Saturday 12 March 2022

That old tired cliché, truth is the first casualty of war

I hate Kremlin lies as much as the next man, and am very alert to the danger of being taken in by them, but I have a lot of respect for logic and also for freedom of speech. This leads me to the obvious point that there is, in fact, no "thin line between undermining democracy and supporting free speech" as this article by Ben Marlow in the Telegraph says. Free speech by definition includes the right to attack, denigrate and lie about democracy or about anything else. As it is, propaganda by some actors is banned but not by others. Add examples to taste. We could instead allow all voices to be heard, even those of malignant people paid by murderers.

I suppose the answer is that Facebook and Twitter are private companies that can do as they please.

The Kremlin are past masters of lies but all nations at war lie. 

The two top headlines in the Daily Mail were allegations made by the Ukrainian government. I am completely on the Ukrainian side but journalists should not take what one side in a war says as true. This is of course what happened in East Aleppo where rebel activists were quoted as 'journalists'.

One thing we all learnt from the coverage of Donald Trump, terrorism and Covid is that the media are (unscrupulous often) political actors.

An article by Ben on Thursday is headlined
"Unilever represents the decadent corporatism echoed by Putin's propaganda
Retail giant claims to be ethical yet continues to sell 'everyday essential foods' in Russia"


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