When you assign blame before looking at the evidence it's called being a propagandist
This is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared at RT
Not only was the July 17 crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 a tragedy of human dimensions, it was also a tragedy of epic proportions as far as journalism is concerned.
One day after the Malaysia-bound aircraft went down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew, Western media was already convinced it knew the identity of the perpetrator.
Yet every aircraft catastrophe requires painstaking investigation before any conclusions can be made: The black box must be found and examined; the pieces of the aircraft must be collected and fitted together to understand how and what damaged the aircraft; witness testimony is heard; satellite imagery is reviewed.
In the case of Malaysia Airlines MH17, however, which should have received even more scrutiny given that it went down in a war zone, none of these details seemd to be of consequence for the Western media.
Instead, like cheap propagandists, the Western mainstream media committed the cardinal sin of pointing the finger of blame without performing a single thread of investigative research.
Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid The Sun, with over 2 million readers, screamed in large-font print from its front page: “Putin’s missile,” while the UK’s most popular tabloid, The Daily Mail, said America warned there’d be “hell to pay” if Russia (i.e. Putin) was involved in the downing of the aircraft.
In the best case scenarios, Russia remained conspicuously between the lines in the sloppily crafted narrative.
Once again, a little ingredient known as basic facts was glaringly overlooked simply because the subject at hand was Russia. Usually such an oversight does nothing more bothersome than elicit a few chuckles at Russia’s expense.
This time, however, the stakes were far greater, happening as it did in the middle of a Ukrainian civil war, the outcome of which had no small bearing on international relations and the geopolitical chessboard - which, we should add, is littered with nuclear weapons.
There were numerous questions posed by the Russian side that were blatantly ignored in the Western media, including:
- Why did the MH17 plane leave the international corridor; why did Kiev deploy BUK missile systems on the edge of militia-controlled zones directly before the tragedy (especially considering the rebels have no planes);
- what was a Ukrainian fighter jet, detected by Russian radar, doing on the route intended for civilian flights;
- why haven’t European investigators released transcripts from the black box, or provided the public with a full report on the crash?
These are questions that not only Russia is asking, but also Malaysia, which was actually excluded from the criminal investigation team. Was that because it was prepared to view the details of the crash with an objective, open mind, not obsessed with blaming Russia?
"When the crash happened, we did not blame any parties, neither Russia nor Ukraine, as we would like to take a look at the concrete evidence," Dr. Mohamed Harridon, associate professor in research and aviation at Kuala Lumpur University, told RT.
He noted that unlike "western counterparts," Malaysia has taken a “neutral role," and not "pointed fingers at Russia," which could be the reason for the country's exclusion from the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that is permitted to apportion blame.
Once again, the Western world has been led astray by a media that is not remotely interested in engaging in any sort of investigative journalism – even when the stakes involve nothing less than global security.
Robert Bridge has worked as a journalist in Russia since 1998. Formerly the editor-in-chief of The Moscow News, Bridge is the author of the book 'Midnight in the American Empire'.