Ukrainian crisis questions credibility of Western media outlets

Ukraine-Russia conflict questions neutrality and credibility of Western media

Many of our intellectuals are victims of the illusion that the western media is neutral and credible. If a news item is published by the BBC or The New York Times, then they feel that there is a stamp of credibility. They feel that now there is no margin of doubt in this news. On the other hand, the impression of Russian and Chinese media is that it is propaganda and generally not true.

The Western media have left the impression about Russian and Chinese media that they are victims of the Iron Curtain or the Bamboo Curtain: Russia hides the news with the Iron Curtain and China hides the news with the Bamboo Curtain. However, Russia-Ukraine conflict has raised serious questions about the neutrality and credibility of Western media. It would not be an exaggeration to say that comparatively, in this conflict, the news coming from the Russian media is less one-sided than the Western media. Whereas the Western media is completely suppressing opposite views, the Russian media is giving some space to opposite or neutral views. At least I feel that comparatively, the Russian media is less partial and less far from the truth.

I would like to give an example of a news report published by Russia Today (RT). The news was published under the headline: Zelensky, Biden Share Blame With Putin For Ukraine Conflict. This statement was made by the former President of Brazil and front runner in the current Presidential race, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. It is obvious that this is a statement by a very important personality. He said that in any conflict, one side is not completely responsible for it. There is a similar expression in Punjabi that you cannot clap with one hand. If Zelensky at this time had not talked about joining NATO and EU, and had talked to Russia about the other issues, then the conflict could have been avoided. Silva said that Western Media's presentation of Zelensky as a respectable hero does not match with reality. He said that when Zelensky addresses western politicians, he is given standing ovations as if he is a respectable and great personality.

However, he is literally a Comedian. Instead of accepting all of his demands, it is more important to make him understand that which of his demands are reasonable and are more important. Silva said that Western countries, by meeting all of his demands, are asking the whole world to pay the bill. He said that this conflict has brought out the reality that the United Nations has proven to be unsuccessful in playing any significant role in this conflict. Lula da Silva is at present running ahead of his closest rival by 14 points and it is very likely that he will be the next President of Brazil. Brazil is a very important country of the world. Brazil is also a member of the BRICS organization. Although these matters were discussed in an interview with Time magazine, yet Western media did not cover it. I read all of the BBC news articles carefully, but I could not find this news. However, RT prominently published this news.

Western media presents an individual as a hero or a villain for their own interests. Russia's President Putin was declared as a great Hero. Time magazine twice declared Putin as Man of the Year. This never happened before. President Bush invited Putin to his personal ranch. President Trump was an admirer of Putin. It is true that Western media declared Putin a hero in the past. But now, western media has made Putin the biggest villain. Joe Biden has used words such as killer, war criminal and mad dictator to describe Putin.

Why has Putin gone from being a hero to a villain? When Putin came into power, he realized that Russia's future was in the east and he did not have any hope from the West. Putin understood that Western countries could never be true friends of Russia. That is why, on becoming President, Putin turned Russia's face towards the East. He started considering China as the most important country for Russia. Relations with China are his number one priority. Western countries tried very hard to somehow separate Russia from China. For this purpose, they tried everything and declared Putin a big hero. But when they could not succeed in separating Putin from China, then they declared Putin a villain.
It is sad that many of our intellectuals agree with the West and accept their version of events without understanding Western motives. Some even blame Russia for the conflict, and some hold Russia and America equally responsible for the conflict.

If they seriously and sincerely analyze this situation, then the truth will come out that the main reason for the war is the expansionist policy of NATO and breaking the assurances given to Russia.

At the time of the collapse of the USSR, Western countries promised and assured Russia that they would not expand NATO, and they would not include countries that had broken away from the Soviet Union into NATO. However, NATO did exactly the opposite. Now NATO is saying, "Show us where we gave this in writing.” This is a known fact that whether an agreement is verbal or in writing, they are both valid. Western media very well know that Russia is telling the truth because there are many witnesses that this agreement was made, and Russia was assured. But, Western media completely suppress this truth.

Western media have a history of spreading blatant lies about wars. During the Spanish-American War, the sensational American "Yellow Paper” journalism gave false and factually incorrect information to the American people and the government. The Yellow Paper journalists lied about concentration camps being setup in Cuba and the treatment of Cuban prisoners and grossly exaggerated acts of violence by the Spanish in order to sell more copies of their newspapers. The American government intervened, and both countries declared war on each other.

During the Vietnam War, the American Government blatantly lied and covered up the reality of the war from the American people. Up until 1967, the Americans gave a completely false narrative of the war in which they claimed that America was winning the war and that the North Vietnamese People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and Viet Cong did not offer any resistance. On January 30, 1968, the PAVN and Viet Cong launched the Tet Offensive, in which American soldiers, bases and even the U. S. Embassy were simultaneously attacked, and this humiliated the American government and the American media; forcing them to publicly acknowledge that they had for years been lying about what was really happening in Vietnam. There was so much pressure from the American public on the establishment that President Lyndon Baines Johnson did not seek re-election as a result of the aftermath of the Tet Offensive.

Western media are presenting Russia as cruel and a killer of humanity while asking Russia be tried for war crimes. However, it appears that after the Second World War, in the whole world, in the parameters of fighting, destruction and deaths of innocent people, America is far ahead. Can Western media be an example of double standards and hypocrisy? Even now, Western media are propagating lies against Russia. Russia spoke to Ukraine and agreed to withdraw troops from Kiev, but Western media are saying that Ukraine's military defeated Russia's military. Then, in Bucha, whatever is being shown raises many big questions. It appears that Russia is close to completing its goals and now they are going to take a big area of the Donbas region. However, Western media continue to give an impression that Ukraine is winning the war.

I would like to conclude with a quote about the media by Malcolm X, a thinker far ahead of his time:

"The press is so powerful in its image-making role; it can make the criminal look like he's the victim and make the victim look like he's the criminal. This is the press, an irresponsible press. If you aren't careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. This is sort of a propaganda tactic that I would call psychological warfare.” — Malcolm X

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Author`s name Sawraj Singh