Correct me if I’m wrong, but even in the Cold War I can’t remember the Soviet media being barred from events. There have been ‘no truth in Pravda’ and ‘no news in Izvestia’, as the saying went, but even while we mocked them we still allowed them the freedom to report. Now, things seem to have changed. Moral posturing goes hand in hand with selective sanctions (did you ever hear Ms Freeland condemn the multiple violations of press freedom in Ukraine?). The one justifies the other. In the name of defending democracy, we punish those who dare to contradict us; in the name of combating disinformation, we spread it ourselves; and in the name of media freedom, we practice censorship. It’s a funny old world.
It’s been a fascinating day’s reading on the information warfare front. First on my reading list was a new piece by an old friend – Canadian activist Marcus Kolga. Readers may recall that he’s the guy who called this blog a ‘Pro-Kremlin, extremist, conspiracy theory platform’ and compared it to InfoWars. A dedicated keyboard warrior in the existential battle to defend Canadian democracy, he’s been leading the charge to convince all and sundry that our 150-year old parliamentary system faces a deadly threat from Russian meddling. Something must be done, he says. As he puts it in his latest article:
Politicians, policy-makers, academics and former diplomats who speak on behalf of malign foreign regimes must face a cost for allowing themselves to be used as proxies or ‘useful idiots’ in western media and society.
I don’t know about you, but that put a little chill up my spine…
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