Monday, August 25, 2008

The New Russia and the Media

American/Russian Tensions: a Dry Bones cartoon.

A personal note. I'm a TV junkie and I'll watch any kind of crap (and I don't need to see CNN or the BBC's biased coverage of the Middle East "conflict"). So a while ago I cancelled my cable TV connection, content with watching the news from local Israeli TV stations.

Recently I decided to get a satellite dish which would bring in the Israeli stations with perfect reception. And so, courtesy of the dish which now sits on our roof and is aimed at Israel's Amos Satellite, we get Channel One (Israel Gov't TV), Channel Two (Israel's first Commercial TV Station), Channel Ten (our second Commercial Station), and Channel 33 (which shows Israeli Arabic language broadcasts, educational TV, documentaries etc.).

When we connected the dish we were surprised to see that we also got Russia Today, a 24/7 English language Russian TV station. And so it was that we saw, on Russia Today, the first reports of the Georgian attacks on civilians in South Ossetia. The Israeli news channels seemed to be ignoring the story of the Georgian attack. We watched RT for days, as the story of civilian casualties and the Georgian attack on South Ossetia grew larger (on the Russian TV news).

When, finally, the Russian Army moved in to stop the Georgians, the story broke on Israel and other Western TV stations, and pushed its way onto the front pages of Western newspapers.

What I'm watching these days on Russia Today are complaints about the "bias" of the Western Media. Anger about CNN's "distortions" and the BBC's "lies".

So if I hadn't cancelled my cable TV, I'd have relied on what would have been presented by the Western Media as unprovoked actions by the cruel and vicious Russians. The way most folks in the West are treated to stories about unprovoked actions by the cruel and vicious Israelis.

I find the whole situation quite unsettling!

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