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Anti-Russia propaganda in the ‘impartial’ British mainstream media


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Note - this article is NOT meant to be outright support for the Russian government, nor for President Putin nor the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, but instead focusses on the overly simplistic, blatant Hollywood-style propaganda that has portrayed Putin and Russia as the ‘boo-hiss’ villains, and portrayed President Zelensky and his allies as the ‘heroes’.

 

A couple of weeks after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there were quite a few programmes on mainstream British TV and Radio (supposedly ‘impartial’) that had an anti-Russia theme, but some of which were made before - and scheduled before - the start of the invasion (February 24th 2022). 

 

For example, 10 days after the invasion, on March 6th 2022, one of Britain’s supposedly ‘impartial’ public service broadcasters – ITV - aired the first episode of their modern version of the ‘Cold War’ spy thriller, “The Ipcress File”, based on the 1962 novel of the same name. ITV had announced their decision to make the series back in December 2020. Filming started in early 2021, so the ‘pandemic’ obviously wasn’t a problem for them. A “Guardian” newspaper review of the first episode noted the contemporary resonance: 

 

“The Ipcress File review – a working-class hero takes on the might of Russia” (STUART JEFFRIES, March 6th 2022, “The Guardian”). 

 

“ITV’s reboot of Len Deighton’s cold war spy thriller has Joe Cole as Harry Palmer sorting out the mess left by public school boys. Sound familiar?” 

 

“One of our scientists is missing. He’s been kidnapped from the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, possibly by Kremlin minions who want him to tell them how to make a neutron bomb 3,000 times more destructive than the one that hit Hiroshima. I’m not saying Nato’s nuclear secrets are poised to fall into the lap of a latter-day Napoleon overcompensating for his shortcomings with military barbarism, but it’s too soon to rule out the possibility.” 

 

“Thankfully, this is a TV review not a news story, but the contemporary resonances are unmissable, even if the makers of this six-part adaptation of Len Deighton’s 1962 thriller couldn’t have envisaged their audience would be playing extras in a real-life cold war sequel.” 

 

“What makes The Ipcress File worth reviving is that now, as then, the Etonian death grip on politics and public service imperils Britain more than any tooled-up Russian.” 

Here’s the link to the full article: 

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2022/mar/06/the-ipcress-file-review-a-working-class-hero-takes-on-the-might-of-russia

 

Note in the above article the anti-Boris Johnson/anti-Tory/anti-Right-Wing comment by the “Guardian” journalist (a centre-left newspaper), which is another common theme at the moment in the ‘impartial’ British media, thereby making it more likely that a General Election would be won by the centre-left Labour Party.

 

On March 11th, ITV broadcast the anti-Russia movie “Rocky IV” (at 10-45pm), but not in isolation, instead following on from earlier broadcasts in February and March of the whole “Rocky” series. “Rocky IV”, released in 1985 when the ‘Cold War’ was still going, features the ‘evil’ Russian boxer IVAN DRAGO.  

 

A curious bit of honesty about media bias towards Ukraine was in the BBC’s TV and radio listings magazine “Radio Times”, in an article provocatively titled “Should TV news take sides?” (April 9th 2022). Written by a former BBC trainee, STEWART PURVIS (CBE), who also was an executive (‘Partner’) at the UK’s media regulator OFCOM, the subtitle was “I worry when broadcasters stand with Ukraine against Russia”. Purvis wrote that he fully supported Ukraine, and that he had actually helped Ukrainian TV journalists back in 2005 to embrace Western ways, but, he wrote, “...I wonder if we are becoming intolerant of anything outside consensus viewpoints? Or maybe I’m the only viewer who’s a bit squeamish that we now don’t seem to practice what I used to preach”. I wonder if Purvis had an ulterior motive for his article, because he had a long career in mainstream TV news, becoming Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief of ITN (ITN produces the daily news programmes for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 in the UK). During his time heading ITN, Purvis was President of the international news channel, EURONEWS (set up by the EUROPEAN BROADCASTING UNION). Purvis helped to launch EuroNews into Russia as that country’s first international rolling news channel in Russian on terrestrial television. Purvis was a non-executive Director of Channel 4. Purvis’ article seems to me to blame national governments for much biased news reporting, suggesting to me that he could be a globalist. He wrote: “This is all part of a global battle for “soft power”, in which states use their broadcasters to compete for influence around the world.” 

 

Just a week after the Russian invasion, on March 2nd 2022, the BBC aired an anti-Putin documentary that had already been shown the year before in Russia and other countries: “Tango with Putin: Storyville”, which had been originally scheduled by the BBC for a week later (9th March), according to the magazine “Broadcast”:  

 

“BBC brings forward Storyville [documentary] about rebel Russian journalists”

 

“The BBC has brought forward the TX [transmission] date of a Storyville doc about anti-Putin Russian journalists in light of the ongoing events in Ukraine. Tango with Putin from London-based indies [independent film producers] Roast Beef Productions and Six Days, was originally set to air next week, but will air tonight at 10pm on BBC4.” (By Ellie Kahn, 2 March 2022). 

 

Here’s the full online article by “Broadcast”: 

https://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/bbc/bbc-brings-forward-storyville-about-rebel-russian-journalists/5168254.article 

 

“Tango with Putin” was repeated on BBC2 on March 24th 2022. 

 

“Tango with Putin” has an intriguing background with significant Israeli/Jewish connections and even a connection to Putin’s longtime political ally, DMITRY MEDVEDEV, so I will deal with it separately in another article: “Tango With Putin”.

 

On March 9th 2022, BBC4 cancelled the evening broadcast of 2 Russia-themed programmes; one of them was the aforementioned “Tango With Putin” that had been moved to a week earlier. The other program was “Russia on Four Wheels”: a travel documentary in which BBC presenters explored the different sides of Russia, e.g., its’ very wealthy capitalists. 

 

On March 11th, Channel 4’s highly biased satirical show “The Last Leg” flew the Ukraine flag quite literally, as its’ flag sat prominently displayed on the desk of host Adam Hills.

 

On March 11th, BBC Radio 4’s satirical show “The Now Show” pointed out that Boris Johnson admired Putin, but not politically. 

 

On March 15th, BBC4 repeated an episode of the 1980s BBC political sitcom series, “Yes, Prime Minister”, in which MI5 reveals that a former head was working for the Russians. That episode, “One of Us” (Series 1, episode 8), was broadcast in sequence, thus the first episode of the series had been broadcast back in January 2022, well before the Russian invasion. That first episode, “The Grand Design”, originally aired in 1986 during the Cold War, includes a discussion of Russia’s superior military forces compared to Britain’s forces. “The Grand Design” got repeated again on March 19th, but within a long radio documentary (“Hackers and Humphreys All”) originally aired in 2016.  

 

Another episode of “Yes, Prime Minister” with a Russian theme was aired on March 22nd. In “Man Overboard” (series 2, episode 1), the opening scene involves a discussion about a hypothetical Russian invasion of Britain. 

 

On March 18th, Channel 5 (another public service broadcaster) showed 2 Russia-themed programmes in succession; first was a documentary on the remains of the Russian site of the nuclear power plant in CHERNOBYL that exploded in 1986: “Inside Chernobyl with Ben Fogle”; second was the Cold War movie, “The Hunt for Red October”, about a rogue Russian naval captain who wishes to defect to the USA. 

 

 

More to come...

 

Edited by Grumpy Grapes
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On March 5th 2022, just over a week after the Russian invasion, BBC1 aired the first episode of the final series of “Killing Eve”, about a heartless Russian psychopathic assassin who is pursued by a MI5 agent. The show was based on the 2017 novel “Codename Villanelle” and produced by Sid Gentle Films Ltd for BBC America. 

 

On March 26th, Channel 4 showed the first episode of a 2-part documentary, “Chernobyl: The New Evidence”, exploring recently de-classified KGB files that reveal that the explosion was preceded by cover-ups. 

 

On April 3rd, BBC2 broadcasted the 1st episode of a 2-part documentary on the ‘Cold War’ relationship between American President Ronald Reagan and British PM Margaret Thatcher, entitled “Thatcher and Reagan: A Very Special Relationship”, presented by Thatcher’s official biographer CHARLES MOORE who 2 days earlier had an article on Ukraine published in “The Telegraph” newspaper (which he once edited):  

“Ukraine has inspired the West by example to relearn the lessons of Thatcher and Reagan: The British prime minister convinced her US ally that armed aggression must never be allowed to succeed” (April 1st, 2022). 

 

Moore’s documentary had been commissioned by the BBC well before the Russian invasion, in November 2021.  

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Russia made a mistake going into Ukraine. They may think they 'own' Russian minorities in Ukraine, Georgia and wherever but that's just not how it works. If they want to aid the Russians and their culture within Ukraine then they ought to use soft power measures. Starting a war and talk of ''denazification'' is a load of rubbish and part of the ''WWII complex'' that so many white people have for so many decades, like everything has to be compared with WWII for god's sake.

 

People are recreating roles and a theatre where they can play the role of a Nazi-destroyer, or Saviour of Christianity, or Champion of the Jews, and all sorts of other identities. You get black people identifying with slaves from centuries ago and demanding money, and you get white people taking up the mantle of the slave owner and apologising.

 

Maybe history is just dead and that's why people are recreating these roles and revisiting these tropes. Or maybe this has always happened in every era, where people abuse history to fatten their own pockets.

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2 hours ago, Firebird said:

Russia made a mistake going into Ukraine. They may think they 'own' Russian minorities in Ukraine, Georgia and wherever but that's just not how it works.

 

i think there are different levels to this but on the surface level the argument for the conflict is that russia does not want ukraine to become part of NATO as that would allow nato to put forward missile bases right on the doorstep of moscow

 

It would be like russia putting missiles in canada that are pointed at the US. Jewish neo-cons like victoria nuland orchestrated the coup in ukraine in 2014 and have ever since been seeking to pave the way towards the absorption of ukraine into NATO including the instalment of a jewish actor as the ukrainian leader

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