NYT Smears Journalist, Calls 2014 Ukraine Coup ‘Conspiracy Theory’

It is an uncontroversial matter of public record that the U.S. government sponsored the 2014 coup in Ukraine, writes Ben Norton.

The New York Times Building in Manhattan. (Adam Jones on Flickr)

The New York Times Building in Manhattan. (Adam Jones/Flickr)

By Ben Norton

The New York Times published a ridiculous article smearing me with misleading claims, and even used an image of my face menacingly crossed out by a red line.

The newspaper dismissed my factual statement that the United States sponsored a violent coup d’etat to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically-elected President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, calling this objective truth a “conspiracy theory,” while deceptively erasing the overwhelming evidence that I presented.

Ironically the Times itself, back in 2014, reported some of these facts that it now disparages as a “conspiracy theory,” as I document below in this article.

The Times’ hatchet job violates basic journalistic practices. The newspaper did not even reach out to me with a request for comment, while it defamed me and published a photo of my face.

The smear piece is a case study in the U.S. newspaper of record’s propaganda techniques. And it is part of a transparent drive to advance the U.S. government’s new cold war on China and Russia.

The fact that The New York Times collaborates closely with the U.S. national security state is well established. The newspaper has publicly admitted to sending sensitive stories to the U.S. government for approval before publication, to ensure that “national security officials” have “no concerns.”

Prominent former New York Times reporter James Risen wrote in an exposé that the newspaper’s editors are “quite willing to cooperate with the government,” and that there has been an “informal arrangement” in which U.S. officials “regularly engaged in quiet negotiations with the press to try to stop the publication of sensitive national security stories.”

The Times also has a long, inglorious history of attacking anti-war voices in the United States, while spreading demonstrably false claims from anonymous government officials to justify Washington’s wars, from Vietnam to Iraq, Libya to Syria.

I don’t need to remind anyone of the Times’ leading role in amplifying lies about supposed “weapons of mass destruction” (WMDs) in Iraq.

But there have also been many lesser-known fake news stories disseminated by the U.S. newspaper of record, like when it blamed Vietnamese communists for the Gulf of Tonkin incident, or falsely claimed that Iraqi soldiers took Kuwaiti babies out of incubators to die, or amplified the lie that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi gave Viagra to his soldiers and encouraged them to sexually assault women.

Then there are the more recent examples of the Times willingly spreading U.S. government disinformation, from the debunked Russiagate conspiracy theory to the completely manufactured “Bountygate” scandal, to the equally ludicrous fake news farce known as “Havana Syndrome” – the notion that mass hysteria suffered by U.S. spies was secretly caused by futuristic Russian, Chinese, and/or Cuban “microwave weapons” or “radio-frequency energy” ray guns.

The newspaper’s April 11 report, titled “China’s Echoes of Russia’s Alternate Reality Intensify Around the World,” follows in this same propagandistic vein.

The article was written by Paul Mozur, Steven Lee Myers, and John Liu. The Times apparently needed three reporters to file this story, but not one of them could be bothered to reach out to me for comment.

If they were students in a college journalism 101 class, they would have failed their assignment.

The director of the C.I.A., William Burns, confirmed in a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing this March that Washington is engaged in an “information war” against Russia.

Former top State Department official Eliot A. Cohen likewise stated clearly that, in Ukraine, the “United States and its NATO allies are engaged in a proxy war with Russia.”

This New York Times smear piece must be understood in this context: The newspaper of record is acting as a tool of U.S. government information warfare, a hatchet man for Washington, launching neo-McCarthyite attacks on independent journalists who dare to challenge the official NATO propaganda line.

The article accuses China of helping Russia amplify purported “disinformation” over the war in Ukraine. And it singles out this present author, independent journalist Benjamin Norton, smearing my factual statements as so-called “conspiracy theories.”

The newspaper published the following passage:

“Russian and Chinese state media have also increasingly drawn on the opinions of the same group of internet celebrities, pundits and influencers, featuring them on their shows as well as in YouTube videos. One of them, Benjamin Norton, is a journalist who claimed that a coup sponsored by the United States government took place in Ukraine in 2014 and that U.S. officials had installed the leaders of the current Ukrainian government.

He first explained the conspiracy theory on RT, although it was later picked up by Chinese state media and tweeted by accounts like Frontline. In a March interview, which China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, trumpeted as an exclusive, Mr. Norton said the United States, not Russia, was to blame for Russia’s invasion.

‘Regarding the current situation in Ukraine, Benjamin said that this is not a war caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but a war planned and provoked by the United States as early as 2014,’ an unnamed CCTV narrator said.”

For starters, the specific RT interview that the Times referenced was a discussion I had with left-wing American comedian Lee Camp, and it was actually conducted on Feb. 23, a day before Russia invaded Ukraine (although it was not published until Feb. 25).

Camp has a long history as a grassroots activist in the U.S. anti-war, anti-racist, and environmentalist movements. The notion that he was secretly being controlled by the Kremlin is laughably preposterous.

Camp had repeatedly emphasized for years that he had total editorial control over his show – until YouTube erased his hundreds of episodes in an authoritarian purge of undesirable Russia-linked journalists.

The New York Times has already faced backlash for spreading ridiculous, defamatory claims about Lee Camp as well. It was only a matter of time until it came after me, in its war on progressive independent journalists.

The most cartoonishly nonsensical claim in the Times’ smear piece is the idea that the U.S. government organizing a coup in Ukraine is an outlandish “conspiracy theory.”

Anyone vaguely familiar with the elementary history of U.S. foreign policy knows that Washington has sponsored coups d’etat around the world – from Iran in 1953 to Guatemala in 1954, Congo in 1960 to Brazil in 1964, Indonesia in 1965 to Chile in 1973, Haiti in 1991 to Haiti again in 2004, Venezuela in 2002 to Ukraine (the first time) in 2004, Honduras in 2009 to Bolivia in 2019, and so, so many more.

Then again, The New York Times has a long history of echoing disinformation from anonymous U.S. government officials in order to deny and whitewash these coups, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that it remains in denial about the 2014 U.S.-backed putsch in Ukraine.

After absurdly accusing me of promulgating a “conspiracy theory,” the Times embedded a screenshot of a March 11 tweet from China’s news program Frontline, with an image of me. The newspaper added a red line, crossing out the tweet – and my face.

New York Times Frontline China Ukraine Benjamin Norton

The New York Times screenshot, with the red line added by the newspaper, which inadvertently, either through hubris or ignorance, includes mention of the very evidence of the coup it omits from its story.

The Times did not actually embed the tweet, so its readers were not able to watch the video clip to hear my full comments.

The newspaper also conveniently failed to mention my citation of the leaked recording of a 2014 phone call in which U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland discussed who the prime minister of Ukraine’s post-coup government would be, and who did indeed become prime minister a few weeks later.

These omissions show how disingenuous the corporate media’s propaganda is. Legacy publications like The New York Times believe their audience is so foolish and so susceptible to foreign supposed “disinformation” that they will not even let readers listen to a 30-second video of an independent American journalist and make up their own minds.

In the clip, I made the following, 100 percent factual comments about the Ukraine crisis:

They [Western governments] promised this [not to expand eastward after the reunification of Germany] to the Soviet Union multiple times; we have the documents showing it. And NATO lied.

And we also have a recorded phone call, from the top U.S. diplomat Victoria Nuland, in which she actually handpicks the top officials of the Ukrainian government that took over after the 2014 U.S.-backed coup.

This coup in Ukraine is what started a civil war in the country, and now they act as though they have nothing to do with it, and Russia is the only aggressor.

According to The New York Times, these objectively true statements – that Western governments repeatedly broke their promise to Moscow not to expand eastward, and that Washington sponsored a coup in Ukraine in 2014 – constitute a dangerous “conspiracy theory.”

As of the publication of this present article, April 14, this Frontline video has only 158 views, 10 likes, and three retweets on Twitter. But the U.S. newspaper of record wants its readers to believe that this little-seen clip of me stating undeniable facts about the recent history of Ukraine endangers the very fabric of American society.

It is an uncontroversial matter of public record that the U.S. government sponsored the 2014 coup in Ukraine.

The 2014 phone call between Victoria Nuland and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, is a smoking gun.

In the leaked recording – a transcript of which was published by the BBC – Nuland and Pyatt can be heard discussing who would be the new prime minister of Ukraine’s upcoming post-coup regime.

“Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience,” Nuland said, referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, showing her cozy relationship with the right-wing, pro-Western Ukrainian politician by shortening his surname.

Mere days after the U.S.-backed February 22 coup, Yatsenyuk became prime minister of Ukraine – just as Nuland had insisted he should.

Yet the smoking gun evidence of a top State Department official and U.S. ambassador discussing who the prime minister of Ukraine would be was overshadowed by another comment Nuland made in the phone call: “Fuck the EU.”

That single line inspired condemnations by European governments, and got much more attention than the fact that U.S. diplomats were caught hand-picking the leaders of the upcoming Ukrainian coup regime.

In its April 11, 2022 smear piece attacking me, The New York Times refused to acknowledge this Nuland phone call. But the newspaper did repeatedly report on the recording back in 2014. 

In fact, U.S. government officials confirmed the authenticity of this leaked phone call in none other than The New York Times itself.

In a February 6, 2014 report, the Times admitted that the recording of the call was posted on Twitter “just as Ms. Nuland was in Kiev meeting with Mr. Yanukovych and opposition leaders.”

Then on Feb. 10, the newspaper published a softball article on Nuland, in which the hardline right-wing hawk shrugged off the scandal and proudly confessed, “I’m well known as the least diplomatic diplomat there is.”

But now, in 2022, the Times acts as though acknowledging these events that the newspaper itself reported back in 2014 is indulging in a dangerous “conspiracy theory.”

The New York Times claims the fact that the U.S. government sponsored a coup in Ukraine is part of an “alternate reality.” But the historical record shows that the Times is the one living in an alternate reality, where the U.S. government’s crimes don’t exist, and the Kremlin alone is responsible for all evildoing in the world.

The reality that the violent 2014 overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych was a coup d’etat has also been obliquely acknowledged by The New York Times.

In a February 22, 2014 report on his violent ouster, the Times quoted Yanukovych saying, “I am a legitimately elected president. What is happening today, mostly, it is vandalism, banditism, and a coup d’état.”

The newspaper presciently titled that article “With President’s Departure, Ukraine Looks Toward a Murky Future.” The country’s future was indeed quite murky.

On February 27, 2014, the Times followed up with a report on “Crimea, where a heavily ethnic Russian and Russian-speaking population mostly views the Ukrainian government installed after the ouster last weekend of Mr. Yanukovych as the illegitimate result of a fascist coup.”

new york times crimea ukraine fascist coup

Was The New York Times spreading “Russian disinformation” or a “conspiracy theory” back in 2014?

A few weeks later, in a March 17 report on the rebellion by Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the east of the country, the Times admitted, “Many Ukrainians, who saw demonstrators in the capital chase President Viktor F. Yanukovych from office last month in what some in this country regard as a justified uprising and others call a coup, wondered what part of Ukraine might remain, day by day, under the interim government’s control.”

Of course I am far from the only journalist who has pointed out the U.S. government’s role in the violent 2014 coup in Ukraine.

Back at the time, some of this was acknowledged even in mainstream outlets.

In an April 2014 article titled “It’s not Russia that’s pushed Ukraine to the brink of war,” published in top British newspaper The Guardian – the U.K.’s equivalent of The New York Times – columnist Seumas Milne noted that prominent U.S. politicians like Senator John McCain were in Kiev’s Maidan Square in 2014, working alongside far-right extremists.

Milne recalled that “the Ukrainian president was replaced by a U.S.-selected administration, in an entirely unconstitutional takeover,” and “the U.S. ambassador haggled with the state department over who would make up the new Ukrainian government.” 

The Guardian admitted these undeniable facts back in 2014. But now in 2022, according to The New York Times, this objective history is a scandalous “conspiracy theory.”

These views have also been expressed by renowned University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer, a mainstream political scientist who is highly respected in his field.

Mearsheimer’s 2015 University of Chicago lecture “Why is Ukraine the West’s Fault?” went viral in the wake of Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, and has roughly 25 million views as of the publication of this present article.

In that 2015 lecture, Mearsheimer repeatedly referred to the overthrow of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 as a coup. He added that there were “significant fascist elements among the protesters, who were armed, [and] there is killing on the Maidan.”

“If you have a coup in Kiev, and some of the people who come to power have fascist tendencies or are fascists, however you want to define that term, it’s going to have really huge consequences,” Mearsheimer said.

The scholar argued that the three “deep causes” of the crisis in Ukraine were NATO expansion, EU expansion, and U.S. government “democracy promotion” programs – read: regime change.

“It just shows you how discombobulated American foreign policy is these days. And of course the Ukraine crisis is just one of many messes that we’ve made,” Mearsheimer summarized, referring to the U.S. government.

Mearsheimer reiterated these points in a 2014 article, “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault,” in Foreign Affairs, the magazine of the Council on Foreign Relations – the furthest publication possible from “Russian propaganda.” 

But The New York Times dismissed this as a crazy “conspiracy theory.”

Mearsheimer in fact reiterated his analysis in a presentation on March 2, 2022, emphasizing the role of the United States and NATO in causing the war in Ukraine that was escalated by Russia’s February 24 invasion.

Mearsheimer explained that the crisis “was precipitated in large part by a coup that was supported by the United States that took place in Ukraine and resulted in a pro-Russian leader, President Yanukovych, being overthrown and being replaced by a pro-American prime minister.”

Mearsheimer was joined in this March 2 event by longtime former C.I.A. analyst Ray McGovern, a specialist in Russian affairs. McGovern agreed that the U.S. government sponsored the 2014 coup in Ukraine, pointing to the infamous phone recording of Nuland and Pyatt.

The U.S. government stenographers at The New York Times would like their readers to believe that these undeniable facts are a loony “conspiracy theory,” and that anyone who mentions them is guilty of regurgitating “Chinese and Russian state propaganda.”

But many countries across the Global South recognize the role of the United States and NATO in starting the war in Ukraine.

The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, blamed NATO for the violence in Ukraine, in comments to his country’s parliament on March 17: “The war could have been avoided if NATO had heeded the warnings from amongst its own leaders and officials over the years that its eastward expansion would lead to greater, not less, instability in the region.” 

Bolivia’s former president Evo Morales, who was himself overthrown in a U.S.-backed far-right coup in 2019, declared publicly that “the U.S. uses Ukraine to militarily, politically, and economically attack the people of Russia.” He condemned “the interventionist expansionism of NATO and the U.S.,” warning that its “hegemony of weapons and imperialism puts world peace at risk.”

Brazil’s left-wing Workers’ Party made similar comments. And The Guardian reluctantly acknowledged that many leaders across Africa are “calling for peace but blaming Nato’s eastward expansion for the war [in Ukraine], complaining of western ‘double standards’ and resisting all calls to criticise Russia.”

According to The New York Times, all of these Global South nations are engaged in an elaborate “conspiracy theory.”

Perhaps even current C.I.A. Director William Burns himself could be accused of being complicit in this “conspiracy theory.”

Back in 2008, when he served as U.S. ambassador to Russia, Burns published a confidential embassy cable in which he warned that NATO expansion to Ukraine would cross Moscow’s security “redlines” and “could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which would force Russia to decide whether to intervene.”

Was the former U.S. ambassador to Russia and current C.I.A. director guilty of spreading “Putinist disinformation” by acknowledging that Moscow might have to respond to Western military encirclement?

(It is worth emphasizing that we only have this document thanks to whistleblowing journalistic publication WikiLeaks, whose founder and longtime editor Julian Assange is a political prisoner, persecuted by the U.S. government for daring to expose its crimes. The New York Times has been complicit in the information warfare campaign waged by Washington in order to vilify Assange and justify this gruesome campaign of political persecution.)

WikiLeaks Ukraine NATO Russia William Burns

Former U.S. ambassador to Russia William Burns, current C.I.A. director, warns in a 2008 cable that NATO expansion to Ukraine could force Russia to intervene.

Outside of the bubble of Western chauvinism that The New York Times exists to reinforce, the vast majority of the world’s population clearly sees that the United States and NATO are responsible for the war in Ukraine.

But it is quite clear to me what the Times’ goal was in its deceitful April 11, 2022 smear piece: By including me in this article on so-called “disinformation” supposedly spread by Chinese and Russian media, the U.S. newspaper of record is trying to get me banned on social media.

Over years of work I have managed to build a relatively substantial platform for my independent journalism. Large corporate outlets like The New York Times, which willingly collaborate with the U.S. government, see me and other independent journalists as a threat to their chokehold on media.

So these legacy publications want to create some kind of justification for Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to purge me and other independent journalists who expose the role of Washington in causing the war in Ukraine.

Their goal is authoritarian: they want control over all media, an iron grip on people’s access to information. They don’t believe in the freedom of the press or expression; they believe journalists or media outlets that expose inconvenient facts about the U.S. government should be silenced and destroyed.

They are guilty of the very same authoritarian crimes that they project onto Washington’s geopolitical adversaries.

The Washington Post’s editorial board made this goal explicit in an article it published on the same day, April 11, calling on social media platforms to ban Chinese news outlets, supposedly for amplifying Russian “disinformation.”

Like The New York Times, The Washington Post enjoys a close relationship with the U.S. government. The latter also happens to be owned by hundred-billionaire oligarch Jeff Bezos, whose company Amazon has massive contracts with the C.I.A., Pentagon, and other agencies that make up the U.S. national security state.

The extreme neo-McCarthyite campaigns being driven by the Times, the Post, and many more corporate media outlets demonstrate how the mainstream press is a key instrument of Washington’s information warfare.

As the United States escalates its new cold war on China and Russia, leading newspapers are dropping any pretense of fidelity to basic journalistic principles and enlisting as loyal foot soldiers in the information war. Those of us who are independent journalists who refuse to dutifully toe the U.S. regime’s line are in their crosshairs.

Benjamin Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker. He is the founder and editor of Multipolarista, and is based in Latin America. // Benjamín Norton es un periodista, escritor, y cineasta. Es fundador y editor de Multipolarista, y vive en Latinoamérica.

This article is from  Multipolarista.com.  

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

57 comments for “NYT Smears Journalist, Calls 2014 Ukraine Coup ‘Conspiracy Theory’

  1. Eric
    April 19, 2022 at 02:20

    Great exposé. You could also have mentioned Canada’s role in the coup
    (foreign minister on the Maidan platform, hosting organizers in embassy, etc.):


  2. Maxine Chiu
    April 17, 2022 at 17:24

    Was the NYT ALWAYS deceptive?….When did it go to the RIGHT?….and WHY?….Regrettably, years ago, I used to read it believing it was the only news site where one could get the truth….Was I a fool in those days?

  3. dave
    April 17, 2022 at 13:46

    Keep up the good work, Ben! If you’re taking flak, you must be over the target!

  4. Andy
    April 17, 2022 at 13:21

    I read somewhere that the western media is now owned by 5/6 entities, the figure in the early 80’s was almost 200. To allow such consolidation on information control is scandalous, albeit done by design thanks to the greed and sinister designs of corporate America

  5. James Cook
    April 17, 2022 at 09:45

    “If they were students in a college journalism 101 class, they would have failed their assignment.”

    I am afraid you missed the change in lesson plans happening in all schools now – right down to kindergarten!

    The rules of “independent journalism” have changed. You write whatever your sponsors want and as the government IS the sponsor, that makes it simpler.

    Want independent journalism – find a publication or journalist that relies on readers for sponsorship.

  6. Rob Roy
    April 16, 2022 at 21:43

    Thank you, Ben Norton. You are often my “back-up” guy to reference when I say something with which everyone around me disagrees. I count on you for truth because it’s always there in your writing. I don’t trust anything from the MSM, but I trust you and a few others, such as John Pilger; I was grateful for his comment here. By the way, I read Hillary’s emails. It was clear she planned to invade Iran and pull a coup d’etat in Russia and even though she wasn’t elected, that’s still the plan. She thought since the coup in Ukraine worked, why not Russia.

  7. forceOfHabit
    April 16, 2022 at 21:36

    fwiw, Ben Norton, for thoughtful and informed readers, your credibility far exceeds that of the NYT.

  8. Rex Williams
    April 16, 2022 at 21:15

    Well written, Ben Norton

    Makes one wonder what it takes for the readers of the newspaper to wake up to the role the NYT plays in the propagation of false news, year after year. The list of lies mentioned by Ben Norton here today spells it out in large letters.

    The newspaper of record is something of a fallacy, has been since day one. The only record one can be positive about is the record number of shares held by both BlackRock and Vanguard, in the multi-millions, forcing all journalists to tow the line and to support the lies by Biden and the warmongers in Washington.

  9. Ray Peterson
    April 16, 2022 at 18:55

    Like the Ministry of Truth in “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” social media dances
    to the CIA tune of regime change and John Pilger said early on that this
    would be a war of propaganda. But here’s a hope: Putin being a former KGB chief
    himself knows what to expect of the CIA and may unite all those nation-states
    attacked by the U.S. war machine.
    Of course V. Nuland-Kagan telling the EU to go F. . . . (It’s Easter), itself,
    and those European politicians still following U.S./NATO and Elon Musk
    lusting after Twitter does dampen any prospects for an early peace.
    You, Gray zone and Max Blumenthal may go the way of Assange, but go loudly.

  10. lester
    April 16, 2022 at 18:38

    Thank you for your story, Mr. Norton. Publishing via a website outside the USA is smart, too.

  11. James McFadden
    April 16, 2022 at 15:57

    The CFR’s Foreign Affairs, a policy magazine for Washington’s elite, is, like the NYT and WP, a conduit of disinformation, rhetoric, propaganda, projection and denial of history. Articles describing the events of 2014 ignore the role of Nuland in the 2014 coup, and generally spin all the narratives in support of empire and hegemony. Some of their articles are written by the CIA to promote insurgency, some are written by shills for the arms industry to promote more arms sales, and the rest seem to be written by wannabee CFR members attempting to prove their neocon-neoliberal ideology. Critical analysis and debate is not present. And it appears that the elites are believing their own propaganda. Or as Bertram Gross would say: “Trapped by the myths needed for legitimation, fouled up by the jargon designed by experts, deceived by their own images of charismacho, they discourage the straight talk required for self-awareness and vigilance with respect to the system as a whole.” No wonder the elites make blunder after blunder in foreign policy – they can’t separate reality from rhetoric.

  12. April 16, 2022 at 05:36

    Ben Norton’s work is an inspiration; his expose of the New York Times is typical. The Times has produced many important stories and fine reporters, but its obsequiousness to American imperialism has taken precedent: from its cover up of the true effects of the Hiroshima bomb to its lies that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its defamatory campaign against Julian Assange. The spaces for independent journalists in the MSM have closed. There is now a war on real journalism, and we are all samizdat now.

    • forceOfHabit
      April 16, 2022 at 21:37

      “…and we are all samizdat now.”


    • Carolyn Zaremba
      April 16, 2022 at 21:47

      Thank you, John. It is shocking how many people I encounter who still believe everything the NYT and other mainstream outlets say. You are right about us all being samizdat now.

  13. nwwoods
    April 15, 2022 at 22:20

    The Streisand Effect: Perhaps you ought to thank the New York Times for unwittingly elevating you to an all new level of international journalistic celebrity :)

  14. JMF
    April 15, 2022 at 21:34

    CN: My apologies for being off-topic here (I responded to Ben Norton at MultiPolarista), but the following article from Mint Press is sheer dynamite!

    I’m hoping that, with Dan Cohen’s permission, you’ll make this a headline item here. It really needs to be disseminated widely, as it reveals how shockingly vile this Ukrainian “government” truly is:

    “Testimony Reveals Zelensky’s Secret Police Plot to ‘Liquidate’ Opposition Figure Anatoly Shariy”
    by Dan Cohen


  15. Ian Stevenson
    April 15, 2022 at 18:16

    Ben, you quote American and African views but I think you are over looking the European perspective. The former Warsaw Pact countries and the Baltic States formally part of the USSR, chose to join NATO. They are all democracies (though Hungary is straining the definition). While I accept the US played a part in 2014 coup, we have to acknowledge that Yanukovych went against the vote of the Parliament and public opinion in wanting to join with Russia instead of the EU. The election which followed showed they did not want ( with some areas dissenting ) to be part of the Eurasia customs union. As you quoted the Guardian I put a link to the same paper. Belarus , the neighbouring, state also rejected the status quo with massive demonstrations . Many of them flew a flag from their history, indicating a rejection of the former links ( the existing flag being similar to the Soviet era one).
    Ukraine has multi-party elections. Russia also does but few think Russian elections are free. Their media certainly isn’t . Even during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and during the Vietnam war, western media could be critical without the threat of long prison terms.
    If the present Ukrainian government was there just because of American influence, I doubt if the resistance would have been so fierce. I also doubt that 90% refugees would have left and gone to Europe. Just before the invasion Russia publicised aid for refugees from Ukraine. If the neo-Nazis were so influential , why did their political party only get 2% of the vote.
    There are no nuclear weapons in former Warsaw Pact countries , as Consortium News told us last month. If security the of Russia is the main reason for the invasion, why in God’s name are we seeing widespread destruction of whole civilian areas ( as they did in Chechnya and Syria)? There is no doubt that is what is happening.
    I am not trying to whitewash the west but Russia can also be guilty of bad power politics.
    I would like to read your opinion.

  16. Charles
    April 15, 2022 at 17:53

    The NYTimes has implanted in their readership a sort of intellectual snobbery. This brings to mind Mark Twains quote that it is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. Maybe they need to take a look at what is happening to CNN, CNBC et als ratings as they fall off the charts due to their constant misrepesntation of the facts.

    • Maxine Chiu
      April 17, 2022 at 17:33

      How many Americans give a damn about the MSM misrepresenting the the facts?….Indeed, isn’t that the place they got to to GET the “facts”?

  17. Daniel
    April 15, 2022 at 16:01

    I check in daily with various journalists and sites I trust (since the late 90s) and read about 1-2 hours-worth of news per day – little more than the time it used to take to read the morning paper of old and watch the evening news. When read/viewed consistently, seeing through the BS of mainstream narratives is quite easy. I’m not a genius, just curious, skeptical, and using the critical thinking skills we all possess. And you don’t need much of these, either, honestly. Contradictions, hypocrisies, and lies of commission and omission present themselves plainly when you’re following the plot on a daily basis. That so many refuse to perform this service for themselves is stunning.

    My family: “What have you been reading that leads you to doubt what the NY Times has to say about (insert any subject here)?”
    Me: “The NY Times.”

    Keep on keepin’ on, Mr. Norton – and CN. Thanks for all you do.

  18. April 15, 2022 at 15:47

    An additional point that has been over-looked in the Nuland phone call is the fact that Biden was involved as the closer of the deal.

    No one has mentioned that fact.

    Also, Nuland was on tape – I think at a Chevron event – that the US pumped $5 billion into Ukraine “democracy promotion” (AKA regime change, I think funneled through the NED and various NGO’s) and I don’t think that includes all the military training and weapons.

    • Katy
      April 17, 2022 at 16:40

      Thank you Ben Norton for the risk you take everyday to simply tell the truth. Stay safe and God Bless.

  19. April 15, 2022 at 15:39

    My sense is that this “disinformation” and “conspiracy theory” narrative was generated by the CIA/National Security folks and that it is just being parroted by The NY Times, for the self serving reasons the author notes.

    It is revealing that this line is coming out right now, as the “counter-narrative” in the “information war” begins to get traction, including outside the community of “usual suspects”.

    It’s a grand titration for truth – and the National Security State is terrified of the moment when the drip, drip, drip of truth catalyzes a reaction.

  20. Caliman
    April 15, 2022 at 14:35

    Ben – We are rapidly approaching, if we are not already there, the famous “Ralph, what are you doing outside?” moment Thoreau experienced when he was jailed for resisting the Mexican War. It should be considered a badge of pride to be attacked by the servants of empire who work at the Times. In fact, if you are not being attacked by the neocons and neolibs who oil the gears of the empire’s machine, you’re doing something wrong.

  21. sam
    April 15, 2022 at 14:25

    The lengths they will go to lie about what the government does in our name is so brazen it seems rather unhinged. What next, are they going to start denying the US invaded Iraq in violation of the UN charter?

    • Carolyn Zaremba
      April 16, 2022 at 21:52

      You never know. Gore Vidal did say that USA stood for United States of Amnesia.

  22. Jesika
    April 15, 2022 at 13:54

    The horrible mess that Joe Biden has made of the US has to be hushed up, especially his role in the 2014 coup in Ukraine, the ill gotten gains he and his son have profited from this coup and the numerous bioweapons labs there. Fifty years of this man’s dreadful attitudes and actions, how much more hornswaggling lies of Biden can be tolerated? I wouldn’t pick up NYT for even an obit these days. And Biden’s toilet trashing of the world economies, particularly the US, will be with us for a very long time. The chickens are coming home to roost, despite the Grey Lady’s smug attempts to protect the Empire of Lies. Thanks for this article by a fine journalist.

    • Daniel
      April 15, 2022 at 16:03

      Hear, hear.

  23. April 15, 2022 at 13:51

    Thank you Ben Norton for your true journalism, and this summary of events. I hope more will understand, and stand in the way of the warmongers

  24. Sam F
    April 15, 2022 at 13:49

    Congratulations, Ben, on the honor of this distinction conferred by the rogue NYT, whose bribe sources are indeed “guilty of the very same authoritarian crimes that they project” onto adversaries. Thanks for your continuing efforts!

  25. Cesar Jeopardy
    April 15, 2022 at 13:04

    And this is one reason I unsubscribed from the NY Times. They are biased and dishonest. They also censured some of my comments which didn’t follow their preferred narrative.

    But I’m not so sure that the NY Times and other news outlets are willing partners of our government. It’s quite possible that they are given no choice in the matter.

    • Lena
      April 16, 2022 at 06:38

      Maybe this was true in the past.
      But look at any corporate institution: they happily and willingly pursue their monetary interests.

      If your argument was about the humans working there: They most certainly believe what they are writing. Or at least they believe that they are doing something good for this world when writing it.
      Most humans can’t live with a sense of doing something bad.

  26. Realist
    April 15, 2022 at 12:40

    Thanks to Ben Norton and the remaining few true journalists with the guts to stand up to the great Washington Lie Machine even when it comes after them. The REAL conspiracy is the collusion between the government and the media. At the rate we are going pretty soon the Bill of Rights will not only cease being practiced, let alone enforced, it will be made illegal. It is so disheartening to see all of these institutions which were not only practiced but revered in the past being tossed aside in place of the sham narrative that the powers that be have substituted for reality. Was the movie “The Matrix” THAT influential… or that prophetic? The NYT should try taking an honest poll of its own credibility, it would be stunned… and then it would hide the results.

    Look for the middle class to finally start questioning the entire web of lies when, because of the inflation necessary to pay for all these extravagant wars and reckless government borrowing, they can no longer make the mortgage payments, or meet the property taxes on rapidly inflating real estate assessments, or pay the runaway tuition for the private schools they must send their kids to to get an actual education in these Disunited States of America. Once the dollar collapses watch the formerly financially comfortable start to find common cause with the long busted flat deplorable class. And watch Putin’s credibility become suddenly rehabilitated. America’s pop economists on the infotainment channels will suddenly have questions about how he broke his country out of the great depression that American meddling thoroughly ensconced it for so long. The chickens are on their way back and bringing an attitude with themselves.

    • Carolyn Zaremba
      April 16, 2022 at 21:56

      I wouldn’t count on your second paragraph coming true. Unfortunately

      • Realist
        April 17, 2022 at 12:38

        At least the destitute middle class will notice, even if they don’t (or can’t) do anything about their increasingly desperate predicament. You may be right, especially if the goons running this country have learned any new tips on suppressing their population from their supposed acolytes the Ukrainian Nazis.

  27. Mark Thomason
    April 15, 2022 at 12:27

    Consider the other priorities shown by the media outlets in question, and their frequent statements linking Trump, Putin, and opposition to this war.

    In our media, is this a cold war against Russia and China, or is this a war against Trump and Republicans?

    If Republicans win Congress in 2022, would this war end, or would it get worse in desperate defense of Biden?

    Certainly the war in Ukraine is real fighting, and the US government and media has chosen a side, but what parts of the US government and media?

    The Department of Defense is the source of much of the least inflammatory information, and of cautionary statements. Political appointees at State and in the White House are the sources of the most inflammatory. Is DoD unwarlike? Or is it just not fighting the political wars of our media?

    We also see this in Germany, for example, where regions and parties are divided on this war, on lines that could tear down the new government there for one or the other side of extremists, lefty Greens or the primarily Eastern German right. Notice the Greens who “support the war” resist much that would actually support it, because they also do not want atomic power plants or German coal. They just want to win all the marbles in insider German politics for their many conflicting priorities.

    We also see it in France, where Macron sort of supports the war and Le Pen sort of wants out (both equivocating if pressed).

    So perhaps the US media and Democratic-appointed officials are just doing what their allies are doing in Europe?

    This makes more sense than a new Cold War against the whole world, by the opposition to the old Cold War and against the old proponents of it.

  28. Korey Dykstra
    April 15, 2022 at 12:06

    Thank you for this article explaining America’s role in the coup that took place in Ukraine. It is difficult to explain how the mass media of the west is believed by the majority of the population. It is also scary.

    • Manifold Destiny
      April 17, 2022 at 04:48

      “Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” – Hermann Goering

  29. Selina Sweet
    April 15, 2022 at 12:03

    I knew when Biden chose Nuland we were going up shits creek.
    Thank you Consortium news for Norton’s piece – I’ll be sharing

  30. Randal Marlin
    April 15, 2022 at 11:24

    One problem is with language. There are true conspiracy theories and false conspiracy theories. That Victoria Nuland conspired with Geoffrey Pyatt regarding the new government to be formed in Ukraine is clearly true.
    What bedevils communication is the way usage has tended to identify “conspiracy theory” with “false conspiracy.” That makes it difficulty for those accused of “conspiracy theory” to refute the charge. This muddying of discourse suits the powers that be, and should be resisted.

    • lester
      April 16, 2022 at 18:32

      If the story is true, it’s not a theory. It if’s false, it’s fiction, not a theory. Most of the conspiracy stories Americans like to repeat are fictions.

      • Randal Marlin
        April 18, 2022 at 15:15

        Lester, I take this as an objection to what I said. You seem to be denying that there are true conspiracy theories, because if a putative conspiracy theory is true, it is fact and not theory. Is that right?
        Many Americans have challenged the official story of the JFK assassination. Different evidentiary aspects have been brought forward to support different possible stories. Are you saying no future evidence could possibly vindicate any of the theories supporting the stories, because the stories are either true (and therefore not theory) or fiction (and therefore not a theory)?
        That doesn’t seem reasonable.
        I don’t know how you quantify “conspiracy stories Americans like to repeat,” so as to determine how many of them are fictions. I’ve heard lots of stories about the tobacco industry conspiring to hide the truth about the bad health effects on smokers. Turned out that the Shockerwick conspiracy revelations showed there was truth to the stories.

  31. Vera Gottlieb
    April 15, 2022 at 10:31

    The NYT one more entity that should be taken to The Hague’s ICC. Seems like as of late, very late, DIShonesty DOES pay.

  32. Jan
    April 15, 2022 at 10:29

    If the NYT ever feels embarrassed at having used the phrase “conspiracy theory,” not to worry. It can simply edit its own archives and presto! The original story never happened. That’s exactly what it did after Nicholas Wade published his article on the indisputable evidence that COVID really did escape from the lab at Wuhan.

    • April 15, 2022 at 15:53

      Good point. I once caught The Washington Post red handed in editing a story on the federal plea deal for the racist murders in South Carolina.

      After submitting a few reader comments that exposed that Orwellian practice, I was later banned there.

    • Afdal
      April 16, 2022 at 00:13

      You mean the same Nicholas Wade who misrepresented his sources and attacked straw man to build a thoroughly specious case for his lab leak hypothesis? His “evidence” is in fact very disputable, and he had a history of misrepresenting studies in his last book on human genetics too. Whatever integrity the NYT lacks, Wade is himself a hack of a “science journalist”. Redaction isn’t evidence in favor of a correct scientific theory.

    • Carolyn Zaremba
      April 16, 2022 at 21:59

      Hear, hear. You’re right.

  33. John R
    April 15, 2022 at 10:28

    Thank you, Ben Norton, for this story of how the paper of record, NYT (among others), does its part to deceive the citizens of the US and readers across the world that trust them without doubt or consideration. Considering what’s at stake, be it the lives of Ukrainians or all of us with the potential of nuclear war, it is imperative for the truth of this urgent matter be brought to light. As in the past, truth tellers pay a huge price exposing the lies that push us all closer to the edge.

  34. Paul
    April 15, 2022 at 09:48

    Thank you Ben Norton

  35. Jeff Harrison
    April 15, 2022 at 09:37

    The truth wears bright colors, spring, summer, winter, and fall. The US is hoping that, like the reality of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the reality of Ukraine will be hidden until nobody cares anymore. Frankly, I doubt that we will be able to pull that off.

    • Carolyn Zaremba
      April 16, 2022 at 22:01

      Clarify who you mean by the word “we”.

  36. peter tusinski
    April 15, 2022 at 09:10

    How the New York times can retain it’s reputation as the “newspaper of record”after publishing so many questionable so=called truths is beyond belief. Is the public so gullible, so incapable of critical objectivity to swallow the garbage (apparently with relish) this paper constantly publishes? Thank you Ben for showing the true colors of the NYT.

    • renate
      April 15, 2022 at 13:04

      A censored corporate-owned press, which we do have, allows the manipulation of the public, without it, we could not have a cloned public opinion. In a real democracy that would not be possible. We do have a faked thing called democracy.

  37. Mark Scott
    April 15, 2022 at 08:30

    The New York Times is published for the willfully ignorant who are not capable of learning anything new or challenging to what they think that they know. Most ‘smart people’ do not read the NYT.

    • Vera Gottlieb
      April 15, 2022 at 10:32

      I wouldn’t even use it to line my parrot’s cage…

      • JonT
        April 15, 2022 at 14:38

        …but that could be the best use for it!

    • Eddie S
      April 15, 2022 at 14:48

      The NYT political coverage is reminiscent of the objectivity & neutrality of a high-school or company newsletter. Can the scheduling of the in-house “Two Minute Hate” be far-behind?

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