News Release

Media Coverage of Ukraine: When Selectivity Becomes Propaganda


HASSAN EL-TAYYAB,, @HassanElTayyab
El-Tayyab is legislative director for Middle East policy for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, he said today “U.S. media is blatantly displaying racism by only adequately covering a war between white people. In comparison, we see almost no coverage of wars in Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, Somalia, Ethiopia, etc. Implication is white lives matter more to them than black/brown lives.”

On Feb. 11, El-Tayyab wrote the piece “Lawmakers take action on Biden’s failed Yemen policy,” noting: “Two House members announced this week they’d be introducing a War Powers Resolution to put an end to America’s role in the Saudi-led conflict.” The Ukraine crisis might delay the introduction, but legislation is expected to proceed.

JEFF COHEN,, @Roots_Action
Cohen is co-founder of, a retired journalism professor at Ithaca College and author of Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media. In 1986, he founded the media watch group FAIR.He just wrote the piece “Mainstream media opposes military aggression — unless the U.S. is doing it,” which states: “While covering Russia’s horrific aggression in Ukraine, there is a real focus — as there always should be — on civilian victims of war. Today, the focus on that essential aspect of the Russian invasion is prominent and continuous — from civilian deaths to the trauma felt by civilians as missiles strike nearby.

“Unfortunately, there was virtually no focus on civilian death and agony when it was the U.S. military launching the invasions. After the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 on false pretenses — made possible by U.S. mainstream media complicity that I witnessed firsthand — civilian deaths were largely ignored and undercounted through the years.”
Cohen also scrutinizes the highly selective coverage of international law and “imperialism.”

Eoin Higgins in “‘Relatively Civilized, Relatively European’: Media Bias Infects Coverage of Ukraine War” notes Nashwa Khan’s tweet: “Palestinians are called terrorists for throwing rocks during occupation while Ukrainians are celebrated and shown on TV making Molotov cocktails.”

In “Ukraine, Palestine and the propaganda of war,” the Electronic Intifada notes examples of footage of Palestinians that have been misattributed to having happened in Ukraine.

They write: “The whiteness of Ukrainians may make it easier for Western governments to sell to their publics escalation and intervention instead of urgent negotiations to defuse a potentially catastrophic crisis between nuclear superpowers.

“But that is not the whole story. … ‘It’s not about their whiteness, but about Ukraine’s geopolitical significance to American capitalism and the expansion of its empire.’”