NY Times Pulls A ‘Walter Block’ With Prof. Stephen Cohen

We all know how the regime stenographers at the New York Times vulgarly smeared the great and fearless Walter Block in a hit piece they recently did on libertarian leaning politicians and thinkers, primarily Sen. Paul. The regime apologists cherry-picked Prof. Block’s interview, removing all context and boiling it all down to give the absurd appearance that Professor Block was actually a racist crank who loved slavery! (In other NYT news, up is down and war is peace). They needed to make the targets of the regime look bad so no lie was too big to serve the cause.

Well the New York Times is back on the job, serving as America’s Pravda. This time the target is Professor Stephen Cohen, a distinguished Russia scholar with a brilliant career as professor at Princeton and the New York University, as well as the author of innumerable important works on Russia. The problem with Professor Cohen is that he is not saying the “right” things about Russia these days. At a time when, from Fox News to Rachel Maddow, the order of the day is blind demonization of Russia and President Putin and madly beating the WWIII drums, Professor Cohen had the nerve to write an article for the Nation decrying the appallingly shoddy state of journalism in the US.

Wrote Professor Cohen:

The degradation of mainstream American press coverage of Russia, a country still vital to US national security, has been under way for many years. If the recent tsunami of shamefully unprofessional and politically inflammatory articles in leading newspapers and magazines—particularly about the Sochi Olympics, Ukraine and, unfailingly, President Vladimir Putin—is an indication, this media malpractice is now pervasive and the new norm.

There are notable exceptions, but a general pattern has developed. Even in the venerable New York Times and Washington Post, news reports, editorials and commentaries no longer adhere rigorously to traditional journalistic standards, often failing to provide essential facts and context; to make a clear distinction between reporting and analysis; to require at least two different political or “expert” views on major developments; or to publish opposing opinions on their op-ed pages. As a result, American media on Russia today are less objective, less balanced, more conformist and scarcely less ideological than when they covered Soviet Russia during the Cold War.

Spot on.

For this astute observation, the New York Times set out destroy him — not to refute his argument but to undermine his credibility and his character. As did the original Pravda to those outside the Party line.

The New York Times published a character assassination attempt last week on Professor Cohen, ironically in an article concerning the lack of scholarly depth in Russia knowledge among mid-career Americans. In the piece they referred to Professor Cohen as the “dissenting villain” in today’s media commentary on Ukraine who presents a “perspective closer to that of Mr. Putin.”

As Cohen rightly points out in a letter to the Times objecting to this grotesque mischaracterization, “This may have the effect (intended or not) of stigmatizing me and discrediting my views.”

Yes, Professor, that is definitely the point. Cohen then went on to point out to those whose sense of history ends begins anew each morning that he had taken the same position on the serious mistakes in the US government’s Russia policy since the early 1990s, well before Putin arrived on the scene.

But this is the smear that each of us who opposes the latest war plan of the empire faces. Professor Cohen, a renowned scholar and author of 40 years is simply in the pay of Putin if he dissents from the New York Times and Washington Post’s war cries. Oppose US arming of jihadists in Syria? Assad apologist. Against bombing Iraq? Saddam lover. Skeptical of the democratizing effects of flattening Libya? Gaddafi agent.

This is the state of intellectual decay in America. And it does not start in the streets, in the pubs, among the uneducated. It starts in the New York Times. It starts among the elites in the media. The vanguard of the propaganda classes.


12:19 am on March 12, 2014