July 19, 2014
Sara Firth, who on the face of it genuinely seems to be bothered by the notion of Truth, resigned from RT, instantly becoming a Western media darling, alleging she did so because “RT disregarded the facts” (Channel 4), “Because the ‘truth is the truth’ and ‘facts are facts’” (CNN), “I couldn’t do it any more. Every single day we’re lying and finding sexier ways to do it.” (Buzzfeed)
Her breaking point it appears was the MH17 story. As per her interview with Buzzfeed:
Firth, who joined the channel in 2009, told BuzzFeed that she decided to resign from the Kremlin-funded news channel because she felt it was “disrespectfully” attempting to pin the blame for Thursday’s Malaysia Airlines disaster on the Ukrainian government.
When this story broke I ran back into the newsroom and saw how we were covering it already and I just knew I had to go,” she said.
“It was the total disregard to the facts. We threw up eyewitness accounts from someone on the ground openly accusing the Ukrainian government [of involvement in the disaster], and a correspondent in the studio pulled up a plane crash before that the Ukrainian government had been involved in and said it was ‘worth mentioning’.
So here are a few things I’m puzzled about:
1. “Total disregard of facts”: what “facts” is she talking about? There are various circumstantial evidence and allegations that all parties are bandying about. There are as of date no established facts other than there is a plane crashed on the ground with 298 people dead. An official investigation – which Russia has called for from the first moments – is needed to establish facts.
2. Is she upset about some editorial opinion blaming Ukraine? So how about the sheer vitriol and hatred spread not just by Western gutterpress (for example the conservative bottom feeder Daily Mail’s screaming “Putin’s Missile”) but by more “reputable” Western outlets like the US Corporate media powerhouse, the New York Times (ticker NYT:US) immediately leading with US Government officials blaming Russia and the British media organization Guardian headlining US government statements blaming Russia as if they represented facts.
These are all opinions and conjectures based on no established facts at all, since there is no established facts as of date.
3. As I wrote earlier immediately after the event an errant Ukranian missile was always a logical possibility along with it being due to the Rebels or even the Russians directly. These are all logical possibilities. It is puzzling that she immediately discounts the Ukrainian theories, being silent as to the various theories regarding the Rebels and Russia that are being floated as “facts”.
4. More broadly she claims RT “lies”. Can specific examples be provided? If she means RT slants coverage to report on events that the mainstream Western media choose to ignore, while ignoring events that the Western media chooses to cover, then every news organization “lies” by this definition.
Indeed Buzzfeed’s Jim Waterson on gleefully reporting on Sara’s resignation, talks about the “Russian invasion of Crimea“. That, in my opinion, is a lie.
For those who want to know what an invasion classically means look no further than the current Israeli invasion of Gaza, the civilian death toll, destruction and sheer violence unleashed in repressing another socio-ethnic group. (One doesn’t need to go back to the illegal 2003 US government invasion of Iraq under a totally false pretext, with an estimated MILLION – think about it, that’s about 3,500 MH17s or one MH17 EVERY day for 10 years straight – resultant deaths, millions of refugees, the wholesale destruction of a social-infrastructure of a modern nation-state for an example)
In the mainstream Western media narrative, the wishes of the Crimean people in the Russian “invasion” or “annexation” of Crimea is simply not mentioned. As long as we are talking FACTS, the FACT that there was a referendum is barely mentioned or if so just to pooh-pooh it since it was “obviously rigged”.
(The sequence of events in Crimea are clear and in the historical record. The salient points are that many Crimeans who are of Russian ethnic origin (given that Crimea was part of Russia for centuries and gifted to Ukraine in 1954 by Khrushchev) were alarmed at the unelected take-over of the Government in Kiev by members of right-wing ultra-nationalist anti-ethnic-Russian groups, and their replacing of various governors of regions with their own chosen candidates. The elected parliament in Crimea voted to hold a referendum (as they did in 1991, 1992, 1994 on various measures of independence from Kiev. (See a 1992 article from the US based self-styled “paper of Record” New York Times). The security was provided by Crimean self-defense forces backed by the Russian military. (Incidentally the same was true (say) in prior elections in Afghanistan and Iraq where security was provided by the US military which were trumpeted around the world as exercises in Freedom and Democracy.)
In line with polls and historical data from prior referendums, of the 83.1% who turned out (many Crimean Tartars stayed home), 96.8% approved it.
Note when Kosovo had a 1991 referendum on independence from Serbia, the Serbian minority stated home for a turnout of 87% and more than 99% of the respondents voted to secede and this was trumpeted by the West as an exercise in Freedom and Democracy)
Does Sara worry about why the Crimean people’s opinions don’t matter? Or why the millions who participated in the referendums in Lugansk and Donetsk don’t matter? Or even simply, why is it not even mentioned in the mainstream Western media narrative when giving a backgrounder on Ukraine which as of now in essence is:
There was a pro-democracy movement by the people of Ukraine resulting in the Evil Yanukovytch fleeing, followed by an invasion of Ukraine by Russia, followed by a Russian-backed insurgency in the East that the heroic Ukranian people are fighting.
If Sara believes the above is The Truth and there are no alternative viewpoints or nuances also backed up by facts, there is nothing more to say. A similar narrative in the US media is that Israel is fighting for peace against fanatical Islamic terrorists. And that all Gazans killed are the fault of Hamas.
Whether Sara realizes it or not, RT is most powerful news source that presents inconvenient facts (there are many Syrians who support Assad; many ethnic Russians in Ukraine who are suspicious of the Ukrainian nationalists in power in Kiev; bombing of civilians in Ukraine etc.), logical analysis (see “Possible To Determine Missile Trajectory ) and sharp Opinions (see for example the excellent ““I’m Confused – Can Anyone Help Me Part 1” and Part 2) that the busy reader will not find in mainstream Western media organizations most of which echo the US government line. (There are numerous Western dissident websites that report among other events not covered in the Western mainstream media, on US government and media biases against Russia (as for example the following articles in Ron Paul, Counterpunch, The Nation, Antiwar.com, Global Research) which are not as well funded or have a global reach which is why RT is such a threat to the Western media version of the Truth).
Sara may or not be aware not just of the notorious FACTS of the jaw-dropping false-flag 1962 Operation Northwoods proposed (but never officially operationalized) by the US joint Chiefs of Staff to use US government assets to, among other false-flag activities, shoot down US airliners to blame Cuba as a pretext for war; Operation Mockingbird that Carl Bernstein estimated involved over 400 US and foreign journalists working for the CIA to spread propaganda (including personnel from the US based global reach New York Times and Time magazines) ; the fact that the current Reuters chief correspondent in Ukraine is an ex-NATO “information officer”; among various sundry facts.
Finally, coming down to something that Sara can personally verify as truthful or not: as per the same Buzzfeed article
Anna Belkina, head of communications at Russia Today, has provided the following statement:
“We were not surprised by Sara Firth’s decision to leave RT after 5 years as a Moscow and London correspondent, as she has recently informed us that she was likely to take an offer from another firm.”
“The plane crash is an absolutely terrible tragedy, there are a lot of questions that surround it and everybody is looking for answers. More than 15 RT journalists are working on this story – from Moscow, from the Russian-Ukrainian border, London, Berlin, Washington. RT Spanish journalist Francisco Guaita was one of the first TV correspondents to get to the scene late last night. Our reporters are in the Netherlands and Malaysia.”
“Sara has declared that she chooses the truth; apparently we have different definitions of truth. We believe that truth is what our reporters see on the ground, with their own eyes, and not what’s printed in the morning London newspaper. In our coverage, RT, unlike the rest of the media, did not draw conclusions before the official investigation has even begun. We show all sides of the story, even if everyone else has already decided which side is to blame.
The only question I would have for Sara is this: Did you have a job offer before the MH17 crash? A simple yes or no would suffice to tell whether Anna Belkina is telling the truth or lying about Sara’s prior job offer.