Bogus reports as part of Western media war

A rebel fighter of 'Al-Sultan Murad' brigade fires an anti-tank missile near Aleppo's international airport. © Rami Zayat
The whole point of western propaganda war is just to get things out there, no matter if they can be disproven later, says Richard Spencer of Some media report on “facts” in a way that suits their government’s foreign policy agenda.

Israeli news site Ynet News, citing unnamed Western diplomats, reported Monday that Russia began “military intervention” in Syria and deployed fighter jets and helicopters to a government airbase near Damascus to launch attacks against ISIS and rebel-aligned targets.

The Kremlin has dismissed the allegations, saying "One shouldn't believe these reports."

Earlier, a Forbes Magazine report on alleged Russian army casualties in Ukraine citing a dodgy Russian website sparked a media and Twitter storm.

READ MORE: ‘What happened to standards of journalism, ‘trusted’ Western media?’

RT:According to the latest article, Russia is “sending jets to Syria” to fight ISIL, and moreover, Iran is cooperating with them and the US knows all about it. How do you feel about this story?

Richard Spencer: I would first point out that this Ynet story is actually the number one story on Google news when you google Russia and Syria. So this is not some alternative media blog – this is a major part of the propaganda war. In some ways it comes out of an alternative universe, and it is not coming from universe we live in. Russia, as opposed to the US, has been the power that has really stressed stability, and stressed diplomacy. Russia has prevented a war in Syria in 2013, or at least you could say that it played indispensable role in preventing what would be yet another catastrophic endless conflict in that region.
Yes, I think it’s a part of a propaganda war, it is part of a certain faction in the US that wants the Shia and Sunni to be going at it endlessly, that actually wants chaos in the region, that thinks that it is good for Israel, or some other’s interest. The whole point about a propaganda war is of course not that it is true, and it is not even that you can’t debunk it later; the whole point of the propaganda war is to get it out there. So you have things like “weapons of mass destruction,” you have things like “Vladimir Putin ordered a plane to be shut down in Ukraine,” and so on, and so on. These things can be disproven; these things turn out to be bogus. But the whole point is to get them out there. They are kind of percolating throughout the media and through people’s minds in the west. And that is mainly what the story was about.

 Gorlovka residents near an apartment building on Kirova Street damaged during a night shelling by the Ukrainian military. © Iliya Pitalev

RT:In many cases, like in the aforementioned story, the alleged evidence proved to be bogus. Why supposedly credible news organizations are not doing fact-checking before publication?

RS: Unfortunately, not all news organizations are really concerned about the truth and about getting it right, and about digging in. There are certainly a lot of news organizations that are simply interested in sensation for sensation sake. But also there is quite a bit of organizations that are really connected with governments and connected with specific factors or movements within governments. You can see this with the conservative media in the US – they have a very specific foreign policy agenda; they are going to report on the “facts” in a way that supports that agenda. And that agenda, of course, is more war that they think will benefit the US or Israel. But you have to think: the media is very often an arm of governments, an arm of movements within governments. And that is most likely what we’re seeing today with this Ynet story.

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