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Raw desinformation Dagsnytt atten
24. January 2017

The following is a translation of a commentary by Pål Steigan at his website steigan.no on 04. January 2017. Some explanation of the terminology/names: NRK is the state owned Norwegian broadcasting company. Dagsnytt atten is a news magazine in one of NRK's radio channels. Each day at 18.03 ('atten' means eighteen in Norwegian), central participants in Norwegian societal debate meet in studio. Although Dagsnytt atten is a radio program, TV cameras have been installed in studio, and Dagsnytt atten now has more TV followers than radio followers. Tove Bjørgaas is a NRK journalist. Iver B. Neuman is a researcher at NUPI. NUPI is a Norwegian research institute, focusing on international matters with relevance for Norway.

"Raw desinformation Dagsnytt atten

On Tuesday January 3rd, NRK's Dagsnytt atten covered the diplomatic crisis between the US an Russia after Barack Obama decided sanctions due to alleged Russian hacking of the Democratic Party's servers. The program is available here. It was a school example of raw desinformation. One thing is that everyone in the studio seemed to dislike Vladimir Putin, but as journalist and "expert" one needs to control such emotions. Iver B. Neuman managed to say, without any resistance from the interviewer, that "Russia's economy is becoming worse year by year. Putin has not done anything in sixteen years." This is a lie and that can be proven. How can Neuman say something like that when any first year student can enter the World Bank's reports - or Wikipedia - and get access to documentation of the opposite of Neuman's allegation?

In the article on Russia's economy on Wikipedia, one can read that Russia in 1999, when Putin took over, had a GNP of 1000 billion dollars (evaluated for purchasing power). By 2013, this GNP had risen to 2600 billion dollars. This constitutes a 160 % growth during fourteen years. How can one say that this means "becoming worse year by year"? Russia's foreign debt is one of the world's lowest. It is true that Russia has had a economical crisis since 2014. The crisis is first and foremost connected with the dramatic fall of the price of raw oil, but also the western sanctions. In total, today's Russia is sky high above the castrofal level it had under the West's favourite, Boris Jeltsin. I am no fan of Vladimir Putin, but one cannot deny that he is quite popular among the Russian people. Even Fox News had to admit that western leaders could envy Putin's popularity. The support for the president has been in the eighties. Would it have been so if nothing had happened in the economy?

It did not go better with Tove Bjørgaas. She said: "The Democratic Party has been victim to phishing, then a Russian hacker group got access to the servers. Leaked to Wikileaks, leaked via the Russians.

However, Julian Assange has categorically denied that the Russians were their source. Why did not Bjørgaas mention that? The former British ambassador Craig Murraig writes on his blog that the allegations from the CIA is a vile lie. The reason why he can say so, is that he, according to himself, not only knows who the source is, Murray himself has met the source and talked with him. And this source is not Russian.

Washington Post claimed that Russia was behind a break-in in the computer system belonging to Vermont's power supply. This was repeated with a parrot-like security by Bjørgaas. What is embarrassing for her, is that WaPo later has had to eat their words. The newspaper writes:

"As federal officials investigate suspicious Internet activity found last week on a Vermont utility computer, they are finding evidence that the incident is not linked to any Russian government effort to target or hack the utility, according to experts and officials close to the investigation."

The entire Dagsnytt 18 program was lies and fake news. Have you got no journalistic pride at Marienlyst? Is this something you can be proud of?"

Translated by Erik Strand