Depending on which way you look at it, our domestic media is either currently working on overdrive to churn out anti-Russian propaganda, or it is simply coasting, having dispensed with any attempts to produce actual journalism as literally any old rubbish will serve the required purpose as long as it is appropriately disdainful of Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin.
The context of course is the Russian military operation to de-militarise and de-nazify Ukraine, of which the defenders of the imperialist status quo are understandably highly critical of.
One recent trend to have emerged in the corporate media are the claims that Vladimir Putin is suffering psychological disturbance, is physically unwell, or is succumbing to a form of dementia.
Journalists in the service of imperialism have attempted to use this notion as a way of a) explaining away the ‘madness’ of launching the operation by attributing it to a mental illness suffered by the Russian President, and b) concocting a basis from which to argue that Putin should, or could, be removed from his position in a coup orchestrated by ‘sane’ Generals and government figures.
Two examples, both from what is ostensibly Britain’s most ‘left wing’ tabloid newspaper, The Mirror, are reproduced below:
Vladimir Putin ‘has dementia and is being driven insane by paranoia’ says ex-KGB agent, The Mirror
Vladimir Putin ‘bracing for coup’ as generals and FSB ‘look to push out Kremlin boss’ The Mirror
This trend continued following Russia’s annual Victory Day parade in Moscow, with a number of commentators taking the opportunity to embellish stories about Putin’s frail physical state by reporting on the fact that he briefly put a blanket over his knees (as had most of the assembled Red Army veterans that sat either side of him) during the parade.
There is nothing unique about this sort of vilification when it comes to leaders who refuse to bow to the demands of the major imperialist power, the USA.
But sometimes there are those moments when the scribes of bourgeois journalism overreach themselves in such a farcical manner that some sections of their audience cannot but take notice of it.
Joe Biden, the current US President, is routinely exposing his degenerate state of existence on an almost daily basis; staring blankly into space mid-sentence during official addresses, trying to shake hands with people who aren’t there, and making inappropriate comments in the most inappropriate circumstances.
Biden’s hapless befuddlement as he navigates the protocols of presidential engagements may be one of his more endearing features (one could almost imagine that Biden’s character is the result of some ham-fisted American attempt to engineer a ‘harmless loveable scamp’ type figurehead based on the Boris Johnson model), but it is clearly in stark contrast to the lucid statements delivered by Putin during press conferences and presidential announcements since February.
Plus, when it comes to someone deciding to put a blanket over their lap whilst sitting outside on a breezy, chilly morning; a friend of mine once saw David Attenborough in wheelchair with a blanket over his legs at an airport; that was about 20 years ago and he’s still dancing with dinosaurs on the BBC today, craftily sliding malthusian notions of population control into his breathtaking narratives with expert skill.
So there, right in the middle of all the swirling hatred whipped up against Putin and the Russian Federation (for daring to end 8 years of imperialist-backed slaughter), there suddenly appears a spectacle of such ridiculous absurdity that some can’t help but shout “The Emperor has no clothes!” when it dawns on them that it is the US leader, rather than the Russian one, who is likely to be considered as unfit for the role by those within his inner circle.