PBS Frontline: “Putin’s Revenge” – unintentionally hilarious

PBS’s Frontline series offers what it calls the “inside story of how Vladimir Putin came to see the United States as an enemy — and why he decided to target an American election.” We are publishing it here because it has to be seen to be believed.

For those in North America here is the link to it on PBS

The sinister music and Burnsian black and white photography, the gravel-voiced narrator, all trying to give gravitas to a script that is so divorced from any kind of maturity, sanity or veridical reality it will make you dizzy.
In its quick overview of Putin’s rise to power no mention is made of the collapse of infrastructure, the soaring crime rates and the suffering of working people made destitute by Yeltsin’s “democratisation” of the economy. And no mention is made of how “anti-democratic” Putin reversed this seemingly irreversible decline. No effort is made to define what is meant by “democracy” at all. Nothing that sophisticated is even attempted. Yeltsin, the hood and destroyer, is described as “pro-democracy” because he favoured the US and its economic piracy. Putin is “anti-democratic”, because he didn’t. It’s that unsophisticated. And that absurd.
Tune in and see all the usual suspects from John Brennan to Masha Gessen tell unvarnished, awkward and easily disprovable lies with studied earnest. Marvel at the hubris and naivety required to make a two-hour documentary based on a collection of premises that can be disproved by a simple Google search. The most remarkable thing about this – and so much recent western propaganda – is how clumsy and foolish it is.
This is what passes for high class journalism now in the fluoridated, fantasy-bewildered collective psyche of the Exceptional Nation.
Watch it and laugh until you cry.

Part two is here.


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Donald
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Donald

Nobody does propaganda like PBS, it is without a doubt La Creme de la Creme of propaganda.

Andrew Boughton
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Andrew Boughton

The interesting question is how Hillary and her dear friend Madeleine Albright became Deomocrat neo-con hawks. Now that’s riddle worth solving, and the first one to solve it wins.

Edgar N Valderrama
Reader

It IS an extreme – though obvious to anyone with an ounce of discernment – example of how to take a few facts and turn them into one sided proper gander!
I don’t want to help them improve, but their ‘subtlety’ needs upgrading, though it isn’t easy to turn things around 180 degrees on the fly!
Let us give them “E” for ‘effort.’

vierotchka
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That is because since Bill Clinton (and possibly before that), the Democrats have become Republicans with lipstick on. By world standard, the Democratic Party in the US is well right of center.

farang
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farang

The sad reality is that these snake oil salesmen masquerading as journalists and government experts actually believe they are successfully conning anybody with two braincells to rub together. It’s not that so many of us find Putin to be a hero: it’s just that in contrast to our gang of sociopathic liars, he seems a refreshing change.

mohandeer
Reader

Putin is no Saint – unless of course you compare him to the western sociopaths, then he has a veritable halo following him everywhere he is negotiating peace and making friends – something the sociopaths are unable to claim. Isn’t that the real reason he is hailed as the devil incarnate? He doesn’t make them look bad, they managed that all by themselves, they just need to bring him down to hide their own menace and totality of failings.

Admin
Reader

“No saint” taken literally is obviously true. But is there evidence that he has ever done anything unethical or morally dubious?
We have to assume he is to some extent corrupt, because he is a politician, but why is the evidential basis so hard to pin down? Have the Putin myth-makers just done a great job of memory-holing his misdeeds?
This isn’t directed at you Mohandeer, so much as a general enquiry as part of an ongoing search for answers at OffG.

mohandeer
Reader

Totally agree with your question Admin. I support Jermemy Corbyn, but due to my differences with him and some of his policies, I could never be described as a Corbynista. By that same token, I support Putin for all the reasons I detailed in my comment above, but various attempts by quite a few people, to label me a Putin apologist are just pathetic derailing tactics. There is much that Putin may have gotten wrong. No-one knows what he and Tymoshenko discussed when he summoned her about her husbands activities in his corporate position(the power giant he and she own).… Read more »

Admin
Reader

I think “assume” was the wrong word “acknowledge the possibility” better expresses what I meant.

mohandeer
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Minor compared to some of the cock-ups I’ve made in the past.

B.F.
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B.F.

I see that they used some “Russians” with strange Russian names to give their opinions. Ha ha ha.

arnieus
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arnieus

PBS should be defunded if possible. This is like the anti German propaganda in the 30s. Nobody in Russia wants a war. It is ridiculous. Every one in Russia has family that was killed in the 20th century WWI, Bolshevik Civil war and mass exterminations, and WWII. The Russian military is defensive. It is the US that has aircraft carriers out threatening everyone like mafia muscle patrolling extortion territories. The belligerent zionist US with an enormous nuke arsenal is controlled by the CFR and CIA is a threat to Russia. Putin could care less who pretends to be president. Nothing… Read more »

Edgar N Valderrama
Reader

What good would it do to defund PBS while all the rest of the media is part of the establishment?

C. Zaman
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C. Zaman

I believe over 25 million people from the soviet union gave up their lives in WWII – anyone who puts the Russian people down gets this fact flung at them from my lips. I was born and raised in the UK, now live in Canada. I am truly upset with the way most of western governments are behaving, it seems they want war with Russia. In my district in the UK there were many Jewish people, I did not hear this Zionist propaganda mentioned. Many Israelis do not vote in the Labour Government in that country because Labour identifies with… Read more »

Sav
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Sav

The Discovery channel also did a series last year – Facing Putin. Similar spiel.
This week the BBC & Co add some more stories to keep up the Russia paranoia. Kaspersky Labs anti-virus could be used by the Russian government. Again, no evidence at all. Meanwhile Google, & every other massive internet company know every step we make and everything we type or order while sitting in with US government bodies in censoring the internet and you hardly hear a thing.

mohandeer
Reader

Dump Google and go with Yandex, it’s better and no censorship and Yandex Zen is a really effective tool for news

Norman Pilon
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Mercifully, I’m already laughing and crying, and won’t have to actually watch — actually don’t want to watch, actually don’t even feel the twinge of compunction to watch — any of it. (Well, okay: I couldn’t resist at least a little sampling of the ‘sinister music and Burnsian black and white photography, the gravel-voiced narrator, all trying to give gravitas to the script.” Haven’t I heard that gravel-voiced narrator before? Forensic Files, maybe? Et voilà, not more than one minute and eleven seconds into the ‘documentary,’ I already knew who was guilty and that needed to go to jail, albeit… Read more »

jag37777
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PBS. Pentagon Broadcasting Service.

summitflyer
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summitflyer

I hear it everyday on CBC , which has become an echo chamber for CNN and all the alphabet soup so-called news agencies.Not my channel of choice but these days ,they are all the same.I don’t watch television anymore and I prefer to listen to good music only. Seriously ,I just can’t find any humor in the fact that many, including my spouse , believe this bill$hit .Sure makes for very little mature and knowledgeable conversation in the household . I wonder if I will live long enough to see it all exposed for what it is ,verbal diarrhea ,lies… Read more »

vierotchka
Reader

Pushing PBS to the right
05.10.2005
Republicans have launched a heavy-handed campaign to correct public broadcasting’s “liberal slant.” There’s just one problem: Most Americans don’t think it has one.
https://www.salon.com/2005/05/10/cpb_bias_campaign/

BigB
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BigB

This is hilarious: not that I am going to watch it (I got as far as to glean it was sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation.) I don’t know when this was broadcast: but is obviously a continuation of the Brennan instigated Russophobia psyop – perhaps a more redolent title could have been “Brennan’s Revenge?” The major subplot to the Russian collusion canard is to deflect media attention away from the world’s biggest sore loser – HRC (even John McCain has told her to wind her neck in, FFS!) Well, the cracks are widening and the dam’s at busting point on… Read more »

zygote1
Reader

Then watch the new comedy show, debuting tonight (Nov. 30th!)
online or on TV’s “Comedy Central” about our dear Pres, King Donald Trump. You will probably enjoy that!

writerroddis
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writerroddis

True. But a bigger context is laid out in Michael Hudson’s piece in CounterPunch yesterday: Monetary Imperialism. Essential reading.

Big B
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Big B

Thanks Phil: if only there were more heterodox economists like Hudson, Keen, Werner, Blyth – but then they would be orthodox: and no longer heterodox! As a thought: they say we are post “peak QE” and we are tapering toward market normalisation – although the BOJ, ECB, and recently the PCOB are still pumping $$$$ billions per day into the global economy – what happens when that taper hits zero? [Scheduled for March-April 2019 to coincide with …??? No, seriously …it is on course to be on or around March 29th 2019 – I don’t make this stuff up.] http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/ECB%20purchases%20martin.jpg… Read more »

jag37777
Reader

I don’t think you understand the heterodox economists that you are referencing.
There is no Ponzi scheme and QE doesn’t “pump money into the economy”.
Central bank balance sheets are largely irrelevant.

Big B
Reader
Big B

Agreed: I should have worded that differently – QE doesn’t “pump money into the ‘real’ economy” …mainly because the real economy is shrinking; while the QE ‘money’ is used to buy stock and bonds …that inflate asset bubbles: that give the appearance of growth. To me, that is the very definition of a Ponzi scheme. So if central bank balances are irrelevant: what do you think will happen when the Fed sells some of its $4.5tn balance sheet; global QE tapers to zero; and interest rates rise? Because the best understanding that I have is that we won’t get to… Read more »

Big B
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Big B

Whoops: misread the title of Keen’s book – it should be ‘crisis’ not ‘crash’.

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

PBS has been a Propaganda Broadcasting $ervice for many years.
Another wolf in sheeps clothing and a well trained wolf that never bites the hands that feed it.
Meanwhile, the truth is being strangled by algorithms.

Curmudgeon
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Curmudgeon

Ironically, it became worse when Reagan cut off matching federal grants. It allowed money interests to alter, in earnest, the content of “news” and “current affairs” programming under the guise of “public” broadcasting.

Sandy Robertson
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Sandy Robertson

I’m sure it’s dire, but am I wrong in thinking for balance in your critique it would have been better to mention that Putin is thought to be behind murders of journalists, and even the reckless assassination of one of his own in London by polonium poisoning? I think the whole anti-Russia thing by the Dems is stupid, but I just feel you might have mentioned that Putin can be a naughty boy on occasion. Or am I wrong? Also I don’t know how to take the comment by rtj1211. If just sarcasm, fine, but I hope he isn’t actually… Read more »

mohandeer
Reader

@Sandy Robertson. The whole judiciary in the Litvinenko case was reduced to an embarrassing event of ridicule. The court proceedings were made available on-line(because the MSM wouldn’t want the public to see this farce as it unfolded)and any half brained idiot can work out the contradictions and total absence of any proofs or evidence that could be substantiated)Litvenenko himself believed it was somebody else rather than Putin and said so. The joke that went around the alternate media was that you could accuse anybody, anywhere of anything that was unsubstantiated lies as long as you used the word “probably”, as… Read more »

Admin
Reader

We have discussed the allegations against Putin many times. We have looked for the evidence and reviewed what has been on offer. There is virtually no data to support the claim Putin is behind any of the murders attributed to him routinely in the media. Look for yourself. If you can find anything we missed we will willingly publish it.
Putin is regularly described as a “thug” and a “tyrant”, but description isn’t evidence. We try to deal with the underlying facts, not with media tropes or unsourced allegations.

zygote1
Reader

Guess you have not followed legitimate, international press reports during the past years? How can you be so uninformed?

vierotchka
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Seriously? What legitimate international press reports during the past years? The MSM? LOL! Believing the mendacious MSM propaganda is not being informed, quite the contrary!
[edited by Admin for typo]

vierotchka
Reader

Thanks. I have often wished that WordPress would allow one to edit one’s comments, correct typos and so on. I am slowly losing my sight and have probles with my hands too, so sometimes a letter I typed (too lightly) doesn’t register, sometimes I type the letter next to the intended letter. 🙂

Admin
Reader

We have done more than follow press reports, we have researched the evidence behind them. We have never found any substantiation for the claims made that Putin has murdered journalists or anyone else. But, as I said above, if you have found any such evidence please tell us and we will be happy to publish it.

writerroddis
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writerroddis

Another good answer to a question courteously put.
I’ll seize the opportunity to ask: why does OffGuardian indulge the thumbs down button? I see a point to the thumbs up – and use it myself – but it seems right to ask that those with criticisms of a comment take the trouble to articulate their reasoning.

Drago
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Posting lies and false accusations takes just a minute. Disproving those lies and false accusations can take from a minute to one hour or even a year. Google oritekia. My blog and website. Most basic stuff is there. I’m tired of the “evil” Putin BS when almost every US president was a war criminal.

Norman Pilon
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Yep. And I’m willing to wager that things are indeed more complex than maybe “we” have thus far managed in terms of culling and parsing information.
My bias, unfortunately or not, is along class lines. There are no good or bad capitalists. Only capitalists, that is to say, a ruling class and the rest of “us.” At least in so far as I have been able to discern . . .

summitflyer
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summitflyer

Not sure what you mean by the thumbs down button? Maybe it is shown differently on my PC system ,but all I see at the bottom of every post is a ” like” option and a “reply” option .
I personally would like to see a thumbs up and down option.The “like” is good also.

BigB
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BigB

Don’t know why: my system won’t let me ‘like’ – I can only use the thumbs up. I’m inclined to agree with Phillip – reply, don’t downvote. Especially as some people seem to thumbs up their own comment, and thumbs down every else. I mean, if they really need the security!

Admin
Reader

I think you need to be logged in to a WordPress account to see the “like” button. We are reviewing the thumbs-up/down option.

mohandeer
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The thumbs down button was useful when trying to ditch obvious trolls, but a non acknowledgement serves better. When people are using foul language to attack an opposition post, whether or not you agree with the literary content, then it is possible to show disapproval by down voting them. I don’t often down vote but occasionally it is a useful option.

Sandy Robertson
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Sandy Robertson

It’s possible you are correct of course. I constantly see stories about Trump, for instance, which turn out upon investigation to involve clever editing of footage to twist the truth by CNN and the like; and anyone demonised by the Clintonistas must have something good about him…

Jen
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Jen

You could try watching Alexander Korobko’s documentary “Through Sherlock’s Eyes: The Case of Alexander Litvinenko” on Youtube for an alternate view of how Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned and who may or may not have been responsible. At the very least you may come away with the realisation that the narrative we have been given by the MSM is not all that there is to the whole affair.
http://russia-insider.com/en/media-criticism/now-see-litvinenko-video-cnn-was-afraid-touch/ri11253

archie1954
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archie1954

It is simply very poorly constructed American government propaganda.The US elites must think the majority of Americans are not only ignorant but grossly stupid!

rtj1211
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rtj1211

Well, if half the population never travels abroad, they do not see first hand the nonsense, do they? Perhaps they see the fifth rate American infrastructure? As for Americans abroad: why not say ‘it is so good to see the ugly of America on maneuvres!’ When they express outrage at your rudeness, say: ‘ ooh, you don’t like my LANGUAGE?! Poor little Americans, run off to Daddy McCain and go boo, hoo, hoo!’ Make daily life a never ending experience of rudeness, bad service and unpleasantness. Make US Expats want to go home. And make children abroad not want to… Read more »

Admin
Reader

Average American citizens are just as helpless and bewildered as the rest of humanity. They are bombarded with propaganda and fear porn to an extent unprecedented in history. Let’s not make the mistake of attacking ordinary people in place of the power structure that enslaves them.

writerroddis
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writerroddis

Good answer. I often use ‘Washington’ as shorthand for the very distinction you imply. ‘American ruling class’ is more precise but has to be used sparingly, more’s the pity.

guycybershy
Reader

No way I could sit through that. It’s a shame what PBS has become. People who watch it deserve the contempt the film makers obviously hold for them.