samedi 5 mai 2018

Russian anti-western and anti-european propaganda


A recent survey of the three main Russian television channels produced some stark analysis of what Russians are hearing about Europe. Researchers examined newscasts and political talk shows from summer 2014 to December 2017. They found that negative news about Europe appeared on the three channels an average 18 times per day. The percentage of negative to positive news about European countries is 85 percent to 15 percent; for some European countries the ratio is even more skewed. France — perhaps because its most recent presidential election featured Marine Le Pen, a clearly pro-Russian candidate who lost to a pro-European one — was depicted negatively most often.

Most of the stories, ranging from big news events to local murders to sheer inventions (“the German government is taking children away from their families and giving them to gay couples”) fit into a particular set of narratives. Daily life in Europe is depicted as frightening and chaotic; Europeans are weak, with declining morality and no common values; terrorism keeps people paralyzed with fear; the refugee crisis is getting worse all the time; sanctions on Russia have backfired and are now undermining the European economy and destroying the welfare state. Russia, in the version of the world depicted here, does not need a welfare state, since its citizens are so much hardier.

This research echoes earlier studies, such as one from last year , that also noted how often the European Union is shown by Russian media as aggressive and interventionist, alternately planning to use Ukraine as a dumping ground for nuclear waste, or merely forcing its members to adopt “Russophobic” policies.

The uses of this kind of coverage aren’t hard to guess. Clearly, it is not in the Russian state’s interest for the Russian nation to admire Europe, not for its democracy or its rule of law, and certainly not for its high standards of living. The memory of the Maidan protest of 2014 — young Ukrainians protesting in Kiev, waving European flags and calling for an end to corruption — is still fresh enough to be frightening in Moscow. If the Putin regime can undermine the idea of “Europe” and make it unattractive to Russians — most of whom have long identified themselves as Europeans — then it removes a source of hope, and a possible model. If Europe is crazy, twisted, dangerous and dying, then surely Russians are better off under their corrupt authoritarian system.

I often try to parody and satirize the kind of Russian anti-western propaganda that has become ubiquitous in Russian media.

Common themes are:

The west is sick and evil. Sweden and Germany is filled with gay pedophile deviants who let muslamics rapefugees take their women (because the men obviously own them). They are all russophobes who detest us because of our superiority, they can't stand that Putin has pulled glorious mother Russia from the mud where they and Russian traitors left us. They hate the Russian people and lie about us all the time, constantly framing us everything bad that has ever happened event-though they are the ones to support terrorists in Syria and nazis in Ukraine. We don't need their pathetic homosexual "democracy".

It might sound over-the-top and highly exaggerated, but really this is how the Russian government tries to portray western countries. The main reason for this is obvious: they want to isolate their people from European values such as democracy, rule of law and human rights.

This is why it pushes the idea that Russian people don't need these things, instead they need to be ruled with an iron fist and guided by "traditional orthodox values".

via International Skeptics Forum

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