Jill Dougherty’s Attack Piece on the Russian Media and the role of the Intercept in its dissemination

(This analysis not only points out CNN’s well known bias but questions Omidyar’s role in Ukraine and Greenwald’s diplomatic silence)

As part of the Russia bashing that’s in full flow, Pierre Omidyar’s the Intercept tweeted a link to an article by Jill Dougherty who was the Moscow bureau chief of the US corporate outlet CNN, and is the current Foreign Affairs correspondent (and thus effectively liaisons with the State Department and her audience, and whose CNN bio boasts of “traveled widely with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton” ie part of the establishment set), which was a hatchet piece condemning the Russian media. It’s not only a case of the pot calling the kettle black – as CNN as a news organization is a regular punchline on the Daily show for its “phony news-headline” (an example of Ukraine can be found here) but some of the insinuations are so egregious that they bear calling out.

After starting with noting various conspiracy theories in the Russian media immediately following the MH17 crash, while conveniently ignoring the fact that conspiracy theories and wild speculations are always the norm after any disaster which does not have immediate conclusive evidence (as CNN broadcast for example after the MH370 tragedy for which it was roundly criticized and lampooned) and also the wild accusations about “Putin’s Missile” in many Western media outlets she says this: (my highlights)

More sober theories, based on mounting evidence that the plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile launched by pro-Russian separatists, were dismissed by Moscow, which blamed the Ukrainian military. U.S. and Russian official dueling news conferences. Intercepted phone conversations between rebels and Russian security officials trumpeted by Ukraine were “falsified,” according to Russian experts.

This second para sets the stage for the propaganda that follows so let’s take each of the highlighted issues in turn

1. “More Sober Theories“: so who decides what’s sober? The Western media which shrieked loudly about Putin Crossing the Lockerbie Line (Radio Free (sic) Europe) to Putin’s Missile in bold headlines in The Sun which was tweeted by the Whitehall-funded outlet the BBC.

Who’s exactly “sober” here?

2. “Mounting Evidence [of rebel complicity]“: this can only be called a lie. The only hard evidence introduced into play has been the detailed briefing by the Russian Ministry of Defense pointing to Ukrainian military complicity (or at the least suspicious behavior) which so far as I know has not only not been refuted but simply ignored. This is sharp contrast to the two big news stories backing the rebels-did-it-theory from the US based AP relying on “anonymous” US intelligence officials (who effectively admitted they had no hard evidence yet), and the US corporate owned Reuters based on a surreal interview with a Rebel leader are hardly anything more than gossip.

Meanwhile 13 days after the MH17 tragedy, we STILL don’t have

(A) the ATC recordings confiscated by the Ukrainian Government

(B) , the findings of the Black Box data being deciphered in the Russophobic UK (no doubt under the watch of the GCHQ) or

(C) any answers to logical questions posed by the Russians. Why? Because their views don’t matter. Only those of Western governments do.

3. “Pro-Russian Rebels“: This has been the standard line from the US government from the beginning and faithfully echoed by the Western media outlets till it becomes Standard Terminology. Why call these people “pro-Russian” as opposed to “anti-Kiev” or “pro-Independence”? Are those fighting the Syrian government (for control, as opposed to independence) called “Pro-Saudi Rebels”? No.

As US media outlets are very well aware there is a big difference in referring to someone as “anti-Life” vs “pro-Abortion” or “anti-Abortion” vs “Pro-Life”; indeed one can tell where a media outlets sympathies on Abortion lie straight from the terminology used.

4. “Duelling News Conferences“: the US Government press conferences were long on allegations and threats and absent on any concrete evidence. The Russians were mostly about evidence gathered, concrete questions that needed to be answered and repeated pleas for a calm and unbiased investigation as unanimously agreed on UNSC 2166 (and a resolution whose Article 7 that Poroshenko has clearly violated by continuing to bomb around the MH17 area, let alone killing what he calls his own people indiscriminately with missiles.)

5. Ukranian Govt tapes were “falsified”: “Anonymous” intelligence officials have failed to verify the authenticity of the tapes beyond speaking of their existence. The Russian media has investigated this both technically and factually and have found like the hoaxes spread about anti-Semitic pamphlets, they were false.

At this point let us pause: this is just the second para and already one can see that this seemingly thoughtful analysis by an American “journalist” who works for a laughable parody of a US corporate news organization, who strictly follows the Western government rumor-mongering and terminology as “sober assessments”, who equates hard evidence with loud assertions, is never going to objectively analyze the Russian media.

When I have the energy to dismantle the rest of the garbage put out by Jill D who trots out the usual Russophobic “experts” as part of her analysis, I will.

My observations after reading her propaganda piece is

1. For the first time in history, there has been a compelling, competing viewpoint reaching a global audience which challenges the western media dominant viewpoint which has served to excuse the Western governments relentless expansion and neo-colonialism (with clearly detrimental effects to their own populations let alone their target countries). The Native Americans when they were being decimated never had this. Neither did the Vietnamese. Not the Iraqis.

The Western media so used to setting the narrative, the terminology, the boundaries what is “sober” debate, what is Truth has been rudely jolted out of their smugness by this alternate viewpoint, and in a panic lashing out at the “enemy”. As long as dissent is confined to poorly funded blogs and niche news outlets, like Counterpunch, The Nation it’s fine – indeed it’s an example of how “Free” the west is. When it actually becomes a threat to the dominant narrative, the knives comes out.

2. Putin has long realized that the Western governments use their media to set the narrative as a precursor to the inevitable military war or coupvelution that follows. (The order of attack is propagandize to sway public opinion which then justify sanctions to weaken followed either by a internally provoked coup/revolution or outright war). Until there is a strong independent media that does not automatically accept the Western media narrative as gospel, there is no chance for a nation to survive.

Indeed contrast the massacre in Gaza happening in full view of the World which is excused in various ways by the US media, versus the Orgy of Hate against Russia which – even the worst case – is not the one deliberately causing civilian causalities in the Donbass.

To Jill therefore I’d simply say “Physician heal thyself“.


What’s most disappointing while simultaneously intriguing is the Intercept’s seeming endorsement of this garbage.

The Intercept has faced the ire of many in the mainstream Western media for its NSA expose with Glenn Greenwald‘s blistering on-line debate with the US corporate entity, the New York Time’s ex-executive editor Bill Keller as a high point in questioning the role of journalism in challenging the official narrative versus simply being a schill for it.

One would therefore expect that the Intercept would support alternative narratives: yet the intriguing role of its patron Pierre Omidyar remains. There have been accusations that while championing against unrestricted US government surveillance Omidyar is also in bed with the same government in the overthrow of the previous Ukrainian regime.

Greenwald – who’s been mostly silent on Ukraine while condemning the massacres of innocents in schools, hospitals, old age homes in Gaza – has addressed this supposed contradiction before.

I wonder if he now has a rethink.

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