Leah Ferguson and Lord Haw Haw

I wrote yesterday about the Russian Propaganda Channel "Russia Today", and made reference to their British presenters who to me seem willing to peddle any story or tale the Russian government wants put to the world without offering any balance or insight in to the whole picture.

So who is Leah Ferguson ? Well she is one of Russia Today's senior reporters. She is also British, and she seems to me to be willing to turn a blind eye to news in order to tell a tale that the political masters in the Kremlin must be absolutely loving.

Yesterday the implication of her reports on Russia Today was that the Georgians were still on the attack in South Ossetia and that the "genocide" as Russia Today likes to call it was all the fault of Georgia. Russia today made great efforts to stress the honourable way in which Russia had handled its response to Georgia.

So will we see Leah Ferguson reporting on South Ossetian forces in Georgia and South Ossetia operating a scorched earth policy by burning Georgian houses, stealing cars and food at gunpoint from Georgians, all with the "honourable" Russian Army watching and encouraging ? What do you think.

So why the reference to Lord Haw Haw (William Joyce) ? I guess there are some similarities in why they are used in the roles both these "reporters" play. Joyce was used because of his voice, English accent and British passport whilst Ferguson, it appears to me, is also used in the same way. Are we to believe Russia today employ Ferguson (and other British journalists too) for the simple reason that they are the very best in the world or because they know that having a British voice gives credibility to the Russian version of the news in a way that having just Russian voices would never do.

Did some people believe Lord Haw Haw because he wasn't German ? I am sure some did. Will some believe Russia Today's one sided half news because it is being given by a British journalist ?

Update : Russia Today just described Russian troops actions in the Georgian town of Gori (where people are being robbed, houses are being burnt and Georgian proprty is being destroyed) as a "humanitarian mission". How on earth can the many British journalists who work for RT sleep at night ?


Benjamin Denton said...

Much of the Russian media does toe the party line without any balance or insight.

So where's your balance and insight, Nich? What about the "one sided half news" printed by Russia Today's tabloid counterparts here in the UK? What about the half news printed here - which reports similarities between the Russian media and the Nazi German propaganda machine?

You have totally ignored sections of the Russian media that are surely more to your British taste: the very liberal Novaya Gazeta, and the mainstream, ironically critical Kommersant. You also ignore the way Brits believe our own one sided half news because it's given to us by a British journalist.

Nich, you have a fine blog, and many readers. Please, please, don't follow Leah Ferguson into claptrap hypocritical reporting.

Norfolk Blogger said...

The point is I am not reviewing the conflict (and for the record Georgia has been just as awful in its behaviour as Russia has, indeed I think Georgia acted abysmally in this case) or other news sources. Those other news sources are not broadacast around the world and are not employing british journalists to make them seem more respectable.

Russia Today is not for the Russian audience anyway, if it was it would be broadcast in Russian. It is aimed at the outside world and it is its reporting I am commenting on.

Your comment suggests that if I were a film critic I could not review batman without also reviewing The Mummy too.

I am interested to know what you consider RT's british "tabloid counterparts" to be.

I watch News24/BBC News and they ahve been showing reports from both sides of the lines. although interestingly Russia Forces have barred the BBC from reporting from Ossetia and the BBC are relying on the Australian ABC network for reports and pictures from behind Russian lines.

As for ITV, their one sided pro Russian stance is something I have already written about.

Benjamin Denton said...

I wrote the comment because I like your blog, but I get really ticked off with British Russophobia.

It's quite common for news channels to hire foreign reporters for international broadcasts. Your immediate conclusion concerning RT is that they hired Leah Ferguson to add gloss to Russian propaganda, and ask how she can sleep at night working for such an organisation.

You don't mention the reporters at The Sun ("Britain’s security will be in peril if we continue to rely on Russian despot Vladimir Putin" ... the Russophobiic propaganda line of the nuclear industry) or The Telegraph (Denis MacShane tells us that Putin ordered "a full-scale military invasion of Georgia").

I'm not asking you to review "The Mummy". I want to point out that the British in general are horribly arrogant towards Russia. Your post follows the logic of The Sun et al: We Brits know what a despot is, and all about freedom of speech, so bloody Putin, his ursine Eastern hordes, and Leah-Lord Haw Haw had better listen up!

Norfolk Blogger said...

Sorry, but I disagree. My story was about the lack of balance.

I compared Russia Today to tabloids because they are awful newspapers. This does not mean I should therefore examine the tabloids in the UK and their handling of Russia. My point is exactly that, that tabloids generally involve shit, biased one sided journalism. TV stations in general do not follow this pattern, except RT.

The fact that you liken RT to tabloids makes my point exactly. Both are shit.

But thanks for the comments. I like the debate and appreciate your kind words.

SIRGEE said...

SIRGEE said………
William Joyce succeeded as a radio commentator in Nazi Germany because he was a lifelong National Socialist, highly intelligent (1st class degree London University), highly tuned and sympathetic to the working class, and intimately aware of pre-war social conditions in Britain after stumping up and down the country for Mosley's British Fascist Organisation.

He believed what he wrote and spoke

Anonymous said...

wonderful. thankyou for bigging up my daughter. it is interesting to view her reports against the one sided stuff from US tv stations in the early days of the conflict .did Georgia not invade south ossetia and blast tskhinvali in the first place? anyway why is U.S. messing about in georgia or the Ukraine. Imperialists.

Norfolk Blogger said...

I care little for US News eithber. I don't see how comparing RT with, for example, Fox News is saying good about Russia Today.

RT is a puppet of Putin and those working for him aid the Russian state (and line their own pockets).

Are RT reporting on Russian troops destroying Georgian infrastructure, detroying Ports, fishery protection vessels and burning houses of ethnic Georgians still (you can see the photos of burning houses on satellite maps and this is happening in the last few days.