The Media War: Half-Truths and Outright Lies

In last week’s editorial about Russia’s media war, various ways to counter the spread of Russian propaganda were illustrated. Namely, writing letters to the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission), your local MP’s and cable providers to insist that channels like Russia Today be brought off air as the majority of what they are reporting are half-truths at best and outright lies at worse.
However, there are other avenues that Russia uses to spread mis-information and dis-information about the Ukrainian situation: namely, their western ‘academic’ partners. We all know the controversy over Stephen F. Cohen in the USA but here in Canada we have our own version and his name is Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – Professor (Emeritus) of Economics at the University of Ottawa and the president and director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). With a title like that, one would imagine Prof. Chossudovsky would be researching the spread and influence of globalization in non-biased ways; however, don’t let the name fool you – the CRG is one of the leading anti-West propaganda “think-tanks” in Canada.
The CRG is staffed by others who share Prof. Chossudovsky’s enthusiasm. Julie Levesque, a journalist and researcher at CRG, wrote once that the Tsarnaev brothers (who bombed the Boston Marathon in 2013) were killed by the American government because they were US intelligence assets. Ms. Levesque is also a regular contributor to Russia Today (RT).
Prof. Chossudovsky has been criticized by other ethnic groups as being controversy- and conspiracy-driven: in the year 2000, Prof. Chossudovsky was criticized as being “an apologist of the Milosevic regime” (in the book Bosnia, Kosovo and the West by Karadjis, published in 2000, p. 207) and in 2005 he was accused of being anti-Jewish in the Jewish Tribune.
He now pays a lot of attention to the war in Ukraine and the downing of MH-17. We found the articles on the web-site Globalresearch.ca hard to read as they look like they are dedicated to abstract conspiracy theories rather than research-based work. There is an article using ‘expert’ opinion from some German pilot who is also a mysterious air-technology expert (how and where he got the credentials for this expertise is not known) to discuss the MH-17 disaster.
Prof. Chossudovsky uses this German air pilot’s ‘expertise’ to state that the plane was not downed by a missile since the holes look to be made from machine guns however he also states that the OSCE (which has experts who have knowledge and background in examining air disasters) believes that the plane was “downed by a missile.” Various experts (including OSCE ones) agree that the holes in the plane were more than likely caused by shrapnel which BUK missiles contain.
This evidence is apparently not enough for Prof. Chossudovsky who includes eyewitness accounts of the events: a witness claims that a military aircraft (a smaller Ukrainian SU-25 ground assault plane, one can gather from the article) “was flying under it, because it could be seen. It was proceeding underneath”. How the details of a small plane’s maneuvers at the altitude of 11,000 m could be seen by the naked eye is not known. These “testimonials” are now subject of jokes, one of which came from a Russian TV host Vladimir Soloviev who is otherwise known as a strong Putin supporter. Set aside a simple fact that SU-25’s service ceiling is 7,000 m at best, from which it could hardly have reached the MH-17 with its guns (which seems to be Chossudovsky’s hypothesis).
Prof. Chossudovsky also uses statements by the Russian Ministry of Defence which insist that the Ukrainian Air Force was to blame for this disaster. He concludes the article “Support MH17 Truth” with: “the evidence does not support the official US narrative”. Well, in our opinion, the evidence does not support his claim either.
That is the overall issue at play – suggested evidence which contradicts the truth from those reporting from the ground. Those who believe such half-truths are, fortunately, those who ignore mainstream media – the part of the population who also believe that 9/11 was an American government cover-up or that some secret organization is responsible for all the evils of the world. Unfortunately, sometimes even mainstream media has picked up this kind of views. Again, Stephen F. Cohen’s numerous appearances on CNN is a good example of this.
What we as the media must do is report the truth – and in that conspiracy theories and impossible hypotheses must not be included. What we the viewers of the media must do is report those who stray into propaganda and outright lies. This is what Euromaidan Canada and thousands of concerned Canadians have done. In an exclusive with the New Pathway, Euromaidan Canada was happy to announce that the CRTC, along with other Canadian authorities, have launched a full investigation into the reporting of RT. Hopefully, we will have some good news to update you on in the upcoming weeks. This is a step in the right direction but we must keep raising our voice on behalf of Ukraine to ensure that the lies do not spread.

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