22 April 202014:22

New anti-Russia misinformation disseminated by Dutch media

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On April 16, Dutch television channel NPO 2 aired a new episode of the Zembla documentary programme that “exposed” right-wing opposition party leader Thierry Baudet’s “ties to Moscow.” The politician allegedly received funding from Russian sources for holding a referendum in the Netherlands on the EU-Ukraine agreement, sowed doubts about Russia’s responsibility for the deaths of the people on flight MH-17, and organised a campaign to push for a Dutch exit from the EU.

The Zembla team has repeatedly demonstrated their bias in the past and never stopped short of publishing primitive anti-Russia fakes and frank lies. This time, the journalists, who were actively seconded by carefully selected “experts,” including former Pentagon and US Department of State members, have fed another horror story about Russia to the Dutch public. Without any factual evidence to offer, the whole story is based on the iron-clad argument that Baudet knew several Russian and Ukrainian political scientists, and – what an abominable thing to do – was in electronic correspondence with them. I would like to note that, contrary to the declared European values, the journalists seemed by no means constrained by things like privacy or confidentiality of correspondence.

Indicatively enough, this “bombshell” was enthusiastically picked up by the leading Dutch media. This seems to be the whole point: use the anti-Russia hysteria to take a swipe at political opponents. In this regard, some European outlets and journalists’intolerance to any alternative points of view, or their love of the “highly likely-type”evidence wherever Russia is involved, has long stopped surprising anyone.

Regrettably, we are now compelled to highlight yet another manifestation of the anti-Russia disinformation campaign. We urge the Dutch media to stop seeing the Kremlin’s imaginary “long arm” in every little thing, and to finally begin to show a little more responsibility in selecting and verifying the stories they publish.


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