Tuesday, September 20, 2016

New York Times: Larry King, Ed Schultz Are Russia's 'Manchurian Anchors'

Tim Graham, "New York Times: Larry King, Ed Schultz Are Russia's 'Manchurian Anchors'," newsbusters.org

New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg – best known for arguing on the front page that the media was facing a “Murrow moment” to put Donald Trump on the ash heap of history – continued on this quest by trashing Larry King and Ed Schultz as Russian propaganda tools and “Manchurian anchors” on Monday.
The headline was "Old Hands Help Russia Navigate U.S. Media." Rutenberg proclaimed:
But wittingly or not, Mr. Schultz and Mr. King are playing the equestrians to Russia’s Trojan horse (or, as The Daily Beast called them in an article last week, “Manchurian anchors”).
“Their strategy is very clear: to create the appearance of being a legitimate source of news,” Michael McFaul, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a former United States ambassador to Russia, said of RT. “Having people like Larry King work for them helps them achieve their objective.”
Rutenberg concluded with another tool-of-Putin slam: “You can call RT America whatever you want — a news network, a propaganda arm, something in between. Regardless, it’s Mr. Putin’s. Despite their protests, it sure looks like Larry King and Ed Schultz are, too.”
The sudden media distaste for "state television" on American screens coincided with Donald Trump's interview with Larry King on September 9.
Now is this how The New York Times approached al-Jazeera America, as a propaganda invasion by the Emir of Kuwait, the brand that blithely forwarded Osama bin Laden communiques? Not exactly. Back in February, they allowed Hussein Ibish to mourn the channel’s decline:
WASHINGTON — The closing of Al Jazeera America, expected in April, is a sad conclusion to a project that was by turns uplifting and inspiring as well as troubling and depressing. Its demise offers a lesson in both the limitations of public diplomacy and the obstacles to providing high-quality television journalism.
Al Jazeera America was the latest, and perhaps most ambitious, branch of a media empire that the tiny but wealthy Gulf emirate of Qatar has used to project its influence, first regionally and then globally. The American-specific incarnation, begun in 2013, was partly an effort to rebrand for the United States the earlier iterations of the franchise, Al Jazeera Arabic and Al Jazeera English. But the American network was hobbled from the start by this very legacy.
The poor channel – and its hired American hands – were “hobbled” by the legacy of a foreign owner trying to navigate U.S. media with a propaganda message. How sad.
Let’s act surprised: The New York Times dislikes and disparages foreign propaganda when it seems pro-Trump, and less so when it seems pro-Islamist.

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