In his article, titled “A Media Primer on the Art of Writing Russian Scare Stories,” Rob Slane mentions 10 step-by-step instructions that include: quoting unverifiable sources, adding a Russian submarine or warplane — something which always plays on people’s fears — and using the word “Kremlin” as much as possible.
According to the author of the satirical article, his guidelines will help any mainstream journalist working for a major Western media organization to create the perfect Russian scare story for public consumption.
Sputnik spoke to Rob Slane about his article and the satire behind it. “You are probably familiar with the saying that a picture can sometimes say what a thousand words cannot. Often the same point is true with satire. We can go through western media and some of the stories they publish and try to debunk them point by point in a serious fashion, there is a time and a place for that. But sometimes satire does that debunking in fewer words and far more effectively. It really has the effect of showing people in a very simple way the ridiculousness of western coverage of Russia for over the past couple of years or so,” Slane told Sputnik.
The blogger further said that if one is to read Russian or Russia-related stories in the western media, it is seen that they very often begin with phrases such as: ‘fears are growing’ or ‘concern is growing in the western capitals.’ It is basically playing on the fear factor and in a way “western media is taking us back to the Cold War era.”
“It is very dangerous what the western media is doing. For example the story about the trawler that capsized after being hit by a submarine in the Irish sea and media saying that was a Russian submarine, but just last week the British Navy came out and admitted that it was actually a British submarine that did the damage.”
In regards to the lengths these journalists go to create such a story, Slane said that the neocon world view is basically to have an external enemy and if there isn’t an external enemy then it must be created. “That is utter nonsense of course, but it seems that is what has been fed to the media. Oftentimes it seems that media consistent with the government creates these stories, but there isn’t much sense in them.”
Slane said that he has been following the media’s anti-Russian propaganda and continued by saying, “Frankly I have been absolutely astonished by some of the things that have been coming out of the western media. There has been a total and often failure in reporting adequately on some of the things. So my satirical article aims to let people know about these absurdities.”
Talking about one particular anti-Russia story that astonished the blogger the most Slane said, “The events in Maidan, Ukraine last year amazed me the most. There was so much obvious evidence that the United States was behind this, their track record of fostering regime change throughout various countries and the infamous taped call between Victoria Nuland and Jeffrey Pyatt. There can be no doubt really that the US was heavily involved but in the western media it has been portrayed that Russia was facilitating the whole thing which is simply not true.”
Slane further spoke about the responsibility of journalists to speak the truth and provide unbiased news, which according to him is rarely seen in the western media.