Fox News should know better: Moscow is not Athens

It is generally believed that many Americans have poor knowledge of geography. This theory has been proved true once again, this time by media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, writes Anton Kulikov.

The other day the TV channel, notorious for its support of the political right in the US, showed footage of the "revolution in Moscow." The recording, which the channel aired, showed typical revolutionary events with angry protesters, armed police officers, tear gas and Molotov cocktails. The producers of the US-based channel probably hoped that TV viewers would not understand what the report was actually about.

Of course, the Western media could not leave the events in the Russian capital out of their news programmes. It is easy to understand: Arab Spring in Russia, Tahrir Square in Moscow.

Foreign journalists prefer to disregard the fact that the demonstrations that have been happening in Moscow and St. Petersburg against the disputed parliamentary elections cannot be compared to the huge uprisings in Egypt or other Arab states. It appears that it is much more important for Western media to give people a picture of “events”, and it does not matter what kind of picture - anything will do.

Fox News has done the impossible. One of the leading TV channels in the US could not be expected to turn a blind eye to the protests in the Russian capital. However, the footage of the "Moscow riots" appeared to be too boring and ordinary for Fox News producers. They wanted some action, which was obviously missing in the video reports from Moscow.

The producers did not have to go far to find something exciting. In the report about the election protests in Moscow footage of the clashes between protesters and police officers in Athens, the capital of Greece was shown. All the explosive elements were visible in the Greek capital: the streets are seen in flames and people are throwing petrol bombs at police. However, the off screen voice says during this report that thousands of Russians have taken to the streets to express their protest against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. According to Fox News, the Russians have travelled to Greece to say no to Putin.

Senator John McCain​ will have something to tweet about after this. The Fox News report will make him even more certain of the Arab Spring arriving somewhere near Putin soon.

US and European TV channels prefer not to work hard when it comes to the news coverage in Russia. It's enough to recollect the events in August 2008, when Britain's Sky News showed Gori, a port in Georgia, and said that it was the footage of the destruction in Tskhinvali.

One shall assume that the report from Fox News is only the beginning. It is quite possible that American and European TV viewers will soon have a chance to see drunken Cossacks riding bears, playing balalaikas and terrorising peaceful demonstrators in the streets of Russian cities somewhere in Egypt.


*Anton Kulikov writes for online journal