BBG Watch Commentary
Voice of Russia reported at 4:15 PM EDT that President Obama and President Putin spoke on the phone earlier today (Monday). Nearly three hours later, as of 7:00 PM EDT, U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America was still stating on its English news homepage that “Obama, Putin [are] to talk by phone possibly later today.” This sentence on the VOA English homepage was not corrected until about 7:30 PM EDT. Before that, visitors to VOA’s main news homepage would have no idea that President Obama and President Putin had spoken on the phone about Ukraine hours ago. And even after 7:30 PM, VOA homepage had no headline about Obama-Putin phone call.
A VOA news report inside the website actually did have three sentences on the Obama-Putin phone call. They were added late to a report titled: “Pro-Russia Demonstrators Defy Ukraine’s Ultimatum.” Russia’s RT report had 495 words on the phone call. Voice of America gave it only 104 words without a headline. Voice of Russia had 304 words in a report devoted exclusively to the Obama-Putin phone call.
The title of the VOA news report did not suggest in any way that President Obama had talked on the phone about Ukraine with President Putin. So far VOA has not posted a separate report on this major news development. There is also no report on the VOA English website that President Obama had spoken today about Ukraine with President Hollande of France.
VOA Russian Service did post a separate report on the Obama-Putin phone call.
Russia’s RT had posted a news report on the Obama-Putin phone call hours ago.
By 7:00 PM EDT, RT report already had over 1,900 Facebook “Likes.”
Putin to Obama: Use your influence to prevent bloodshed in Ukraine
Mon, Apr 14, 2014
Source: RT News (Russia)
Putin urges Obama to help prevent bloodshed in Ukraine
Mon, Apr 14, 2014
Source: Voice of Russia (Russia)
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release April 14, 2014
Readout of the President’s Call with President Hollande of France
President Obama spoke with French President Hollande today about the worsening situation in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists, seemingly with support and coordination from Moscow, have intensified their campaign to undermine and destabilize the Ukrainian government. The leaders underscored that Russia will face significant additional costs if it continues this behavior. President Obama noted that the government of Ukraine has acted with great restraint and praised the Ukrainian government’s efforts to unify the country by holding free and fair presidential elections on May 25 and pursuing an inclusive constitutional reform process. The two leaders also discussed ongoing cooperation in our bilateral relationship.