen.
At the end of the article, the historian criticized Obama, whom Putin "saved."
"Putin virtually saved Obama's presidency by persuading Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to eliminate his chemical weapons. Putin then helped to facilitate Obama's heralded opening to Iran."
Cohen believes that no matter what stopped the U.S. leader from going to Sochi, none of those reasons could serve as an excuse.