Germany's MSM descends into wild speculation over Putin's health, psychology, and body language
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Originally Appeared at Sputnik Deutschland. Translated from the German by Werner Schrimpf
Russia’s broadcaster RT is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. The channel has a daily viewship of millions of people and is offering an attractive alternative to the same old stories from western mainstream media. These show their congratulations in a special manner: they are insulting RT journalists as tank drivers without uniforms and investigating Putin’s cowboy style of walking.
German mainstream media is obviously heavily frustrated! RT is on air now for ten years and is delighted to experience steadily increasing public reception. German media, on the contrary, is suffering heavy losses quarter by quarter and avoids mentioning this anniversary just with one word. No news from “Spiegel”, “taz”, and “Bild”, and it’s the same situation with German state TV stations “ARD” and “ZDF”. The only exception was a report broadcast by the radio station “Deutschlandfunk,” but it was a special one. They have switched to war mode and headlined the anniversary of RT with the slogan “Media propaganda: RT journalists as tank drivers without uniforms” when describing the mission of Russia’s TV station RT.
Mr. Mustafa Najem, member of the Ukrainian parliament and one of the initiators of Kiev's „Euro-Maidan“ and „colour revolution,“ was given a forum in the publicly-financed radio station. Najem was enlisted to the “Block Petro Poroschenko” and this provided him the entrance ticket to the Ukrainian parliament Verchovna Rada. In a weird comparison he lectured “Imagine the Bolshoi ballet from Moscow would travel to Berlin using tanks in order to perform in the German capital. Could we in this case speak about ballet and art? Yeah, maybe, because there are still dancers acting. But nevertheless, the tanks would park in front of the theatre.”
RT journalists are sort of tank drivers without wearing uniforms, Mr. Najem stated in this interview. “If we agree that Russia’s propaganda is a means of war, please tell me what the difference is between RT and a tank? As long as we do not accept the fact that Russia’s media conduct real war on our territory we are going to lose this war!”
“Putin, tanks and propaganda!” This slogan is easy to remember.
Luckily, we do not see propaganda in German media! May be a little bit, for example, when the arms export report from Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) was presented and commented on by German media. But this is not a surprise – once again Putin and his tanks are an issue.
NATO and U.S. most beloved German yellow press media “BILD” headlined: “New study: Putin’s weaponry is arming the globe!” “Stern” magazine stated, “Russia’s arms industry is booming!” Anti-Russian flagship magazine of Springer media group “BILD” rides an attack: “Despite the global trend Russia’s arms producers were able to significantly increase their sales!” According to “BILD,” the large groups could increase their exports by more than 48 percent compared to the previous year and would now represent 10.2 percent of global arm sales. The number of top selling Russian arms producers in the Global Top 100 list of arms manufacturers had increased from 9 to 11.
And who are „the good ones“? According to “BILD,” these are NATO member states – of course. Those sold less weapons compared to the previous year. Altogether these manufacturers had sales of 401 billion US dollars (approx. 367 billion euros) which is a decrease of 1.5 percent compared to the previous year. Especially U.S. and Western Europe producers experienced a decline by 7.4 percent in 2014.
This data is basically correct but only half the story. At the end of the article, our newspaper for everlasting and indissoluble transatlantic friendship “BILD” writes: “U.S. manufacturers still dominate the TOP 100 list. Seven out of the top 10 are located in the U.S. in 2014. Top seller is the U.S. conglomerate Lockheed Martin with revenues of 37.5 billion US dollars in 2014. In fact, the second largest listed U.S. firm Boeing sells more weapons than all Russian companies listed in the SIPRI report combined. Austria’s media obviously still has more roots to the former neutral history and stance of their country.
The newspaper “Standard” titles their report with the headline “U.S. and Western European arms manufacturers still dominate the market” and show a more realistic picture of the results from the SIPIRI report. “Alone 17 out of the 20 global top selling arms suppliers are residing in NATO member states. Maybe sales showed a slightly falling trend, but their sales volume still represents the lion's share in global arm sales. The 10 global top selling companies are manufacturers from the U.S. and Western Europe. Among the 20 global top sellers you will just find 3 producers from Russia.”
So Vienna’s “Standard“ remains a rare bright spot in the ocean of self-proclaimed “quality media”. Just in time before the great Year-end press conference of the Kremlin will start German “quality media” found another topic which is vital for mankind. German media like “Focus”, “Welt”, “N24”, “n-tv” and others discovered Mr. Putin’s cowboy style of walking, or gunslinger walk. The stiff right arm of the president would not be a sign of beginning Parkinson’s disease but would be an infallible proof of Putin’s intense shooting exercises and training during his career as KGB officer, according to scientists consulted by German quality media.
This report was also published by news agency AFP which cited scientific investigations from neurologists from Portugal, Italy and the Netherlands. The crucial questions in these studies dealt with the issue why Putin’s left arm is swinging relaxed while the right arm would seem quite stiffly hanging down. Leading scientists from NATO member states researched and assessed a bulk of YouTube clips showing the Russian president. The results of their studies have been allegedly published in “British Medical Journal (BMJ)”.
Head of Government Dmitri Medvedev shows a similar style of walking and his gestures had been investigated by scientists accordingly. The strange thing in his case is that Medvedev never enjoyed a military education nor drill. But due to tough scientific work researchers found an answer to this complicated question as well. Medvedev could be just a copy-cat who is keen to have a comparable public appearance to his boss.
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