The Russian presidential election

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By FRANCISCO FERNANDES LADEIRA*

The coverage of the election in Russia by media groups in Brazil is characterized by giving up journalism and simply replicating the interests of the great Western powers

Since Esso Reporter, broadcast for the first time in the early 1940s, the international news broadcasts of the largest media groups in Brazil are essentially characterized by replicating the interests of the great imperialist powers, especially the United States.

Thus, over the decades, we have watched/read/listened to and accessed editorials, articles and opinion pieces that, without exception, positively represent Washington and its allies. On the other hand, any geopolitical actor that even minimally contradicts imperialist dictates will be summarily slandered or, not infrequently, the target of fake news. There is no room for contradiction. This is the journalistic practice known as double standards. In plain Portuguese: two weights, two measures.

This example of (bad) journalism could be seen in the media repercussion of the Russian presidential election, which ended this Sunday (March 17), with the country's current president, Vladimir Putin, elected for his fifth term, with a large majority of votes.

Regardless of Vladimir Putin's contradictions, who is very far from being a progressive politician, it is necessary to understand his media representation not from his controversial personality, but from his position in the global geopolitical chessboard.

With Vladimir Putin in power, Russia has reached the position of global power, capable of standing up to the dominance of the (decaying) West, given, for example, the inability of the imperialist powers to arm the Ukrainian army in the proxy war against Moscow. . Not by chance, in his first public appearance after winning the election, Vladimir Putin thanked voters and said that his country will not be “intimidated” or “suppressed”.

Therefore, using a term that is fashionable among conservative journalists, we can say that the Russian president is persona non grata in international news.

According to major media outlets, Putin's overwhelming victory (almost 90% of the votes) occurred because all competitors in the presidential election were allies of the Kremlin and, on the other hand, potential opposition competitors are arrested, dead or have been prevented from applying.

However, this same media, “democracy inspector in Russia”, in the best style double standards, actively participated in the farce that sent Lula to prison, so that the PT member would not be a candidate (and possibly elected) for the presidency of the Republic in 2018. The result, as we tragically know, was four years of misrule by Jair Bolsonaro.

Vladimir Putin's potential adversaries, mentioned in GloboNews International life, are only popular in Western press news. In concrete reality, they do not have the slightest capacity to mobilize the masses.

It was also widely highlighted in the news that Vladimir Putin, if he serves his entire new term, will be “Russia's longest-serving leader since Stalin”, with three decades in power. Thus, in the adjective journalism of the press, he is labeled as an “autocrat”.

On the other hand, in the discourses of the hegemonic media, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany between 2005 and 2021, has always been represented positively, whether as a “great democrat”, “practical leader” or “conciliator”; She was never called a “dictator”.

Furthermore, since 1852, all the presidents of the media called “largest democracy on the planet”, the United States of America, have come from just two parties, practically with the same ideals, in defense of the organic interests of big capital. In other words, “alternation of power” has gone a long way. However, we will never hear/read/watch any mention of the “American dictatorship” on international news.

Speaking of which, the same press that denounces the “Kremlin regime”’s persecution of opponents and critical voices, is silent when the subject is the US government’s persecution of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, among other individuals who exposed to the world some of the rotten Washington. On this issue, in 2013, writers from the program Manhattan Connection, then in GloboNews, even stated that President Dilma Rousseff was “making an unnecessary fuss” by criticizing the practice of spying on her conversations carried out by the United States National Security Agency. Let there be viralism!

As expected, some writers raised the classic accusation of fraud in the Russian presidential election. In this sense, remembering Arnaldo Cezar Coelho, in the writing manuals of the mainstream press, the rule is clear: a candidate favorable to imperialism is elected, a democratic election; one of our adversaries winner; fraudulent electoral process.

Of course, the simple fact of opposing imperialist domination does not mean that we should neglect Vladimir Putin's idiosyncrasies, the ideological influence on his government of figures like Alexandr Dugin or present Russia as the new Soviet Union. If we acted like this, we would only be reversing media Manichaeism. Some of the criticisms made against Russia in the media's geopolitical discourses would even be interesting, if the same rule were applied to the United States and company. As we know, this is not the case.

In short, there is not much to expect from media outlets that support genocide, flirt with fascism when necessary and, in the name of subservience to imperialism, contribute to sabotaging the development of their own country.

*Francisco Fernandes Ladeira is a doctoral candidate in geography at Unicamp. Author, among other books, of The ideology of international news (CRV). [https://amzn.to/49F468W]


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