Martin Jay
March 16, 2022
© Photo: REUTERS/POOL New

Western media has gorged itself on the idea that there is no nuances worth looking at in the war and no place for any factual reporting.

Peak fake news reached a climax in early March when social media circulated a video of the Ukrainian president singing a duet with his wife.

A music video of a cover of Diana Ross and Lionel Richie’s “Endless Love” has been miscaptioned online, with social media users claiming it depicts Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine singing. The performers in the video, however, were English singer Connie Talbot and Boyce Avenue’s singer Alejandro Manzano.

What is particularly worrying is how quickly it circulated and just how many people were prepared to believe it – as it fitted nicely into their polarized and distorted view of the conflict in the Ukraine, with Zelensky portrayed as some sort of saint and Putin the devil. Zelensky, who probably walks on water and invented a cure for cancer while still in school, has become, due to western media’s obsession with oversimplifying all conflict, almost sub-human, ironicised as a living prophet.

This surely can be the only explanation as to why western journalists have so much trouble reporting him for stashing almost 600m USD in share options in the British Virgin Islands – which he transferred just days before the invasion to a close friend – or any number of other news items which challenge the lucid black and white picture we are asked to accept with regards to the conflict.

Does he also have links to far right groups, which have for decades also been supported by the CIA and State Department? Probably.

These and other awkward questions which journalists once upon a time were expected to ask, are now left off the table completely as western media has gorged itself on the idea that there is no nuances worth looking at in the war and no place for any factual reporting.

The problem with this is that it only encourages sloppy journalism both on the ground and back in the newsrooms of western capitals where both groups of hacks start to actually cross the line of ‘fact’ to ‘perceived truth’ and start to make shit up.

Cast your mind back to just two weeks ago when big title media ran with the angle that China wasn’t supporting Putin and Beijing was very angry about the invasion etc etc.

Is this really true? Many western titles fervently pushed this narrative but struggled really to come up with anything concrete to support it. And then more recently reports emerged that China was refusing to supply Russia with parts for its aircraft, only to be followed by a report in the NYT, citing anonymous U.S. officials, that China was indeed “supporting” Russia in its invasion in Ukraine. Surely if China is not assisting Russia, then there would be no reason to threaten Beijing with sanctions which is precisely what Jake Sullivan did when he met Chinese Politburo officials in Rome just recently.

But China is actually making a killing as well in the Ukraine war but far from the battlefields, which might explain why the confused reporting helps surround it and others with an opaqueness which suits it quite well. Beijing is looking to cut news deals with Russia while buying cut price oil from the Saudis – which wouldn’t be too much of a body blow normally to the U.S., if the deal wasn’t done in Yuan rather than dollars. China really couldn’t have pulled off a better win-win stunt at the price of Ukrainian blood, if it wanted to, so it’s hard to swallow the jaded narrative that it has somehow fallen out with Putin. India is also cleaning up by buying cheap oil at discount prices from Russia.

Those two countries alone make up a huge slice of global business, bypassing U.S. sanctions. The war in Ukraine is part of a decades-long failed policy by the West to impose its financial and geopolitical ideologies on so-called Eastern countries while not having to invest in the political risks associated with military ‘hard power’.

Libya, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and even Yugoslavia in the early nineties have all fallen victim to uprisings backed by Washington which attempted to overthrow allies of Russia in a new post-Cold War agenda. How Ukraine and the reporting on the ground is presented to us is to avoid making any comparisons whatsoever with those other failed coups d’etat and the tawdry handling by western agents who have way too much blood on their hands. Ukraine, despite the incredibly sad pictures of civilians being killed in the most horrific way, hardly compares in numbers to what the U.S. is capable of doing when it wants to show force. In Iraq, 6000 civilians were mowed down by an advancing U.S. army in a number of a few days.

What is unique however about Ukraine and its conflict is that it will create a new cold war as the polarization of two blocs had already begun before it started, but has now got well under way with Russia, China and India emerging as a new empire which doesn’t need the Swift banking system or U.S. business (directly) and stopped taking the U.S. seriously when Obama threated to, er, do something to Assad in Syria if he crossed a line on chemical weapons. Soft diplomacy is only useful if you punctuate it with its harder version which is what real superpowers do. The real story about Ukraine is that it probably wouldn’t have happened if Joe Biden wasn’t vice president in 2014 and started to play a dirty game of installing his own puppet as leader of the country to score points against Putin. And it wouldn’t continue now with the bloodshed if Biden wasn’t so weak and fearful of Putin. Zelensky’s address to the U.S. Congress to ask for a NATO no fly zone might as well be a duet he sings with his wife as it will fall on deaf ears to a U.S. president who we can only hope will not refer to the Ukrainians as “Iranians”.

Ukrainian Leader Picks Up His Guitar and Plays for Biden’s No Fly Zone

Western media has gorged itself on the idea that there is no nuances worth looking at in the war and no place for any factual reporting.

Peak fake news reached a climax in early March when social media circulated a video of the Ukrainian president singing a duet with his wife.

A music video of a cover of Diana Ross and Lionel Richie’s “Endless Love” has been miscaptioned online, with social media users claiming it depicts Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine singing. The performers in the video, however, were English singer Connie Talbot and Boyce Avenue’s singer Alejandro Manzano.

What is particularly worrying is how quickly it circulated and just how many people were prepared to believe it – as it fitted nicely into their polarized and distorted view of the conflict in the Ukraine, with Zelensky portrayed as some sort of saint and Putin the devil. Zelensky, who probably walks on water and invented a cure for cancer while still in school, has become, due to western media’s obsession with oversimplifying all conflict, almost sub-human, ironicised as a living prophet.

This surely can be the only explanation as to why western journalists have so much trouble reporting him for stashing almost 600m USD in share options in the British Virgin Islands – which he transferred just days before the invasion to a close friend – or any number of other news items which challenge the lucid black and white picture we are asked to accept with regards to the conflict.

Does he also have links to far right groups, which have for decades also been supported by the CIA and State Department? Probably.

These and other awkward questions which journalists once upon a time were expected to ask, are now left off the table completely as western media has gorged itself on the idea that there is no nuances worth looking at in the war and no place for any factual reporting.

The problem with this is that it only encourages sloppy journalism both on the ground and back in the newsrooms of western capitals where both groups of hacks start to actually cross the line of ‘fact’ to ‘perceived truth’ and start to make shit up.

Cast your mind back to just two weeks ago when big title media ran with the angle that China wasn’t supporting Putin and Beijing was very angry about the invasion etc etc.

Is this really true? Many western titles fervently pushed this narrative but struggled really to come up with anything concrete to support it. And then more recently reports emerged that China was refusing to supply Russia with parts for its aircraft, only to be followed by a report in the NYT, citing anonymous U.S. officials, that China was indeed “supporting” Russia in its invasion in Ukraine. Surely if China is not assisting Russia, then there would be no reason to threaten Beijing with sanctions which is precisely what Jake Sullivan did when he met Chinese Politburo officials in Rome just recently.

But China is actually making a killing as well in the Ukraine war but far from the battlefields, which might explain why the confused reporting helps surround it and others with an opaqueness which suits it quite well. Beijing is looking to cut news deals with Russia while buying cut price oil from the Saudis – which wouldn’t be too much of a body blow normally to the U.S., if the deal wasn’t done in Yuan rather than dollars. China really couldn’t have pulled off a better win-win stunt at the price of Ukrainian blood, if it wanted to, so it’s hard to swallow the jaded narrative that it has somehow fallen out with Putin. India is also cleaning up by buying cheap oil at discount prices from Russia.

Those two countries alone make up a huge slice of global business, bypassing U.S. sanctions. The war in Ukraine is part of a decades-long failed policy by the West to impose its financial and geopolitical ideologies on so-called Eastern countries while not having to invest in the political risks associated with military ‘hard power’.

Libya, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and even Yugoslavia in the early nineties have all fallen victim to uprisings backed by Washington which attempted to overthrow allies of Russia in a new post-Cold War agenda. How Ukraine and the reporting on the ground is presented to us is to avoid making any comparisons whatsoever with those other failed coups d’etat and the tawdry handling by western agents who have way too much blood on their hands. Ukraine, despite the incredibly sad pictures of civilians being killed in the most horrific way, hardly compares in numbers to what the U.S. is capable of doing when it wants to show force. In Iraq, 6000 civilians were mowed down by an advancing U.S. army in a number of a few days.

What is unique however about Ukraine and its conflict is that it will create a new cold war as the polarization of two blocs had already begun before it started, but has now got well under way with Russia, China and India emerging as a new empire which doesn’t need the Swift banking system or U.S. business (directly) and stopped taking the U.S. seriously when Obama threated to, er, do something to Assad in Syria if he crossed a line on chemical weapons. Soft diplomacy is only useful if you punctuate it with its harder version which is what real superpowers do. The real story about Ukraine is that it probably wouldn’t have happened if Joe Biden wasn’t vice president in 2014 and started to play a dirty game of installing his own puppet as leader of the country to score points against Putin. And it wouldn’t continue now with the bloodshed if Biden wasn’t so weak and fearful of Putin. Zelensky’s address to the U.S. Congress to ask for a NATO no fly zone might as well be a duet he sings with his wife as it will fall on deaf ears to a U.S. president who we can only hope will not refer to the Ukrainians as “Iranians”.

Western media has gorged itself on the idea that there is no nuances worth looking at in the war and no place for any factual reporting.

Peak fake news reached a climax in early March when social media circulated a video of the Ukrainian president singing a duet with his wife.

A music video of a cover of Diana Ross and Lionel Richie’s “Endless Love” has been miscaptioned online, with social media users claiming it depicts Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine singing. The performers in the video, however, were English singer Connie Talbot and Boyce Avenue’s singer Alejandro Manzano.

What is particularly worrying is how quickly it circulated and just how many people were prepared to believe it – as it fitted nicely into their polarized and distorted view of the conflict in the Ukraine, with Zelensky portrayed as some sort of saint and Putin the devil. Zelensky, who probably walks on water and invented a cure for cancer while still in school, has become, due to western media’s obsession with oversimplifying all conflict, almost sub-human, ironicised as a living prophet.

This surely can be the only explanation as to why western journalists have so much trouble reporting him for stashing almost 600m USD in share options in the British Virgin Islands – which he transferred just days before the invasion to a close friend – or any number of other news items which challenge the lucid black and white picture we are asked to accept with regards to the conflict.

Does he also have links to far right groups, which have for decades also been supported by the CIA and State Department? Probably.

These and other awkward questions which journalists once upon a time were expected to ask, are now left off the table completely as western media has gorged itself on the idea that there is no nuances worth looking at in the war and no place for any factual reporting.

The problem with this is that it only encourages sloppy journalism both on the ground and back in the newsrooms of western capitals where both groups of hacks start to actually cross the line of ‘fact’ to ‘perceived truth’ and start to make shit up.

Cast your mind back to just two weeks ago when big title media ran with the angle that China wasn’t supporting Putin and Beijing was very angry about the invasion etc etc.

Is this really true? Many western titles fervently pushed this narrative but struggled really to come up with anything concrete to support it. And then more recently reports emerged that China was refusing to supply Russia with parts for its aircraft, only to be followed by a report in the NYT, citing anonymous U.S. officials, that China was indeed “supporting” Russia in its invasion in Ukraine. Surely if China is not assisting Russia, then there would be no reason to threaten Beijing with sanctions which is precisely what Jake Sullivan did when he met Chinese Politburo officials in Rome just recently.

But China is actually making a killing as well in the Ukraine war but far from the battlefields, which might explain why the confused reporting helps surround it and others with an opaqueness which suits it quite well. Beijing is looking to cut news deals with Russia while buying cut price oil from the Saudis – which wouldn’t be too much of a body blow normally to the U.S., if the deal wasn’t done in Yuan rather than dollars. China really couldn’t have pulled off a better win-win stunt at the price of Ukrainian blood, if it wanted to, so it’s hard to swallow the jaded narrative that it has somehow fallen out with Putin. India is also cleaning up by buying cheap oil at discount prices from Russia.

Those two countries alone make up a huge slice of global business, bypassing U.S. sanctions. The war in Ukraine is part of a decades-long failed policy by the West to impose its financial and geopolitical ideologies on so-called Eastern countries while not having to invest in the political risks associated with military ‘hard power’.

Libya, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and even Yugoslavia in the early nineties have all fallen victim to uprisings backed by Washington which attempted to overthrow allies of Russia in a new post-Cold War agenda. How Ukraine and the reporting on the ground is presented to us is to avoid making any comparisons whatsoever with those other failed coups d’etat and the tawdry handling by western agents who have way too much blood on their hands. Ukraine, despite the incredibly sad pictures of civilians being killed in the most horrific way, hardly compares in numbers to what the U.S. is capable of doing when it wants to show force. In Iraq, 6000 civilians were mowed down by an advancing U.S. army in a number of a few days.

What is unique however about Ukraine and its conflict is that it will create a new cold war as the polarization of two blocs had already begun before it started, but has now got well under way with Russia, China and India emerging as a new empire which doesn’t need the Swift banking system or U.S. business (directly) and stopped taking the U.S. seriously when Obama threated to, er, do something to Assad in Syria if he crossed a line on chemical weapons. Soft diplomacy is only useful if you punctuate it with its harder version which is what real superpowers do. The real story about Ukraine is that it probably wouldn’t have happened if Joe Biden wasn’t vice president in 2014 and started to play a dirty game of installing his own puppet as leader of the country to score points against Putin. And it wouldn’t continue now with the bloodshed if Biden wasn’t so weak and fearful of Putin. Zelensky’s address to the U.S. Congress to ask for a NATO no fly zone might as well be a duet he sings with his wife as it will fall on deaf ears to a U.S. president who we can only hope will not refer to the Ukrainians as “Iranians”.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

See also

November 23, 2022
November 27, 2022
November 21, 2022
July 27, 2022

See also

November 23, 2022
November 27, 2022
November 21, 2022
July 27, 2022
The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.