Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Adam vs. Journalistic Integrity

The English Language News Channel Russia Today has three opinion shows that accompany their regular news shows. These are The Alyona Show, The Big Picture with Thomas Hartman, and Adam vs. the Man

On Friday July 8th, Adam Kokesh opened his show with a short segment on the newly independent country of Southern Sudan. He criticized the UN peacekeeping mission that is, with the permission of Southern Sudan, helping the country transition towards statehood. He equated the UN Mission in Sudan to colonialism. He then quoted the UN resolution reauthorizing the UN Mission in Southern Sudan which stated the UN’s goals to,

Support the political transition, establishing state authority throughout the country, and quote ‘an inclusive constitutional process, holding elections’, and according to the Associated Press establishing an independent media. Great, government supported independent media, trust me, there is no such thing.

Adam’s position is clear: governments the world over use state funded media to funnel propaganda to the masses and hide the truth. He clearly thinks that state funded journalism can never be trusted.

There is just one problem: Russia Today receives money from the Russian government. I actually have three sources to prove this, NPR’s On the Media, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Russia Today itself. Thus, Adam Kokesh is saying that we shouldn’t trust anything on his own network, ouch. Let’s hope he never tells his view of government supported media to his colleagues.

I would say that many government funded news media in the West do an outstanding job. NPR, PBS, BBC, and Al Jazeera English all do a great job in both reporting and investigative journalism. Russia Today, however, will take every opportunity it can to trash the American government and praise the Russian government.

One of the clearest incidents of RT’s pro-Russian slant came during the conflict between Georgia and Russia. Russia invaded Georgia after Georgia sent troops into two of its provinces that were trying to succeed. Atrocities were committed by both Russia and Georgia, but when William Dunbar, an RT correspondent, mentioned Russia’s bombing of Georgia, the rest of his scheduled reports for the day were cancelled. He then resigned and said of the incident,

The real news, the real facts of the matter, didn't conform to what they were trying to report, and therefore, they wouldn't let me report it.

Therefore, I do not put much trust into RT’s reporting. As for their opinion shows, I absolutely love the Alyona show and The Big Picture with Thomas Hartman. I have not watched much of Adam vs. the Man, but if this remark is in any way representative of how he normally behaves, I wouldn’t trust him any more than I trust RT’s reporting on Russia.

P.S. Here are two segments from RT that I like.  In the first clip Alyona Minkovski and Lawrence Wilkerson discuss US foreign policy and drone strikes. The second clip is one of Alyona’s weekly fireside chats where she lambastes Obama for declaring that Bradley Manning was guilty of leaking documents before he had been tried (even though there is no reasonable doubt that he was responsible, but that is for the judicial branch to decide).

Originally Posted July 13, 2011

CORRECTION (9/18/11): Apparently, Youtube doesn’t allow hyperlinks in video or channel comments. Therefore it was likely Youtube, not Adam vs. The Man, who took down my comment. The Update that alleged that RT took down that comment has been removed.

No comments:

Post a Comment