US mainstream media are stenographers for the White House and State Department and don’t cover some crucial issues. With a sizable readership and viewership, RT reports news they don’t cover, and gets the truth across to as many people as possible, analysts say.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power addresses the United Nation Security Council a during a high level meeting on Syria, at the United Nations in Manhattan, New York, U.S. © Andrew Kelly / Reuters
An emergency UN Security Council meeting on Syria was held in New York on Sunday. It was requested by the US, Britain and France to address the deadly conflict in the city of Aleppo.
The gathering saw a heated exchange between the Russian and American ambassadors to the UN. The US envoy, Samantha Power, also took time to criticize RT during the Security Council meeting.
RT asked former US diplomat Jim Jatras if it’s surprising a leading American diplomat would be concerned about the channel’s coverage.
“I think she doesn’t like RT because they report the news that the so-called mainstream media in the US – which are essentially stenographers for the White House and the State Department – don’t cover. As far as her accusing the Russians and saying “you can’t be for peace as long as you support…” What? The government that is defending its own territory? How much can you be for peace, human rights, and democracy if you’re supporting jihadist terrorist who cut people’s heads off?” he said.
Daniel Patrick Welch, writer and political analyst, commenting on Power’s rhetoric, said the US is scared.
“They are scared because they don’t want RT – which has a sizable readership and viewership – to get the truth across to as many people as possible. They rely on planted stories; they rely on this one man operation, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – just some guy living in an apartment in London. They are spreading the same clips that they have used, that they have discredited. This thing about the airstrike on a convoy, which the UN itself backed down and said it probably wasn’t an airstrike. Yet, the New York Times, which is in their corner, goes on to continue to blame the Russians,” Welch said.
Retired US Army Major General Paul E. Vallely said he regularly watches RT and the channel provides a “balanced coverage” of events in Syria.
“I think you give a very balanced approach. [On] American TV for the most part you don’t see any correspondents inside Syria, as you do of the RT correspondents. Americans are primarily focused … on the elections and what’s going on,” he said.
While RT – an international news channel based in Russia – was accused of being extremely biased, CNN – an international news channel based in America – got its credibility boosted as one of its correspondents, Clarissa Ward was given an elevated platform to speak on the situation in Aleppo at the UN meeting. Her tone was also anti-Russia. RT asked analysts whether it’s a fair approach.
According to Jim Jatras, “CNN is one of the worst elements of advocacy journalism” and any alternative media to that of the US mainstream is a “necessary antidote”.
“Let’s just remember Christiane Amanpour and her writing for Back to the Balkans, and her position on Syria and Libya too. That you’ve got one of the worst advocates for words of choice coming out of CNN and other mainstream American media. I think any foreign media and frankly the alternative media that is growing here in the US is a necessary antidote. I feel most like people in the Soviet Union used to do during the communist time – they needed to consult Samizdat in foreign media as a corrective to what they were hearing from the official media,” Jatras said.
Welch was rather emotional in his description of CNN, calling them a “stable of uninformed people,” who are “getting overpaid by people who want them to be propaganda mouthpieces” for people like Power “bashing Russia”.
“It is egregious, it is part and parcel; this is what they do. CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post. They are all onboard… They have even infected the domestic election season. They are using the election season as another wing of the ‘bash Russia’ campaign. It is all kind of on cue to soften up a population for eventual, potential war with Russia and it is very, very dangerous game that they are playing. They use the same players all the time; it is nothing new,” Welch said.
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