"‘Sixty Minutes’ holds up the mirror to the West: and the picture in the frame is ugly"
By Gilbert Doctorow, gilbertdoctorow.com (September 28, 2023)
Readers will note that I have very often made reference to what I learn watching talk shows on Russian state television Rossiya 1 directed at their domestic audience, namely Sixty Minutes and Evening with Vladimir Solovyov. Very often the expert panelists, whether leaders of the Duma parties and Duma committee chairmen or retired military officers, offer commentaries that are insightful and novel.
However, another aspect of these programs is perhaps still more useful to my professional work, and that is their putting on air each day digests of Western television broadcasting, and especially interviews or public speeches by well-known American and European politicians. The Western broadcasters which are featured most often on these Russian programs include CNN, ABC News, Fox News, the BBC and ZDF (Germany). The videos posted are not sound bites. On the contrary, they can be several minutes long each, and very often are clustered to show Western coverage of a given issue.
To be sure, some of the issues covered day after day are marginal. I have in mind transgender events and scandals such as the fight over multi-gender toilets being introduced in various American school systems or the fight over drag shows presented to the children of soldiers on U.S. military bases. The intent of the Russian newscasters is to highlight the degeneracy that now passes for progressive culture in the West. But the stories speak for themselves and the Russian news hosts are not thickening the paint. As they like to say on a frequently repeated Euronews segment: “No comment.”
But other issues are serious, geopolitical and entirely germane to the military confrontation with the West that Washington and Brussels have brought on. These Russian broadcasts allow Western politicians to utterly discredit themselves before any right-thinking person with a moral compass for a conscience.
Several such cases have come up in the past two days. One was an interview given by Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell in which he repeats nearly word for word what fellow Republican and the as yet unindicted war criminal, the senior Senator from the state of South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, has been saying to reporters during and following his last visit to Kiev: that the war in Ukraine serves American objectives perfectly because it is hitting the Russian army hard while costing the United States not a single life of its men in uniform [emphasis added].
Of course, the assertion that no American servicemen have been killed in Ukraine is a lie [emphasis added]. To be sure, the Poles have provided the largest contingent of NATO officers and soldiers to have been killed by the Russians in Ukraine. The Poles are close to Ukrainians in having a death wish by going up against The Bear. But American soldiers and officers are on the ground in Ukraine in their capacity as instructors and intelligence operatives, and the Russian missile strikes on concentrations of “foreign mercenaries” almost certainly have taken the lives of GIs [emphasis added].
But that one lie is the least of McConnell’s offenses against human decency. He has openly stated the most cynical logic to justify the deaths of at least 400,000 Ukrainian soldiers and officers as well as the permanent maiming of countless others. All for the sake of weakening Russia militarily and ensuring that not a single American pays the price? I put aside the question of whether the Russian armed forces have actually been weakened. I believe the contrary is true. Of course, Lindsey Graham took this narrative one step further than McConnell by expressing the hope that as many Russians will die as is possible [emphasis added]. Sixty Minutes does not let anyone forget that, every few days showing Graham delivering these obscenities.
In presenting to their public statements that were duly recorded by American broadcasting companies, is Russia engaging in propaganda? Absolutely not. It is doing the job of normal journalism, informing its audience [emphasis added].
Sixty Minutes today also put on the screen the latest remarks by Donald Trump on how he would have prevented the Russian invasion of Ukraine: by bringing the market price of oil down to $40 and so drastically cutting the revenues available for Russia to stage its assault on Kiev [emphasis added]. The presenters and panelists did comment on this one, saying flatly that Russia will be sure not to support Trump’s next bid for the White House if these idiotic remarks by The Donald are his much touted but till now closely held “peace plan.” [emphasis added]
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also was given plenty of air time on Russian state television today. One video showed him standing by visiting Ukrainian President Zelensky in the Canadian parliament several days ago applauding the honors bestowed by the Speaker on a Ukrainian freedom fighter who settled in Canada after the end of the Second World War. The fact that this freedom fighter fought the Russians from within a Nazi SS Waffen unit that murdered civilians in Galicia became public after this ceremony and resulted in the Speaker’s resignation, in the Parliament adopting a resolution condemning the Nazis and in a public apology by Trudeau for the scandal. However, as Sixty Minutes highlighted in its coverage of Trudeau’s remarks on the subject, he left out of his list of victims of the SS Waffen and Nazi forces in general any mention of the deaths inflicted on Russians [emphasis added].
In case the audience did not quite understand the moral monster who today sullies the family name of Trudeau, Sixty Minutes also put on air a lengthy denunciation of Trudeau that appeared on Indian television in which inter alia he was called out as a cocaine addict whose plane on arrival in India for the G-20 gathering several weeks ago was found to be carrying illicit narcotics but was untouchable. The same Indian broadcast said that Trudeau missed the first day of the G-20 because he was busy taking drugs in his hotel room. Is this Russian propaganda? Or is it just airing dirty linen that others living in the “free world” have put out for their audiences? In any case, the point being made is that Justin Trudeau and fellow addict Zelensky have more in common than admiration for old Nazis.
Lastly, Sixty Minutes today did not ignore the former Secretary of State and presidential candidate of 2016, Hilary Clinton. They offered a clip from Clinton’s interview yesterday with CNN’s Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour in which she asserted that Vladimir Putin was himself responsible for the expansion of NATO. Here the temptation was too great and the panelists indulged their revulsion for the lady who was behind the whole fake Russia-gate story that did so much to bring us to the brink of WWIII. Was she fair game for their mocking and contemptuous words about her? Of course she was [emphasis added].
©Gilbert Doctorow, 2023