BBG Watch Commentary

Fascists and Rightwing Nationalists

They are everywhere according to Russia’s propaganda outlet RT, except in Russia.

Fascists and Rightwing Nationalists

They are everywhere according to the Voice of America, including the United States, rarely in Russia.

Russia’s RT reported on September 30, Echoes of Franco in Spain’s ‘political repression’ of Catalonia – 70 academics incl Chomsky, while U.S. taxpayer-funded ($220 million FY 2017) Voice of America reported on October 1, Ghost of Franco Haunting Spain.”

Using the label “rightwing Spanish nationalists,” VOA reported that some Spaniards opposed to the referendum chanted “Viva Franco” and cheered the police forces sent to Catalonia. The VOA report also referred to the Sunday vote in Catalonia as “illegal referendum.”

The VOA report also prominently displayed an archive photo from Reuters showing former Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco beside his wife Carmen Polo, the then Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and his wife Princess Sofia as they listened to the national anthem during a ceremony at El Pardo Palace, Oct. 4, 1975.

1975 Spain and 2016 Spain — Seriously, VOA?

Thanks to VOA’s and RT’s similar style of reporting, international audiences now know what to think. The ghosts of fascism are everywhere — from Ukraine to Spain, and — according to VOA — especially in the United States. As strange as it may seem, some VOA and RT news reports are strikingly similar.

RT uses “fascist,” “rightwing” and “nationalist” labels all the time, except for describing President Putin’s supporters in Russia, and so does the Voice of America, except for describing President Putin’s supporters in Russia. A word search of the Voice of America site will show that VOA has used “fascist,” “neo-Nazi” or “rightwing” many times in reference to Americans and almost never in reference to Russian supporters of President Putin.

Indeed, the only difference between RT and VOA in the frequent use of these labels is that VOA also often uses them to describe President Trump’s supporters, far more frequently than RT does, although RT sometimes uses them against Americans. VOA does not use the same “fascist,” “rightwing” and “nationalist” labels nearly as often or at all to describe President Putin’s supporters in Russia.

Other than that, the similarities between some VOA and RT news reports seem rather intriguing.

What happened to thoughtful, insightful, and dispassionate reporting free of labels and name calling?

Labels and propaganda have replaced objective journalism in many of VOA’s reports. Some of them are not very different from what RT is reporting, and some are stunningly similar to RT reports.


Screen Shot of VOA News Report ‘Ghost of Franco Haunting Spain’ 2017-10-01 at 8.31 PM EDT
VOA: For Catalan separatists, Spain’s current constitution isn’t free of the stamp of the former dictator Gen. Francisco Franco, who ruled the country for 40 years. They say underlining the constitution is a shameful, purposeful amnesia, one that ignores the suffering of Catalonia during the brutal 1930s civil war and the suppression of the Catalan language during Franco’s 40-year-long dictatorship.
The ghost of Franco was never far from Sunday’s illegal referendum [sic].
Some of the extra police drafted into Spain’s restive north-east region had been cheered as they traveled to Catalonia by rightwing Spanish nationalists [sic] waving the national flag and chanting provocatively, “Viva Franco.”

READ MORE ON VOICE OF AMERICA: “Ghost of Franco Haunting Spain,” VOA, October 1, 2017.




Screen Shot of RT News Report Echoes of Franco in Spain’s ‘political repression’ of Catalonia – 70 academics incl Chomsky 2017-10-01 at 8.35 PM EDT
RT: “The academics, from the fields of political science, law, economics, human rights, sociology, and history, compared the current government’s actions to that of fascist dictator Francisco Franco, who ruled Spain for almost forty years before his death in 1975.”

READ MORE ON RT: “Echoes of Franco in Spain’s ‘political repression’ of Catalonia – 70 academics incl Chomsky,” RT, September 30, 2017.