Journalism and propaganda

Congrats! I learned a lot from the article by Roger Cohen published by the New York Times on August 7, 2023. It should be used in journalism schools (Putin’s Forever War). 

Roger Cohen’s report is a very well-written and professional propaganda operation. I might change the names and the places and use the same plot to write about any country I want to discredit, including US, Italy, Israel, Iran, by applying all the possible biases. If I get paid for, of course. 

It is ridiculous to call ‘ridiculous’ (as Cohen does) the affluence of some Moscow neighborhoods without comparing the same situation you see in some Manhattan’s neighborhoods and other western big cities. It is cunning to describe poverty in some remote Russian province as if there were no poverty in the West urban peripheries or in American shanty towns and huge mobile homes where the poor live. 

Not to speak about the fake honor bestowed to American well-paid poor soldiers – most of them from minorities – who died all over the world to impose the American imperialist rule as well as the Russian poor die to compel an analogous arrogant power. Except that, in Cohen’s opinion, we are good, and they are bad, no matter any more structured and independent thought. 

I sent a commentary to Cohen’s article which wasn’t published but I found out that many other readers had already raised my same point. I’m not alone to pick up how biased and controlled is nowadays (oximoronic) independent information.

The NYT is still a good source of information. Although it is not propaganda-free, as Cohen’s article and many other prove, the editor and the journalists cannot betray their highly educated readers not so differently from what happens in the so-called unfree world. 

Few days ago, the NYT reported about the conflict between the Pentagon and the President. The latter wanted to investigate alleged Russian war crimes; the Pentagon is trying to hinder it because an independent UN Commission investigation might disclose American war crimes all around the world.

The newspaper reported this embarrassing news, but it published it bottom page while Cohen’s report was awarded prominence. This is an important news though, both for human rights issues and because it raises the question: who really governs in the USA? The military or the elected President? Whose election, by the way, has been vehemently questioned by the former president as it was Bush’s election in 2000 though in more civilized manner. 

Why am I writing this? I’m not anti-American, anti-West or the likes; even less I support other governments, countries, and cultures. My education and culture are well rooted in the western tradition of free citizens and democracy. This tradition, our very way of life, is alarmingly going awry as its basic principles are repeatedly betrayed every other day.

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