VITALY PORTNIKOV: The Little Writing Men

By Vitaly Portnikov.
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine.

If the lie triumphs–then you get such darkness, that it really does not matter who you are in that country–a journalist, a miner or a beekeeper. You are not a citizen.

449660_20140522132654In August 1991, my colleagues from a variety of publications that were closed by the Emergency Committee [by decree of then-President Boris Yeltsin] at the start of the coup, and then who resumed their activities after its failure, wrote a letter in defense of the publications that were closed, this time, by the new democratic government of Russia–first amongst which, of course, was the newspaper “Pravda.” They offered me [the opportunity] to sign the letter as well. I declined. I trained in “Pravda” during my student years and knew for sure that this is no newspaper. I respected my colleagues with whom fate had brought me together in this editorial, but had no doubt that the high level of professionalism, which allowed them to resist the party steamroller, would make it even more possible for them to find a place in the new Russian journalism. But “Pravda” itself did not deserve protection: it was the Party Department of duping, defamation and lies. It itself was a lie.

My colleagues–many of whom would later become loyal foot soldiers of “oligarchic” journalism and would bring the Russian media to the shameful level that we are seeing now–did not agree with me. The letter had its effect. “Pravda” returned. A colleague who, in the revolutionary turmoil allowed himself to write and publish an apology on behalf of the paper’s editorial staff for seven decades of lies and dishonesty, was hounded and thrown out. “Pravda” [“The Truth” in Russian] has once again become “The Truth”–that is, A Lie. And gradually it polluted all the wells with its poison–because its return was a great example of the impunity of lies.

To this day I am proud that I resisted the temptation of the collective and did not sign that letter. Let them call me an enemy of free speech, let them not consider me a journalist at all–but I will never defend those who are hiding behind their press cards and this same freedom, against which they tirelessly fight in times of authoritarianism and work against their country and their people. Who, under the guise of objectivity, write propaganda. Who, posing as courageous investigators, publish defamation. Who move from country to country with a carousel of lies while earning money for their European residences. Who betray their viewers and their readers for three minutes of fame at the direction of the presidential administration. Who argue until they are red in the face, trying to prove that saboteurs and murderers from some “Oplot” [pro-Kremlin group or murky sporting organisation and fight group] “DPR” are just “another point of view.” Who are not ashamed to undress in public or to climb into others’ beds with respected company–only so that, at least for a few moments, to delay the onset of the dawn.

Let all this abomination be called Ukrainian journalism, and myself not count as a Ukrainian journalist. Let all of this shit sell out in metro stations and poison the wells of our souls from television and computer screens. I do not care.

I do not care because I have seen the collapse of several generations of liars already and know for sure that the truth cannot do anything but triumph in a civilised country. And if the lie wins–then you get such darkness, such madness, such a triumph of the scumbags, that it really does not matter who you are in that country–a journalist, a miner or a beekeeper. The main thing is–you are not a citizen. And there is no country, just a kingdom of lies. Like in Russia.

And I understand for sure that the people who today pose as Ukrainian journalists and sow hatred, lies and division received such a task from their owners–to turn us into Russia. Everyone tries hard where they are–the “little green men” in Crimea, the “little subversive men” in Sloviansk, and the “little writing men” in Kyiv’s editorials and on the screen.

But they will not succeed if you and I do not want them to. At least, I will do everything possible so that they don’t succeed.


This entry was posted in "Voices" in English, Analytics, English, Languages, Opinions, Vitaly Portnikov, Voices of Revolution and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to VITALY PORTNIKOV: The Little Writing Men

  1. chervonaruta says:

    Reblogged this on Euromaidan PR and commented:

    VITALY PORTNIKOV: The Little Writing Men

  2. ladybug says:

    Thank you, Mr Portnikov. Your voice is much appreciated. Difficult days, now and ahead.

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