10 March 202110:54

On Four Corners’ production Putin's Patriots (ABC Australia)

  • en-GB1 ru-RU1

It is extremely unusual for the Australian media to feature someone who dissents against the mainstream view on Russia and dares to state it openly. Positive opinion on the Russian Government’s internal and foreign policy is predominant in Russia and is largely shared worldwide. However, the Australian public has little or no chance to know about it. So, it might seem a good idea for Four Corners to give the floor to President Putin sympathisers in Australia. If only the produсers had lived up to the professed standards of balanced and well-founded reporting.

Far from that, Four Corners brainwashes the audience with its own denigrating concept of today’s Russia. Those who don’t share it are portrayed as enemies involved in subversive Kremlin operations in Australia. Allegations regarding Russia’s hostile activities are supported by things like sinister music, videos of bikers in scary black outfits and footage of unidentifiable military personnel undergoing training. Not to forget the “analysts” who were free to articulate all kinds of meaningless banalities, provided they sounded appropriately alarming. Look, for instance, at that: “The fact of the matter is that Russia is aware of what's going on in Australia and certainly does not regard it as insignificant.” So what, for God’s sake?

Another topic Four Corners pretends to have investigated is “Russian money in Australia”. Mindful of a recent court decision penalising ABC for defamation the producers should know their assertions around the transparency and legality of Rusal investment in Australia are spurious. Rather pathetic are the attempts to give some credibility to the theory of massive Russian money laundering in Australia by simply reiterating terms such as “criminal” and “tainted” and thoughtfully talking about ”the tip of the iceberg”.

Ridiculous as it may seem, the episode still causes concern as a clearcut case of malignant propaganda targeting Russia but also undermining multiculturalism and freedom of expression in Australia.



Additional materials