State Sponsored Foreign Media Depict US In Negative Terms – No American Equivalent To Provide Balance – With Others Defining It As They Please, America Will Lose The World’s Respect

By Paolo von Schirach

January 7, 2013

WASHINGTON – The main, (if debatable), benefit of broad band TV, (in my case the signal is carried via state of the art fiber optic cable provided by Verizon FIOS), is that even the basic, no frills package offers lots of choices.

Russia Today

Exploring what is available, I starting watching a news channel named RT. It did not take me too long to figure out that RT stands for Russia Today. Still, they make no effort to openly introduce themselves for what they are: state-sponsored Russian propaganda, even though it is disguised as hard hitting reporting and investigative journalism. According to Wikipedia, RT has a large audience in the UK and also in the USA.

Of course I was interested in how RT covers the US. Keeping in mind that, thanks to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton we have had a “reset” that supposedly created warmer and more amicable US-Russia relations, I was curious to see the impact of the reset on news and commentary about America.

America is a police state

Well, after a few hours, I discovered that, (while I was not paying any attention), America had turned into a semi-police state. With left wing Congressmen and assorted American “experts” as credible interlocutors making this point, I discovered that everybody is spied on in America. The US Government routinely acts illegally, snooping on practically everybody.

Whistle blowers are thrown in jail. Newspapers and all other media are under constant threat and censored. Many good people are imprisoned for the smallest disclosures. Under the pretense of protecting state secrets, the American Government (this would be the oppressive Obama administration) suppresses freedom of speech, withholds information about its nefarious activities and imposes silence. In open contravention of federal laws and of the US Constitution, Washington imposes silence and denies basic freedom of speech.

So much for the “reset”

If you watch this coverage from Britain or Thailand, you are certainly not going to be well disposed towards Washington, while you would feel for the small bands of American heroes who fight with no weapons against this brutal hegemon.

Well, I guess it is a good thing that we had the “reset” that re-calibrated the bilateral relationship placing it on much friendlier terms. Just imagine how biased coverage about America would be if Secretary Clinton had not finally fixed the relationship ruined by the ill advised Bush administration.

French TV surprises

But you get nice surprises, (yes, I say “nice” with irony), from our European Allies as well. France 24 at least reveals what it is without hiding behind initials. France 24 has news and commentary and more. In one segment commenting about Venezuela and Hugo Chavez, they produced a fairly lengthy excerpt from a Chavez anti-Bush rant from a few years ago.

I guess Chavez, speaking to his home audience, meant to be funny. He called then President George W. Bush “Mr. Danger”. And that’s OK. Then he called him a “donkey”, meaning stubborn, stupid. And then Chavez called Bush a “drunk”, repeatedly. Well, the assorted members of the France 24 round table (including Americans) commented that, while perhaps Chavez expressed it in an inelegant way, he had a point. In other words, in his folksy ways he provided a fair representation of a democratically elected US President.

For the record I am no fan of former President Bush. I believe that his 8 years in office were almost disastrous, with ill advised wars and the beginning of irresponsible run away spending. But it is sad to note that for a semi-official French media outlet referring to a former US president as a “donkey” is alright.

Does this matter?

Does any of this matter? Well it does, if the world does not hear other voices with different messages. When I travel abroad the only semi-American outlet I get is CNN International, a rather liberal outlet, and in any event hardly Washington-sponsored propaganda. But almost everywhere I go I get Chinese CCTV in English and Aljazeera in English, news outlets whose primary function is to convey a message, rather than to inform.

America’s international prestige is also based on its reputation. If we let others who clearly do not love us define who we are, we shall lose our reputation and our credibility around the world. Somebody should pay attention.


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