ABC reduced to running American propaganda on Four Corners

The level to which Australia’s government-funded media corporation, the ABC, has sunk is illustrated by the fact that in a slot reserved for its main investigative stories, it ran an American propaganda documentary from the American publicly-funded outlet PBS on 3 July.

Vladimir Putin.
Vladimir Putin.

Titled “Putin and the Presidents”, the documentary made no effort to disguise itself, conveniently leaving out masses of context in its bid to paint the Russian president as the villain supreme.

It covers Putin’s interactions with American presidents from Bill Clinton onwards, painting the American leaders as trying to get along with the Russian president, while he did everything to spoil relationships.

One can understand the American obsession with Putin; at the moment, he is the administration’s bete noire, standing between Washington and NATO membership for Ukraine.

The US and its allies spout a narrative that lays the blame for the Ukraine war totally on Putin.

No American mainstream media outlet ever provides a balanced perspective on the war, though some American academics, notably John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, have been at pains to point out that the conflict is primarily America’s fault.

The ABC appears to be more than happy to join the conga line of Washington backers.

One lost count of the number of CIA people who appeared to badmouth Putin; prominent among them were former CIA chief John Brennan and ex-director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, both of whom have been guilty of the same sin in the past: perjury.

Some of the images of Putin made him look like a shadowy villain; even the fact that he slouches when he sits came in for criticism. It was puerile to say the least.

Not a single Russian who had a balanced view about Putin was interviewed. All the Russians who spoke to PBS had their guns levelled at the Russian president.

And the program also repeated the myth about Russian involvement in the US presidential elections of 2016, and blamed Putin for Donald Trump’s win.

This is the same thesis that was spouted by one of the ABC’s brightest stars, Sarah Ferguson, who spent three weeks on Four Corners, on what the ABC trumpeted as the “story of the century“.

On the claim that Russia was behind the leaking of emails about Hillary Clinton that allegedly played a big part in Trump’s success, American security firm CrowdStrike, which was called in to investigate the alleged Russian hack of DNC servers in 2016, has said clearly it had no proof that any emails from the system had been exfiltrated despite public assertions that this had occurred.

The transcript of an interview released by the US Government in May 2020, from an interview conducted with CrowdStrike’s president of services and chief security officer Shawn Henry by the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in December 2017, made this fact plain.

It was released to the US Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who conducted a two-year inquiry into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential poll..

While the exfiltration of emails from the DNC server has been accepted as a proven fact, Henry’s answers to queries from committee members make it clear that this was definitely not the case.

In one typical exchange, Henry was asked, “What about the emails that everyone is so, you know, knowledgeable of? Were there also indicators that they were prepared but not evidence that they actually were exfiltrated?”

To this Henry responded, “There’s not evidence that they were actually exfiltrated. There’s circumstantial evidence – but no evidence that they were actually exfiltrated.”

More recently, the Canadian investigative journalist Aaron Mate exposed the role played by the FBI in the deception. Mate has written a number of articles on the subject, all of which are worth a read.

But the ABC never admits it is wrong about anything. One recent example is here.

However, it is not doing its reputation any good by mindlessly running American propaganda on the slot reserved for Four Corners. The corporation has enough problems to deal with, a decrease in audience, controversies over sacking of staff etc. It can ill-afford to alienate its viewers any more.

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