Protesting Coal Miners in Ukraine

Right-wing publications are as dedicated to pushing Putinoid propaganda as the Leftie pro-Putin rag The Nation. Kremlin propaganda is always offered under the sauce of “We really want Ukraine to succeed but let’s keep in mind this string of Putin-generated myths that we will pretend have a connection to reality.”

Here is how The American Interest does it (and mind you, this is just one tiny example):

Throughout last week, armies of coal miners stormed Kyiv’s government district to protest unpaid wages and call for the sacking of Ukraine’s energy minister.

Of course, there were no “armies of coal miners.” The “coal miners” are actors whom we have already seen appear in Russian news segments as bus drivers from Lugansk, separatists in Gorlovka, persecuted Russian-speakers in Donetsk, etc. The moment I saw the very first newscast about the “protesting coal miners”, I immediately recognized one of them as the fake protester in my native city of Kharkiv from last year. (There are no coal mines anywhere around Kharkiv, in case you are wondering.)

Russian news sources hire these people to pose for newscasts. There is a million and one websites that are tracking every part each actor has played in the past year. All that a journalist needs to find this out is to do some actual research for the article. 

What I find especially curious is how both The Nation and The American Interest repeat pretty much verbatim the same stories that Putin’s media have been promoting in the past couple of weeks. These lazy, overpaid journalists are so unprofessional that they just repeat stupidly whatever idiotic line is being fed to them by the much more capable Russian propagandists.

5 thoughts on “Protesting Coal Miners in Ukraine

    1. Because this is a very easy way to create imagery for TV newscasts. And it obviously works since the Western media are lapping up the protesting miners, slain dissident journalists in Ukraine, and all this kind of crap as eagerly as the Russian viewers do.


  1. Reblogged this on JOHN HAYDEN REPORTING and commented:

    Misinformation is a dangerous plague spread throughout the Web and what remains of the Mainstream Media. Propaganda and lies have always been with us. But before the rise of cable TV and the internet, dedicated newspapers in the West were able to filter out at least the worst misinformation. Many newspapers and journalists were dedicated to finding and reporting the truth, and they had sufficient resources for the job.

    With the demise of the newspaper industry, it’s become possible for propagandists to manufacture a fake “reality” and spread it unchecked. It’s becoming impossible to know what’s real and what’s lies, unless you’re an actual eyewitness. And of course any one eyewitness can touch only one small part of the elephant. — John


  2. “With the demise of the newspaper industry …”

    The newspaper industry is alive enough, and the rest breathes OK as long as you don’t unplug it.

    What has transpired is that there isn’t a reward scheme for getting things right, such as getting coverage right, facts right, and so forth. Instead, people are rewarding “journalists” for echoing their biases and beliefs back to them, with the highly predictable result of rewarding sensational “fact gathering” that simply amplifies the feelings of the readers.

    This happened decades ago, but it was generally not rewarded, being regarded as “irresponsible journalism”.

    You can still find responsible journalism, and you can still find sensible reporting based on an accurate assessment of the facts …

    … but you’d better be ready to pay more than you would have in the past for such a thing, either with your time or with your money.


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