As you read or watch the mainstream U.S. media accounts of the Ukrainian government’s military offensive against ethnic Russians in East Ukraine, it’s worth remembering that these MSM outlets have been feeding Americans a highly biased narrative of the crisis non-stop from the beginning.
For instance, New York Times correspondent David M. Herszenhorn included in a largely celebratory account of the Ukrainian blitzkrieg that overwhelmed ethnic Russian positions in the town of Slovyansk on Saturday this summary of the conflict’s background:
“The separatist rebellion is the latest, bloodiest chapter in a crisis that began in November after Viktor F. Yanukovych, then Ukraine’s president, rejected a trade accord he had promised to sign with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia. Protesters took to the streets of Kiev, eventually driving Mr. Yanukovych from office. Within a week, Russia invaded Crimea, then annexed the peninsula.”
Herszenhorn, like nearly all his MSM colleagues, simply can’t find it within himself to display the journalistic integrity needed to present an evenhanded and unbiased explication of how this crisis unfolded. Instead, it’s all about blaming Ukraine’s elected President Yanukovych and Russian President Vladimir Putin for everything.
Always absent is the fact that the EU’s trade accord came with a draconian International Monetary Fund austerity plan attached, a prescription to inflict even more pain on the people of Ukraine who have suffered under a post-Soviet economic system dominated by a handful of corrupt oligarchs. The IMF plan would have simply hit the average Ukrainian even harder – with elimination of heating subsidies and devaluation of their currency — while the Ukrainian oligarchs and their Western financial backers would have escaped the pain, as usual. In rejecting the IMF scheme, Yanukovych opted for a more generous $15 billion loan deal from Moscow.