Saturday, 1 April 2017

Propaganda TV

I've gone off Alex Salmond since he stood down as Scotland's First Minister because if you ask me, he loves the sound of his own voice too much and has all the appeal these days of a broken record.

But he's gone down in my estimation even further with the news that he's a frequent interviewee on the Kremlin's propaganda TV channel Russia Today.

According to the report below from The Herald Alex Salmond used a recent interview on Russia today to attack the BBC which is rather rich when you consider that the media in Russia is effectively state controlled these days.

So why UK politicians want to lend this Putin propaganda channel any credibility is beyond me although I do wonder if they are getting paid for their appearances?


SNP politicians appear 50 times on Kremlin channels such as RT and Sputnik

SCREEN GRAB.Alex Salmond being interviewed by Sophie Shevardnadze on Russia Today in 2013.

By David Leask - The Herald

SNP politicians have made nearly 50 appearances on Kremlin propaganda channels despite widespread concern over the outlets within their party.

Former First Minister Alex Salmond personally accounted for more than one-third of nationalist exposure on RT and Sputnik, according to media monitoring from the Scottish Conservatives.

The now MP appeared four times on RT, formerly Russia Today, in January alone as part of an otherwise relatively uncontroversial drive to raise international awareness of the SNP’s views on Brexit. Previously, Mr Salmond in 2015 used the channel, described as a key part of Russia’s state-funded disinformation campaign, to attack the BBC as a “mouthpiece of Tory propaganda”.

Russia Today (14/12/13)

I've taken to watching a new news channel recently - Russia Today - which as far as I can tell seems to consist of lots of people (presenters and contributors) who admire Russia greatly - while harbouring an intense dislike of the west.

Whenever Russia today covers some remotely controversial subject, a disaffected flunkey gets wheeled out to make an unflattering comparison between Nato countries like Britain or America - and good old mother Russia. 

During an industrial dispute or strike in Britain, for example, it is normal for some left wing politico, often an academic or swivel-eyed Trotskyist, to be wheeled out to tell the viewers that their country is going to hell in a handcart.

Because the Government is useless and politically corrupt - whereas we seldom see or hear very much about life under President Putin and his friends - for example, the recent barbaric treatment of Greenpeace activists.

Anyway I dearly wish that I had watched Russia Today during the great Grangemouth debacle involving the Unite trade union, its unimpressive leader Len McCluskey and the Labour Party selection contest in nearby Falkirk - which became bogged down in allegations of vote-rigging. 

Now that would have made great viewing I'm sure, for unintended comic reasons if nothing else, but my mind was on other things, I'm sad to say.

Yet every time I watch the programme, I ask myself the same question:

Do the people who control the editorial content of Russia Today understand that a similar programme could never be made in President Putin's Russia?  

If they do, then at least we can all sleep soundly in our beds - safe in the knowledge that, whatever else, irony is not dead.