Legendary US Journalist Robert Parry: Media Groupthink on Ukraine Is Extreme (Video 10 min)

  • Prize winning Robert Parry, who broke the Iran-Contra scandals, Editor of the excellent Consortium News, gives a great speech at the World Russia Forum, held in the Hart Senate office building, Washington DC.
  • Must see TV, especially for people interested in media criticism.
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Wed, Apr 8, 2015
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Press should act the way our founding fathers would have liked the American press to act - ask tough questions, push for answers, challenge the US government.
Press should act the way our founding fathers would have liked the American press to act - ask tough questions, push for answers, challenge the US government.

Robert Parry is an American investigative reporter best known for his role in breaking and covering the Iran-Contra story for the Associated Press (AP) and Newsweek, including breaking the Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare (CIA manual provided to the Nicaraguan contras) and the CIA and Contras cocaine trafficking in the US scandal in 1985.

Currently, he is the editor of first web-based investigative magazine, Consortium News, as pointed out by Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor and publisher of the magazine, The Nation. His latest book is America's Stolen Narrative.

The key points of Parry’s fascinating speech:

  • During his 37 years long journalist career in Washington, he has never experienced such a single sided groupthink as the one we’ve seen in the past year or so regarding the Ukraine crises.
  • While being at the edge of the second Cold War and possible nuclear confrontation, we’ve seen a cavalier attitude in the most prestigious news organizations, like The New York Times and Washington Post.
  • When he started in 1977, it was a time when the US press corps asked tough questions, understood its basic responsibility to the American people, and broke through many government lies, including the Pentagon papers, Watergate Scandal, The Family Jewels (CIA).
  • There are almost always two sides of every story, and from the very beginning, Ukraine’s story was presented as a one-sided, cartoon-like story.
  • There is utmost failure to ask hard questions and push American government for answers. This is the case in the MH17 disaster where, after Washington’s initial accusations against Russia without substantial proof, the US government went completely silent and is holding back intelligence it has about this serious crime.
  • The American press should push the government on these things, not simply to go with a flow and investigate what the US government knows, and why it is not helping to bring whoever was responsible to justice.
  • The US press corps acts as the government’s propaganda conveyer belt.
  • US embassy in Kiev puts materials on twitter, and the American press publishes it. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work, and that’s not the way it used to be.
  • “Cuban missile crises in reverse” is unfolding in Ukraine, and the lives of our kids and grandkids are put at risk. One would expect the likes of The New York Times and Washington Post to do their jobs and not just uncritically accept Washington’s press statements.
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