Suspended for Providing Balanced News on Ukraine

An editor at Radio New Zealand has been suspended and is under investigation for the time-honored practices of providing balanced and factual reporting, writes Tony Kevin.  

Violent Maidan coup in Ukraine, 2014. (Wikipedia)

By Tony Kevin
in Canberra
Special to Consortium News

On Friday The Guardian Australia website carried a news report, with a follow-up piece on Monday, whose implications for free speech are profoundly disturbing.

They concern a Radio New Zealand, or RNZ, broadcasting employee — unnamed, but everyone in the small New Zealand broadcasting world will soon know who it is — who has been placed on leave while their professional conduct is investigated.  Obviously, a career hangs in the balance. 

The malign ghosts of Orwell’s 1984 stalk this story.

‘Russian Garbage’

This unnamed person in RNZ committed the cardinal sin of “inappropriate editing” of incoming Reuters news feeds on the war in Ukraine to insert “Russian garbage” in the contemptuous words of Paul Thompson, chief executive of RNZ. That is to say, they drew on Russian news sources to insert balancing pro-Russian material to the incoming Western news agency feeds.  

The Guardian tells us that in fact accurate information about Ukraine was added to the Reuters copy:

“The articles in question made a range of amendments: adding the word ‘coup’ to describe the Maidan revolution; changing a description of Ukraine’s former ‘pro-Russian president’ to read ‘pro-Russian elected government’; adding references to a ‘pro-western government’ that had ‘suppressed ethnic Russians’; and on several occasions adding references to Russian concerns about ‘neo-Nazi elements’ in Ukraine.” 

And more truth was added to the story, The Guardian says:

“In one article, a paragraph was added reading: ‘The Kremlin also said its invasion was sparked by a failure to implement the Minsk agreement peace accords, designed to give Russia speakers autonomy and protection, and the rise of a neo-Nazi element in Ukraine since a coup ousted a Russian-friendly Ukrainian government in 2014.’

Another added that Russia launched its invasion ‘claiming that a US-backed coup in 2014 with the help of neo-Nazis had created a threat to its borders and had ignited a civil war that saw Russian-speaking minorities persecuted.’”

This, it seems, is an offence not to be countenanced any longer in New Zealand. “An RNZ spokesperson, John Barr, said in a statement after the first article came to public attention that ‘RNZ is taking the issue extremely seriously and is investigating how the situation arose,'” the newspaper wrote.

The Guardian, in its effort to “correct” the story, says: “Ukraine says these claims are discredited Kremlin propaganda … The anti-corruption movement was peaceful and had widespread public support. Yanukovych fled to Russia months later after his security forces shot dead more than 100 unarmed protesters.”  

[Consortium News has published numerous stories laying out the facts of the events of 2014, including these two exhaustively corroborated accounts: On the Influence of Neo-Nazism in Ukraine and Evidence of US-Backed Coup in Kiev]


The RNZ executive Thompson was “gutted” to learn what has been going on under his watch. We read that 250 past published articles have been gone through “with a finetooth comb” to investigate and counter such offensive inserted material, and thousands more are being reviewed.

Sixteen such offending  articles have been found and warning commentaries added to them. Investigations continue while the staffer remains indefinitely suspended. The responsible minister is being briefed. Clearly these editors have not delved very deeply into the Ukraine story.

Luke Harding’s Involvement 

Both Guardian articles carry a tagline that says “Additional reporting by Luke Harding.” This should be a key warning to everyone in New Zealand’s and Australia’s broadcasting world, indeed in the entire English-speaking world.

Luke Harding at the Nordic Media Festival, 2018. (Thor Brødreskift / Nordiske Mediedager/ Wikimedia Commons)

Harding carries a formidable reputation as an inveterate anti-Russian British journalist with alleged strong links to the U.K. anti-Russian disinformation system and even to MI6, the U.K.’s secret intelligence service.

He was heavily involved in the Julian Assange affair and in the now discredited campaign to label former U.S. President Donald Trump as under Russian control. He is known as a leading Western disinformation warrior.

[Related: ASSANGE EXTRADITION: US Using The Guardian to Justify Jailing Assange for Life as the Paper Remains Silent

[Related: RUSSIAGATE: Luke Harding’s Hard Sell]

Normal Editorial Practice

Australian Broadcasting Company journalists edit incoming feeds from Reuters and other wire services all the time. They add context, link to previous stories, add Australian-relevant material. 

The problem is, this person in RNZ was adding such context from the “wrong ‘side.'”

The ABC has long been exposed as an obedient servant of the U.S.-dominated Five Eyes intelligence network and runs along approved anti-Russian and anti-Chinese editorial lines. RNZ, by contrast, is still widely respected in New Zealand. But it committed the sin of allowing counter-perspectives to be heard on the responsibility for the present tragic war in Ukraine.

Rendering of the “Five Eyes” intelligence network that includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K., the U.S. (@GDJ, Openclipart)

Read the two Guardian articles to see what exactly Harding in London and his colleagues in U.K. disinformation appear to be objecting to. It sends a strong message across the Tasman Sea, from New Zealand to the Australian media world: We watch every word you say and every word you write.

Cancelled for the Same Thought Crimes  

The examples of journalistic misconduct identified in the two articles match exactly research and opinions on the historical context and causes of the war in Ukraine and mounting Russia-West tensions that I have been trying to express publicly in Australia as an expert former senior diplomat since publication of my book Return to Moscow in 2017.

As a result I have been cancelled, unpersoned, silenced — dropped down the Australia Broadcasting Company memory hole, never to be allowed on its airwaves again. 

[Related: Caitlin Johnstone: 60 Minutes Australia Churning Out War-with-China Propaganda]

An innocuous interview I conducted from Moscow with Paul Barclay for the respected ABC program “Big Ideas” in February 2022 was “disarchived” — yes, you read it right — a few weeks later, under pressure from unidentified critics.

Ukraine is Losing

The war in Ukraine now winds steadily towards its inevitable pro-Russian denouement. Russia clearly has the military edge and this will not change now. Billions of dollars’ worth of supplied U.S./NATO equipment continues to be destroyed in combat.

In suicidal offensives ordered by the doomed Zelensky regime in Kiev, an estimated half a million Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or crippled since February 2022. [Exact casualty figures are very hard to come by]. Many more proxy warriors will die in coming weeks as this brutal war of attrition demanded by the U.S. and NATO continues to destroy what is left of poor Ukraine. 

Australians and New Zealanders with naïve faith in the professional integrity of their national broadcasters will continue to be insulated from these tragic truths. 

Fortunately, for those who dare to read them, there are now plenty of accessible reliable sources of alternative perspectives on Russia-West relations and the pivotal importance of the war in Ukraine in transforming the world. This world now looks very different from outside the Western laager. We are in the midst of huge global changes.

But, thanks to the likes of Harding and his Anglo-American friends, we won’t find such information anywhere on the ABC or RNZ. We Antipodeans in the colonies  will be the last to know. 

Tony Kevin is a former Australian senior diplomat, having served as ambassador to Cambodia and Poland, as well as being posted to Australia’s embassy in Moscow. He is the author of six published books on public policy and international relations.

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

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47 comments for “Suspended for Providing Balanced News on Ukraine

  1. Doly Garcia
    June 16, 2023 at 12:24

    Journalists, if they wish to be seen as fair, they shouldn’t just report both sides of an issue, especially an issue as controversial as a war that might escalate into a NATO-Russia war. In order to be fair, they need to go further. They need to attempt to report the truth.

    What is the truth, in this case? The truth is that the most likely cause of a NATO-Russia war would be about the nukes. No, not the nuclear warheads that might fly, though that is also a big part of the problem. It would be about access to the vast amounts of nuclear raw materials that can be found under the Russian ground.

    We keep hearing about an energy transition. What is going to fuel that energy transition? Greenpeace may keep saying that it can be done on renewables only, but any engineer that has gone through the figures will tell you that seems exceedingly unlikely. Nuclear is going to be part of the mix. And Russia does nuclear. Lots of it. It’s the world’s main provider of enriched uranium.

    We are told that Putin’s obsession with Crimea (and the Russian naval base there) started for no reason at all. That seems exceedingly unlikely. Much more likely is that Putin became at some point convinced that WWIII was inevitable, as the amounts of fossil fuels gradually depleted and an energy transition went from optional to absolutely necessary, and has been acting accordingly since.

    That would be fair and balanced reporting on the Ukraine war. We are very unlikely to get it, from any source.

  2. Eddy Schmid
    June 15, 2023 at 23:37

    Quote, “We Antipodeans in the colonies will be the last to know.” Unquote. WRONG, at this stage of the game, if there are any Australians and N.Z.’rs who still read/watch/listen to local MSM, deserve everything that’s coming their way. God gave us all a BRAIN to use for ourselves to think and work things out to benefit ourselves. If people refuse to do that, the blame lies fairly square in their own laps. I’m Australian, and a Veteran of a U.S. provoked war, have experienced at first hand, the lies, deceptions and hypocrisy that nation utilises, to acheive it’s goals using others as fuel for the fires it lights. I see today, exactly the same thing unfolding as I saw before our involvement in the Vietnam war, only this time, it’s far, far worse. Back then we still had some MSM that could call it’self ‘independent’, sadly, today that is no longer true. To find the truth, we need to go to International sources, especially the Non Aligned nations which still have some degree of autonomy, and not the same level of fear to print/report the truth, unlike Western sources. It’s up to each and everyone of us, to ensure we obtain accurate information making it possible to make rational decisions on this issue. Consider the FACT, if the U.S. is successful in involving Aust and N.Z. in their self serving illegal murderous wars, rest assured, Aust and N.Z. will also bleed as well. The question we all need to ask ourselves is, “what’s in it for us ?”
    Our Vietnam/Iraq x 2, Afghanistan/Libya/Syria experiences certainly did not gain us anything, except very clear knowledge that WE ARE BEING USED AND SACRAFICED ON THE U.S. ALTER OF WAR, for no gain to us whatever.

  3. Robert
    June 15, 2023 at 01:20

    This article totally misrepresents the incident. The author is being dishonest.

    The editor isn’t being suspended for providing balance. That is not the issue at all.

    The editor is being suspended for making significant changes to newswire articles. The changes altered the framing of the articles significantly, and broke the contracts that RNZ has with those services.

    Whether or not the syndicated articles were unbalanced in the first place is a completely seperate issue: state-funded broadcasters can’t afford to have rogue editors essentially rewriting articles at their whim. Editors should not be activists.

    I’ve been following consortium news for a couple of years, and I’ve appreciated the balance and insight it provides.

    But this article is simply dishonest.
    The author and the editor should be ashamed.

      June 15, 2023 at 10:33

      Please produce the language in the contract between Reuters and RNZ that says Reuters copy cannot be edited or significantly changed. Clients of wire services always edit and combine copy with staff reports or other wires services. It happens every day. The issue is not that this suspended editor altered the copy but how he or she altered it. Facts were inserted to make the article more accurate, which is the duty of an editor. The activists in this case are the senior editors who suspended this journalist because he or she refused to continue promulgating the false Western narrative about this war. The changes made to the article are the same suppressed facts that Consortium News and other Western independent media have been reporting about Ukraine from 2014 until today.

      • Tony Kevin
        June 15, 2023 at 18:15

        Thanks for CN Editor’s professional support in reply to the abusive and ignorant criticism by ‘Robert’ of my ‘dishonest’ writing – which is of course a nonsense allegation.

        The renowned US-based independent analyst Max Blumenthal @MaxBlumenthal published an entertaining ten-tweet thread on how NZ Broadcasting has made a laughing stock of itself over this. Here is the unroll…

    • Susan Siens
      June 15, 2023 at 17:33

      I want to double down on Consortium News’ reply to this comment. As a former typesetter at a newspaper, I can totally confirm that media routinely edit press releases and wire feeds.

      The problem in the media is when they passively accept feeds and reproduce them, often without reading / watching the material. What comes to mind is Channel 6 in Portland, Maine, carrying a CNN piece in which the Minutemen were interviewed as though they were a respectable source of information rather than a gang of thugs. The news desk had not even viewed the feed, which I find the height of irresponsibility.

      You need to learn the meaning of shame; it does not mean responsible editing. Editors should not be passive slobs, but be aware of their responsibility to the public (which very few media are).

  4. Scared Person
    June 15, 2023 at 01:12

    Journalists may not state facts anymore, we must all obey the new-speak. We must accept the official lies as the truth, and if not, we will be harmed.

    That’s the nonsense capitalists told us the commies did to their people; why the commies were bad.

    You see, the commies were repressive, and stopped any free speech and stopped journalists from doing their duty, but “we” don’t do that. “We” just save you from knowing things which are bad, and you’re welcome. “We” saved you from dangerous opinions and facts, so you won’t get confused (you poor dears), and so you will keep working. That’s good. Obedience is choice. Enlistment is patriotism.

  5. Lynne Dempsey
    June 15, 2023 at 00:17

    John Pilger, the Australian journalist highly respected for his integrity, has condemned the total propaganda blitz imposed on all western media by the US. Compliant NZ, Aus, Canadian and UK media must provide the public with a Russia-phobia narrative about the US proxy war being fought in Ukraine in an effort to (as the US says) “weaken” Russia. News consumers must never be told that Russia’s Special Military Operation was provoked by NATO’s insistence on giving NATO membership to Ukraine – despite 20 years of protest from Russia that having NATO weapons, including nuclear, on its border was an existential threat to Russia’s security. We must not be told about the Maidan Coup in Ukraine, or the shelling of Russian speakers in the Donbas by the Ukraine government which cost 15 000 lives between 2015 and 2022.
    RNZ has faithfully obeyed US orders and have promulgated lie after lie about the conflict – that Russia was feeble, that Ukraine was winning, and that Russia destroyed the Nord Stream pipeline and has now destroyed the Kakhovka Dam in southern Ukraine. No alternative perspectives are allowed. The NZ public are fast losing confidence in their broadcaster RNZ or any other media source.
    I stopped listening to RNZ a couple of years ago (except for the wonderful Concert programme). Instead I get my international news from independent journalists and US academics and retired military and skilled analysts – usually on YouTube. Here is my ‘go to’ list for anyone fed up with the propaganda umbrella they are being brainwashed beneath.
    Prof Jeffrey Sachs and Prof John Mearsheimer whose knowledge of geopolitics is huge, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern is excellent on CGTN re the Nordstream pipeline (plus an excellent interview with Seymour Hersh on Democracy Now over 3 months ago).
    Scott Ritter and Col Douglas MacGregor from a military perspective, and also Brian Berletic on The New Atlas. The Grayzone and Max Blumenthal are great and also Chris Hedges in the US, and from London Alexander Mercouris and British journalist Jonathan Cook – whose article today on the media manipulation of the Kakovka dam news to frame Russia illustrates just how we are being mislead. Of course John Pilger who we have trusted for decades! Like the writer of this article ALL the above journalists and analysts are banned from Mainstream media. And a great platform for banned commentators and journalists is Consortium News. So I say “Cheers for the RNZ news editor who attempted to insert some balance into the bias and propaganda we have been fed by RNZ” A hero!

    • Cassandra
      June 16, 2023 at 05:51

      More of us should do what you have done, Lynne. How much more powerful it is to educate our readers on the alternate journalists when we tear apart some knee-jerk propaganda!

  6. norah
    June 14, 2023 at 19:02

    Good article, but nobody in the Anglosphere is surprised by the totalitarian nature of the Evil Empire and its servants in political and media circles. The Empire has never felt so confident of its ability to reshape the planet as it does today.
    Everyone surely knows by now that the Ukraine War is really a proxy war against the Russian Federation, fully planned and brought to fruition deliberately and with perfect timing in 2014. I can’t see the 500,000 dead Ukrainians being an accurate guesstimate, it’s surely closer to 150,000.

  7. Curmudgeon
    June 14, 2023 at 13:43

    While I admire the ‘unknown” editor for trying to provide balance, even his addition of ‘pro-Russian elected government’ is not entirely correct. It was Yanukovych and his government who sought a deal with the EU and the IMF loan. The deal(s) offered was so bad, that it would have destroyed the already failing Ukraine, economically, which is why they accepted the Russian deal. They were not so much “pro-Russian”, as much as not “anti-Russian”.

    • Tim N
      June 14, 2023 at 18:56

      Good point.

    • Scared Person
      June 15, 2023 at 00:55

      Yeah, Oliver Stone’s documentary “Ukraine on fire” showed Merkel being oh so disappointed that Ukraine would not cripple themselves in order to make money for the EU out of the deal. Three years of negotiation amounted to: be poor, stay poor.
      That’s it. Negotiation over.

      The EU was trying to force Ukraine into a Greece-style corner, where the Ukrainians had to pay the EU forever, just to join. This is a fossil fuel conflict, again, because the Ukrainians would have had to have large charges on their fuel, crippling their production competitiveness, just so the Germans and the EU could make some profit from Russian fuel at the expense of the Ukrainian people.

      Then the Ukr president said – this deal is a bit crap for my people, so I wonder what deal the Russians will offer? How dare he?!

      Then he was overthrown, despite democracy, despite declaring an early election on the demand of the protestors (optional), and the US backed coup went ahead anyway. Racist, ultra-nationist factions took power, and some of the people refused to swallow that, and so Ukraine disintegrated as a nation state.

      Now we have a capitalist war over who gets to own Ukraine.

      The EU plutocrats, privately, must have a lot of regret, because now it is they who seem to be in irreversible recession. Just blame the Russians seems the order of the day.

      The US gives no ****s about the EU peoples, as Nuland said: “**** the EU”.
      There is no reverse gear for the neocon empire, the blood must flow, because the US has no answer but warfare.
      Someone has to pay the US, because the bill is due, and if no one pays, the US economy goes down the toilet.

      Can Russia and China and most of the world halt the empire’s blood lust? Or will the empire kill us all?
      Tune in next week… but remember… the empire will kill its own people before the rulers take a single cent of loss.

      • michael888
        June 15, 2023 at 09:38

        It’s funny how tangential people such as Merkel are criticized for the Ukraine debacle while VP Joe Biden and his dual passport State Department has run Ukraine as Viceroy since 2009. No one is as responsible for the program of eradicating “the Russian language, Russian culture, and ethic Russian Ukrainians” in Ukraine as Joe Biden, but somehow he gets a pass?
        I’m not a fan of Trump either, who was ineffective, incompetent and appointed monsters like Pompeo and Bolton (Madeleine Albright was dead). But Merkel and Boris Johnson were just messenger boys for Joe Biden and the US.

        • Scared Person
          June 15, 2023 at 18:25

          I certainly give no such pass. I’ve seen many comments from Europeans in various places, that indicate that they have no idea of their own role in sparking the powder keg. Anyone who treats in good faith with the US eventually gets screwed. Everyone. No matter which party is in power. Frog meet Scorpion.

        • Cassandra
          June 16, 2023 at 05:57

          Michael, thank you. Its been one hell of a day and I needed the smile you gave me with your aside on Albright.

  8. June 14, 2023 at 13:27

    It would be cool to see the “before” and “after” texts… are they accessible somewhere?

    • D'Esterre
      June 14, 2023 at 19:18

      You could try the RNZ website. Here it is:

      At least you’ll see the “afters”. Not sure whether the “befores” will be available, but doubtless you can deduce what they said by recognising the propaganda which has been added.

      In the process, you’ll see all the other awful stuff happening here, which I don’t think ever makes international news. Gangs, gang crime, ramraiders, etc, etc.

      • Valerie
        June 15, 2023 at 12:18

        No, not the gangs/crime/ramraiders. But we have heard about the fast-melting glaciers and warming seas. The whole western society, like the climate, is in “breakdown”.

        • Cassandra
          June 16, 2023 at 06:02

          The desertification of former prairies in the southern parts of many countries in the world needs to be added to the glaciers. It is a result than many of us see daily with our own eyes and don’t have to study up on it to respond with appropriate dread.

    • Marika Czaja
      June 14, 2023 at 20:20

      Here is a link to a NZ article from “Newsroom” with a very ironic title – and a few more details but unfortunately no “before and after.”
      hxxps:// Regards from Auckland, Marika

  9. Robert Moore
    June 14, 2023 at 12:37

    Greetings from Canada sisters and brothers. Things are as bad here. CBC radio is doing virtually the same thing. Thanks to Mr. Kevin and numerous others who continue to chip away at the edifice. Regards, Robert

  10. Rudy Haugeneder
    June 14, 2023 at 12:21

    The CBC and other news agencies in Canada and NPR in the USA are not much different.

  11. bardamu
    June 14, 2023 at 11:10

    I guess if you think it makes sense to blind one eye, you work to blind all five.

    It gets towards a point where the closest thing to a safe assumption is that anything these governments and these companies do is wrong. There are obvious flaws in operating like that, but they could become the lesser.

    We may reach a point wherein everyone and everything much beyond the reach of personal interactions has to be held suspect, at least within the 5 eyes. The chill even on personal conversation becomes increasingly obvious.

  12. June 14, 2023 at 11:09

    The sad state of respect for verity.

  13. Vera Gottlieb
    June 14, 2023 at 10:04

    The American influence gnawing its way through like a malignant cancer.

  14. susan
    June 14, 2023 at 09:16

    When will we wake up to the realization that we are being duped by western propaganda? Anything you read/listen to in the MSM is complete hogwash – can’t you feel it in your gut???

    • Mike
      June 14, 2023 at 20:57

      I dropped my MSM feed for just that reason and now rely on The Guardian, Democracy Now, Tom Dispatch as well as CN.

  15. Francis Lee
    June 14, 2023 at 09:04

    The far-right tradition in Ukraine has, even today, been very strong and well supported particularly in the western Ukraine. The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) was first established in 1929 and brought together by the usual bunch of war veterans, student fraternities, far-right groups and various other disoriented social and political flotsam and jetsam under its banner.

    The OUN took its ideological position from the writings of one, Dymtro Dontsov, who, like Mussolini had been a socialist, and who was instrumental in creating an indigenous Ukrainian fascism bringing together the usual mish-mash of writings and theories which included Friedrich Nietzsche, Georges Sorel, and Charles Maurras. Mr. Dontsov also translated the works of Hitler and Mussolini into Ukrainian.

    The OUN was committed to ethnic purity, and relied on violence, assassination and terrorism, not least against other Ukrainians, in order to achieve its goal of a totalitarian and homogeneous nation-state. Strongly oriented toward the Axis powers, OUN founder – Evhen Konovalets (1891-1938) – stated that his movement was ‘’waging war against mixed marriages’’ as well as other ethnic groups, i.e., Poles, Russians and Jews, the latter which he described as ‘’foes of our national rebirth’’. Indeed, rabid anti-Semitism has been a leitmotif in the history of Ukrainian fascism, which has never been erased. Assorted enemies and impediments to this goal were Communists, Russians, Poles, and of course – Jews. The Poles in particular came in for a massive wave of killings numbering tens of thousands in Vohlynia and Galicia in 1943-44.

    (In passing the German invasion in 1941 gave rise to a compact between the German SS death squads and units who were to collaborate with the Ukrainian fascist groups under the tutelage of no less a personage than Heinrich Himmler.)

    Emerging from this ideological cesspool were two leading figures: Stepan Bandera (OUN-B) Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, and Roman Shukeyvic Commander-of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). Their principal aim in life was the extermination of Poles, Russians, and Jews – circa 1943-44.

    Even today this political/military movement still exhibits a noxious tradition which has never been erased. Moreover today’s crop of ultra-militants have received ample backing in both war material and political support from their NATO backers.

    • bill
      June 14, 2023 at 11:39

      V helpful history thx

    • Scared Person
      June 15, 2023 at 01:36

      I imagine the journalist in question from NZ, understood this, and cared about this history, and took a big hit for the cause of… journalism… at least as it once was supposed to be.

  16. Andrew Nichols
    June 14, 2023 at 06:41

    As a kiwi this is wgat I write in repobse to the CEO of RNZ after his unhinged rant whefe he spoke of “apologising to the Ukrainian community” and “Pro Kremlin Garbage”

    “we’ve let our audience down, our Ukrainian community down”,…”Pro Kremlin garbage”


    1. Youre here to support Ukrainians? No. Your job is not to support either side. Its to present news. 2. You know its “Pro Kremlin garbage”? Like you knew WMD in Iraq to be truth….Babies thrown from incubators by Iraqi troops….Viagra fuelled Libyan troops….

    What did you call that? White House Garbage” The heck you did…

    So stop the fawning sanctimony RNZ. Your CEO’s statement makes you just sound…like propagandists…

    I’m not angry just disappointed …amazed at my naiivete, that I thought my countryand its state media were independent…

    • Scared Person
      June 15, 2023 at 01:39

      No one is allowed to be independent in the US Empire. Not thought, not deed. Not nation, not culture. Not business, not craft, not scholarship. There is only freedom. There is only service to your betters. There is only profit.

  17. Valerie
    June 14, 2023 at 04:12

    “Every War in the past 50 Years is a Result of Media Lies”

    Julian Assange

  18. D'Esterre
    June 13, 2023 at 22:55

    Many thanks for this article.

    “RNZ, by contrast, is still widely respected in New Zealand.”

    Not any more. Many of us in NZ have the measure of RNZ and have abandoned it. I still listen to Concert – which mercifully carries very brief news reports – but, about 2019, stopped listening to National Radio. I haven’t read any stories on its website since then: certainly none of those complained about.

    Some years ago, I took issue with its coverage of the US-sponsored putsch in Kiev, and the subsequent return to Russia of the Crimea. I made a formal complaint about lack of balance; fat lot of good that did!

    RNZ is woke, as is this polity. I now refer to NZ as a ghastly little woke hellhole at the arse-end of nowhere. I fail to understand why any immigrants come here.

    Meantime, I’m in the middle of composing an e-mail to RNZ, excoriating them for yet another piece of wokery. Propaganda, if you prefer.

    • Rafael
      June 14, 2023 at 04:49

      Living in Canada, I sympathize entirely with your comment. Our CBC is just as servile as your RNZ, although it wasn’t like that twenty years ago.

      I do have one minor suggestion, though: not to use “woke” as a pejorative word. To my understanding it’s simply a colloquial way to say “awakened” and as such was originally intended as a term of approval. However, the right-wing mouthpieces have hijacked the word to mean its opposite, as often happens with concepts they’d like to ban from our thoughts (e.g. socialism). I hope we won’t allow them to choose our vocabulary for us in this case.

      • Susan Siens
        June 15, 2023 at 17:42

        Woke is a cultural tactic determined to silence anyone who does not agree with its aims: sex is a social construct, all white people are racists, men can be women, pedophiles are minor-attracted persons (MAPs), gay men have a RIGHT to have babies, etc.

        Right-wingers did not hijack the word. The woke wear their wokeness like a badge, a badge to bludgeon those of us who are not woke. I am a radical leftist and I use woke as the pejorative word it is due to those who brandish it as a weapon. All the wokerati I have come in contact with are well-to-do “liberals” who believe themselves superior to us plebes.

        • DC_rez
          June 16, 2023 at 09:13

          In addition they are mainly woke only as it pertains to people they don’t like. Mainly the right.
          IMO people who claim to be woke are asleep at the wheel.

  19. AnonX
    June 13, 2023 at 22:41

    Beyond immorality of the issue, which I completely agree with, there is a another “logical-contradiction” issue. Ukraine is obviously publishing misinformation and fakes to keep up the moral of its own population…this is to be expected. However, because of the global reach of the internet, the Western media must accept (and not contradict) those Ukrainian claims… otherwise Ukrainians would tune into Western media and hear stories that contradict their own press. And this would undermine the war effort. Thus, the Western press is “straight-jacketed” by the Ukrainian propaganda machine.

    Furthermore, this creates a “knowledge issue” for Western elites who still rely on the MSM to stay informed …and sadly, that probably includes most of them. How many US Senators for example are reading Consortium News, the Gray Zone, Scott Ritter, Douglas Macgregor, etc? Without reading those sources, it is impossible to know what is happening in Ukraine.

    It seems hard to believe for us reading Consortium News that this “information bubble” exists, but it does. For example, RFK Jr. just admitted last night, to Glenn Greenwald, that he believed RussiaGate was real up until 2020 and last year Jeffery Sachs appointed Peter Daszak to his commission to investigate the origins of COVID19. Two very intelligent people who should have known better, but didn’t.

    Sadly, a completely uneducated person has a better chance at comprehending reality than a Western elite, whose memory banks are filled with false and erroneous information. When you start from a place of complete ignorance, you will follow the evidence where ever it takes you, however, when you already think you know, you will dismiss all information that comes to you as disinformation, because it conflicts with what you already “know”.

    Thus, there are two groups of people promulgating this, the truly nefarious and those that simply “don’t know that they don’t know”.

    It is quite amazing that humanity finds itself in this circumstance in the 21st Century, with global internet connectivity, yet here we are. (sigh)

    • graeme pedersen
      June 14, 2023 at 21:52

      I’ve said for a long time that our ‘”so called” knoweledge of Russia was
      promulgated by the hollyweird “James Bond” series> The baddie was allways Asian or Russian and Get Smart ‘s main enemy was smersh. A good western title.

  20. Bill Todd
    June 13, 2023 at 22:36

    How sad. The Lord of the Rings presented such an idyllic picture of New Zealand but it now appears to be under the domination of The Eye of Sauron to the extent that even its peacefully oblivious inhabitants don’t raise a finger to demand any say in the matter.

    Such is the power of unseen, devious, and implacable evil, and those who are quietly corrupted by it become aghast when the price they have paid comes due. Some pity for them might be in order but my first priority is pity for those already having been damaged by this blind acquiescence on the part of the sheep of the West.

    Given the results to date I have wondered to what extent Western Ukrainians may be ruing their failure to oppose the 2014 coup against their democratically elected government or demand that their later support for Zelenskyy based upon his promises to take Ukraine on a neutral course friendly to its Russian neighbor be honored. Or have they been successfully convinced that their current victimhood was not earned.

  21. RWilson
    June 13, 2023 at 22:36

    Very glad to hear there are healthy independent news sources in New Zealand. Also, I’m not surprised a the UK connection to the censorship. The tyrannical financial system of the old British Empire is still controlling Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. That’s why dictatorial policies (e.g. freezing bank accounts in Canada) are more easily implemented in those countries.

    The tyranny is strongest in Britain since it is headquartered in the City of London. Hence it was able to drive Jeremy Corbyn out of politics for advocating justice for the Palestinians. The 1st Amendment in the US is somewhat of a bulwark against the tyranny, but it is under serious attack.

    Not coincidentally, this tyranny manifests in an extreme form in Palestine, where the 1948 Zionist invasion was financed by the City of London. A core tenet of that invasion was that the Muslims and Christians of Palestine are subhumans who may be deceived, robbed, and killed with impunity. That remains Israel’s policy to this day.

    Also not coincidentally, the same big lie tactic is used for both Palestine and Russia. Regarding Palestine, the public is told that Israelis are innocent victims of Palestinian terrorists, when in reality the reverse is true. Similarly, Russians are demonized for an “unprovoked” invasion while the Hegemon is valorized for defending Ukraine’s democracy. In reality the Hegemon is the surreptitious bad guy, while Russia came to the assistance of assaulted ethnic Russians, who had requested their help.

    Our controlled and corrupted corporate media is an essential cog in this tyranny. My profound thanks to those reporters and editors with the courage to resist it. I hope your brave examples will inspire shame and reform in those who are still enabling this tyranny.

  22. Harold
    June 13, 2023 at 21:51

    Thanks Tony Kevin. always accurate. I’d generally thought of NZ as quite reasonable and rational. Well, it has a “progressive” government, or seemed to. Now we see that their news services will search thousands of articles “with a fine-tooth comb”. Posthumous censorship? Now there’s a new thing.

    Covering a few points from that Guardian article quickly to put the NZ government’s lies in their place – in the rubbish bin ?

    • Everyone observing the events of 2014 in the Maidan recognized a coup. The elected president Yanukovych was forced out of office by violence and Victoria Nuland and her ultra-hawk mates installed a new government matching the USA choice. There’s no debate on the subject. Video of Nuland describing her actions is widely available on the Internet.
    • The term “pro-Russian” used to describe the elected government is a false reference to the policies of the Yanukovych government. The term is a part of the continuous misrepresentation of reality, in the certain belief that western populations will not inform themselves.
    • The Nuland Ukrainian government most certainly was a “pro-western”, and specifically a pro-USA and pro-NATO regime, as is the Zelensky regime today. Of course Nuland et al would not have appointed it if it opposed USA interests.
    • The long, historic ties of the new regime to fascist entities is documented everywhere. The names Azov and Bandera are amongst the best known. There are many more. The reality is never questioned, except by propagandists. Zelensky confronted these forces upon taking office and yielded to them, reversing all his positions prior to becoming president.
    • Russia did not annex Crimea. Crimea joined the Russian Federation in a referendum. The Nuland Ukrainian government suppressed (that means murdered) ethnic Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine. Statistics show that at least 14,000 murders occurred by a variety of means. The use of artillery was widespread.

    RNZ will now distort these facts in the hope that NZ citizens are susceptible to state propaganda. But as Tony Kevin said, the cat is out of the bag.

  23. J Anthony
    June 13, 2023 at 20:53

    Are enough people tired of the war profiteers, the sycophants, the political hacks, and the professional managerial class of all fields helping to project delusions onto the global populace, in the face of serious challenges on all fronts? Is it not yet clear they will gladly kill us all, either slowly or with haste, if that’s what it takes to further consolidate their hold over our vital resources and functions? Why is this being tolerated to such an extent by so many still? Even if there is no realistic hope for systemic change in our lifetime, wouldn’t people rather go out trying, rather than shrugging? Do we realize the actual tools are there, the capacities exist, to make sweeping, radical shifts in how we manage our society? Where the hell is the collective will?
    Questions, few if any answers…this era is best symbolized by the “?” The future’s uncertain and the end is always near…

    • Rafi Simonton
      June 15, 2023 at 13:23

      IMHO you’re right on. The unholy cabal of trickle up econopathic neolibs with sociopathic neocons obsessed with power and control would indeed “kill us all” along with most all other life on Earth if that’s what it takes to preserve their sick fantasies. Although much of the population in the western world seems in denial (having a job requires it) there are a significant number who do see what’s happening. So I wonder, too, “where is the collective will?”

  24. slorter
    June 13, 2023 at 18:57

    good article

    Sheldon Wolin talks about Inverted totalitarianism and managed democracy, the democracy is sanitized of political participation, and describes it as managed democracy.

    Neoliberalism is an integral component of inverted totalitarianism; it selects debate in a controlled environment. Any debate outside the selected narrative in the collective west, whether you be a journalist, a member of parliament, a citizen or an academic, you will be marginalized by the neocon neoliberal machine.

    • Scared Person
      June 15, 2023 at 01:26

      Democracy would be illegal, if the private capitalist corporate media could not effectively shape the opinions and beliefs of the people.
      Imperial information control renders democracy moot, even if we had democracy.
      We vote based on what we understand, and there is a lot we are not allowed to understand. (Thanks CN for helping)

      It is like a stab in my chest to see my loved ones, family, friends, repeating the talking points of the neocons as if their own words are their own ideas. From the minds of psychopaths, out of the mouths of my people.

      They hate me for disagreeing, rather than hating the liars who conned them. The process is ongoing. I don’t think I can win, or help.
      So it goes. It is easier to fool people than convince them they have been fooled.

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