This morning a tweet appeared from someone called Branashko, who thought it was a good idea to distribute a photograph of 50+ dead dogs with the message: “Dogs killed in Russia before 2018 FIFA World Cup. Enjoy the football!”
Upon further investigation, the photo was taken in Pakistan two years ago, as someone demonstrated lower down in the feed. Branashko responded to this correction with the defence that he or she had used the photo as an ‘example’ of what Russia was doing...I know - you’d have been laughed out of the playground as a 9-year old if you’d have tried to pull crap like that. So would I.
Below that there was a contribution from Josie Ensor, a Middle East correspondent at the Daily Telegraph, who announced a link to the Telegraph with “This is a good read and not fake news, from @ASLuhn”. Mr Luhn is the Moscow correspondent:
The article does exactly what it says on the tin – describes how Russia has allegedly been using ‘death squads’ to purge its cities of stray dogs prior to the World Cup.
Meanwhile RT, has a piece debunking the ’50 dead dogs story’:
The piece adds:
“Ahead of the World Cup there were fears that Russia would try to exterminate stray dogs in time for the arrival of fans. However, Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said that the animals would be captured and placed in shelters”.
So…what’s my point? I have several minor ones and a major one, which I’ll finish with:
1. Apart from ‘reporting’ the news, each party involved has an ‘agenda’. There’s no point denying this – we all do.
a) Branashko’s agenda is to discredit Russia. He or she may be an idiot, but, at least the ‘loathing’ is transparent. Here's a pic from their Twitter feed:
b) Luhn’s agenda is also to discredit Russia. He is of course, subtler, in a ‘well-educated’ sort of way, but he rarely misses an opportunity to attack Putin, even when it makes him appear like a complete twerp…like the time when his response to photos of Ukrainian politicians wearing SS insignia was that they were 'playing into the hands of the Russian media'
c) RT’s agenda is to present Russia in a positive light. I have no doubt that Mr Mutko said what RT claims he said, but...if there is any truth in Mr Luhn's piece, it seems that the implementation has not been followed through in at least one city
2. The problem of growing numbers of feral animals, and pets abandoned by feckless owners is a problem in urbanised areas across the globe, not just in Russia. And it's a problem for the dogs, not just the humans - a fact that is lost on the 'pathology' that is in danger of overcoming our species
3. If we’re going to throw ‘hypocrisy’ at Moscow, we should also reflect on how homeless people in Windsor were rounded up and removed prior to the Royal Wedding. True, they weren’t shot...as far as I know…but I doubt if the fundamental problem of homelessness has been addressed in Windsor. Incidentally, it is not true that the Queen thinks the world smells of paint…she thinks it smells of ‘Dettol’…and paint
But none of that is the main issue...not really. My major point is this:
4. The agenda of people who claim to be totally objective is to get you to believe what they tell you. Never trust a guy who says ‘trust me’. By the way, my agenda is to challenge bullies, sociopaths and bull-shitters wherever they show their smelly little faces. I have a totally irrational belief, which I’m sticking to…that there is no peace, no compassion, no life worth living without ‘truth’, and that anyone who thinks they can cheat the universal law of ‘consequences’ is somewhere on a spectrum that has ‘moronic’ at one end and ‘evil’ at the other. My point is this:
If you want to know what’s going on in the world, you should attend to the ‘motive’ of the author and the ‘context’ of the events...not just the 'facts' being presented
I’ve covered ‘motive’.
Re ‘context’, it is such a universal factor that it is taken for granted, but it is always crucial. For example, the word ‘post’ can be a verb or a noun (specific or abstract), and if I asked you what the word means, you’d probably say ‘in what context?’. Thus, I define ‘context’ as:
“The set of conditions that surround an event that give meaning to that event”
In short...the MSM is utterly sub-standard in two crucial areas:
- Attending to context
Thus, in my view…and please remember my agenda…most MSM journalists are rubbish. Their editors are no better and their owners are worse. My advice to myself is therefore this:
I don't believe anything I read without considering the author's motive, which is revealed not only through their history, but through the language patterns used...and the context within which the reporting is set. I recommend you do the same...but don't take my word for it...