The Guardian is Quality Journalism? Think Again…

Only the Second Joint Statement in Four Years

April 25, 2020, marks the 75th Anniversary of the historic meeting between American and Soviet troops, who shook hands on the damaged bridge over the Elbe River. This event heralded the decisive defeat of the Nazi Regime.”

Thus reads the first paragraph of a joint statement by President Donald J. Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. This statement correctly is called “rare” by two of the very few mainstream media articles addressing it. Props to Reuters and the New York Post for this one. The only other time the US and Russia issued a joint statement or declaration was when they met in Helsinki back in July 2018.

Googling the press release using “trump putin joint statement” one would expect the page to be full of huge news corporation results but none of that is true. Apart from Reuters and the New York Post mentioned above, you’ll find a bunch of Australian sites and a Chinese one who cover it without much ado. [Mind and do note that Google results widely differ geographically. I ran them from Belgium.]

Mainstream Bias For All To See

Some others like The Hill, MarketWatch, The Week and Forbes apparently find ominous reasons for concern. They all cite the Wall Street Journal as the source for the unease. In the WSJ article, issueing the statement in and by itself is considered “a move” by the Russians as it immediately follows with a link to a 2017 article on the same site about how the Pentagon and the State Department “have complained about Russia’s behaviour”.

Why hark back to 2017 I wonder; these two organisations are consistently addressing Russia’s stance in the wider world quite negatively?

The WSJ addresses Russian fighter jets “buzzing American Navy planes over the Mediterranean Sea”; mentioning the (entirely unproven) accusation of “Russia-based news organizations spreading disinformation about [the] coronavirus”; and adduce that “Russia was providing critical military support for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s ongoing offensive in Idlib province” [sic].

Apart from the often cited “anonymous sources” which complete fabrications are often built on, a certain Angela Stent is mentioned by name. She authored some books like “The Limits of Partnership: US-Russian Relations in the 21st Century” in which her anti-Russian bias is “apparent” while “inconvenient history is not mentioned”.

Bleach Injections

Let’s compare this muted response to the disinfectant concoction which has been all too prevalent on mainstream news ever since Friday.

Using the Google query+Trump +disinfectant” which indicates that the results need to have both “Trump” and “disinfectant” in its article, we find – at the time of writing – over 4.000 pages retrievable on The Guardian alone. Measure that number against a “+Trump +Putin +Elbe +Statement site:theguardian.comquery and only 8 results are found; ALL but one of which back from 2017; the other being from 2015. In other words, the beacon of British quality journalism in the eyes of many, fails to even report on what is a “rare joint statement” at all.

The Extreme Bias Right Before You

Keeping a safe distance here in Antwerp we still are allowed outside and have the ability to talk to others. The people’s reaction to the disinfectant-story insanity is telling: “what a fool Trump is”, “he should inject it himself” then “we’d finally be rid of that fool”; “it goes to show how stupid and what a selfish asshole he really is” and so on.

What is worrying to me, is that this all leads to too much polarisation.

Mainstream, apparently, did its due with The Guardian apparently thinking that “Trump’s coronavirus disinfectant comments could be the tipping point”. The public at large had been given yet another reason to despise nr. 45 while it is the first president since before WWII who did not start any foreign intervention – – – as he promised. For comparison: Nobel Peace prize winner Obama started seven wars, the other winner Carter started four. Even JFK did the same! We’ll be quiet about both Bushes and Reagan.

Some Examples

Yet here we have a president who is villified by the general “enlightened” public (as they read “The Guardian” among other mumbo-jumbo) because of some of the following. I’ll state the amount of page hits again:

  • About +Trump and +hands. 58.600 results. They include coverage of his “tiny hands”, “him and Theresa May holding hands”, “Melania not holding his hand”, multiple references about his “strange shaking hands” and so on. All very relevant, don’t you think?
  • About +Trump and +Shithole. 756 results. Remember this one which originated from The Washington Post? The topic led to worldwide outrage while the topic only was “according to several people briefed on the meeting” which doesn’t really tell a lot, does it?
  • About +Trump and his +Hair. 17.800 results.
  • About +Trump and his (lack of) +etiquette: 1220 results.
  • Etcetera

What I am getting at is this: isn’t it remarkable that incredibly benign as well as flat out lies and / or misinterpretations get a lot more coverage than a “rare joint statement”? One which carries a message of hope and cooperation – no less?

I think it does and it goes to show how amazingly biased mainstream news really is about both presidents. It also demonstrates how easily the public at large are led astray forming their opinion based on these “reputable” sources’ flat out propagandistic coverage.

Insults To Injury

In closure, people with an opinion like mine above are often very easily dismissed as being “pro-Trump”, a “Putin-lover” or a “Russian bot” by these same consumers feasting on the mainstream bias.

What is worrying to me, is that this all leads to too much polarisation.

Maybe it’s time mainstream injects itself with some bleach then to root out that biased propagandistic “news” virus as these media are not anymore doing what the Fourth Pillar of Democracy should do…

That is to bring us objective facts without slanted innuendo. To bring us all sides of a story with which you, as a reader, can really #makeupyourownmind with.

Joris De Draeck

Ever since the early 00's Joris De Draeck has had an extreme interest in international politics. Increasingly, he has grown weary of how the media portrays the conflicts and has become disappointed in how the backgrounds are left undisclosed and untouched upon.

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