Cold-War-Style Propaganda Posing as News at the New York Times
As shameful a propagandist for Washington’s war machine as the New York Times has been over the years, sometimes I still cannot believe the brazenness of its abandonment of even a pretext of dispassionate journalistic standards. One of those moments came today, when I read the left-column page-one article by Jim Yardley and Jo Becker headlined “How Putin Forged a Pipeline Deal that Derailed.”
In this Putin hit piece, the two journalists write that the pipeline in question, the so-called South Stream, which was intended to deliver Russian natural gas to southern Europe via a route through Bulgaria, was “Mr. Putin’s most important European project, a tool of economic and geopolitical power critical to twin goals: keeping Europe hooked on Russian gas, and further entrenching Russian influence in fragile former Soviet satellite states as part of a broader effort to undermine European unity.”
No suggestion here that laying a pipeline from Russia’s gas fields to directly supply (and sell) natural gas to nations like Italy, Austria, booming southern Germany, the Czech Republic, Rumania, Hungary and the Balkan states might make good business sense!
The Times has written a lot of verbiage about the controversial Keystone XL pipeline designed to bring filthy and massively polluting tar-sands bitumen through the continental US to refineries in Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma. It’s a dicey business proposition, given that the extracting this sludge from the sands of northern Alberta requires massive expenditure of natural gas and water resources, and costs approximately $100 per barrel of “oil” produced, yet nowhere have we read that the pipeline is “Washington’s most important Canadian project, a tool of economic and geopolitical power critical to twin goals: keeping Canada hooked on US refineries for its crude oil resource, and further entrenching US influence in the growing Canadian economy as part of a broader effort to keep Canada as a US satellite.”
No. The Keystone XL pipeline is always written about as an economic story and/or an environmental story.
But it gets worse.
The Times article goes on to claim that the bill authorizing the South Stream pipeline that was presented to the Bulgarian parliament was “a dream for Mr. Putin.” Although it was “ostensibly” written by Bulgaria’s energy ministry, the article states, “documents reveal the hidden hand of the Kremlin: Not only did much of the language come from a subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned energy giant, Gazprom, but Mr. Putin’s energy minister was directly involved.”
The journalists quote Martin Dimitrov, a critic of the bill who is a member of the Reformist Bloc in Bulgaria’s parliament, as saying, “If this happens in the US, the whole government would resign. Not in Bulgaria, apparently.”