Mashing up spin: I’m accused of exploiting unrest in Baltimore

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Mashing up spin: I’m accused of exploiting unrest in Baltimore
Mashable rushed to get out an article on my coverage of the Baltimore unrest; this is evident from the grammar mistakes. The headline: “Russian Media is Loving the Baltimore Riots”, claims RT exploited unrest with ‘Whataboutism.’

The piece focuses on my show “In the Now” and a segment I did when riots broke out in Maryland. It also cites one other Russian channel and “Pro-Russian Twitter users” as evidence this is a Kremlin-ordered spin.

According to the author, Christopher Miller, who has been invited on “In the Now” to voice his anti-Russian views in the past but declined, I failed to show dozens of instances in which Ukrainian police used force on Maidan protesters in a 10-minute broadcast.

The idea was to demonstrate how unrest is labeled by governments and media depending on where they take place. Not to focus on police brutality, which RT frequently covers, including the Ukrainian police crackdown on protesters.

Miller goes on to claim 100 people were killed by police during Maidan. This is a statement that remains unproven. No proper investigation into the shootings in Kiev has been conducted. In fact, there is no way to show that police indeed shot all those people. There are a couple of images of law enforcers shooting but there are also dozens of images of “peaceful protesters” setting police on fire, attacking them with chains, even running them over with a bulldozer. Miller doesn’t even mention the snipers, which is strange because both police and protesters were their victims.

In the Now didn’t mention that police in Kiev assaulted protesters overnight at the start of Maidan. That is true. But we also didn’t mention that police in Ferguson and Baltimore also used force first during protests in this specific segment. RT however did have extensive coverage of ALL the events in Kiev throughout Maidan from start to finish 24/7. That included police force and the crackdown on peaceful protesters, many of whom were students and elderly people on November 30, 2013. This was probably President Yanukovich’s biggest mistake, an opinion often voiced on RT. Protester violence on Maidan at the height of the chaos is well documented and something avoided by Mashable.

Interestingly enough, Mashable got so carried away making our segment fit into their anti-Russian narrative, they missed an ACTUAL mistake that could have easily been deemed a propaganda move. We accidentally pulled images from a summer riot, not the actual height of Maidan in Winter 2014 we were referring to. And for that we are sorry - it was an honest mistake. I'm going to call things as I see them even if they then get mashed up and spit out with spin. Maidan and recent events in Maryland are indeed vastly different. But violence on the streets, setting cities ablaze, and attacking property are riots. I prefer to call things what they are even if that is then called ‘whataboutism’.

WATCH full Maryland VS. Maidan Segment here:

Anissa Naouai, RT.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.