‘It’s a video the Kremlin would release’: Margaret Thatcher’s adviser slams NYT as ‘propaganda machine’
A former Margaret Thatcher staffer has called The New York Times a “left-wing propaganda machine” for using a former Russia Today star in an “opinion” video about Liz Truss’ appointment as British Prime Minister and its significance.
The video, by fictional broadcast journalist Jonathan Pie, a former member of the Kremlin-backed TV network, claims that the Conservatives have destroyed everything in Britain, including the weather, and taunts Truss as the next leader.
“Unfortunately, Boris’s main achievement in office was setting the bar so low that now anyone can become prime minister – even Liz Truss,” says Pie in the clip posted to the site’s opinion section.
It is one of many videos the Times has published in the last six months, in which Pie rants at Boris Johnson and blames Conservatives for Britain’s troubles.
“This is typical New York Times anti-Brexit and anti-British programming,” Nile Gardiner, now director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, told DailyMail.com.
“This is the kind of video the Kremlin would release about Britain,” he added. “It is a deeply uncomfortable propaganda video and bears no relation to reality.
“This video is full of outright lies combined with real meanness and awkwardness. It’s basically a hatchet job video that paints a completely wrong picture of the UK.
Gardiner said the video was full of “deep-seated embarrassments” about Truss and a direct attack on Margaret Thatcher. Pie says the Iron Lady “hated the working class,” a claim Gardiner called “utter nonsense.”
English actor and comedian Tom Walker created a satirical journalist character named Jonathan Pie, who wrote an article dubbed “Opinion” for the New York Times attacking the Conservatives for ruining everything in Britain
“The New York Times is a newspaper in decline and has become a leftist propaganda tool,” Gardiner told DailyMail.com.
English actor and comedian Tom Walker created the character Pie as a satirical version of a journalist. He was hired by the Gray Lady for a video under their ‘Opinion’ banner to ridicule Conservatives and Boris Johnson’s replacement.
The Times was widely criticized for showing the video, and not just by Gardiner.
Referring to Pie, Sunday Times correspondent Josh Glancy said you “cannot enter or exit the country due to airline staff shortages and border queues,” writing on Twitter: “This is categorically false. Doesn’t the fact check apply to @nytopinion if he’s a mischievous British comedian who talks derogatorily about Britain?
“This is typical New York Times anti-Brexit and anti-British programming,” Nile Gardiner, now director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, told DailyMail.com
“I’m trying to imagine @thetimes comment sites posting videos of a US third-rate comedian doing a skit about January 6th and the erosion of American democracy.
“Britain is in a difficult position and British newspaper standards often lag behind US standards. But publishing this kind of rubbish is simply inexcusable for the NYT, the most influential and self-respecting newspaper in the world.’
“Delicious but harmful,” wrote Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of progressive magazine The Nation.
Walker, as his Pie character, begins the video by joking that he won’t say the “gas prices” for the American media company because it’s “gasoline” and a “liquid.”
Pie is then asked about the state of the nation in Britain. He says, “Well, I mean, it just sucks. Everything sucks.”
“Look, look, I’m a proud Brit, but let’s face it. Sorry, there is no other word for it, it just sucks.”
“In a few weeks, our gas and electricity bills will triple. They will triple in January,” he continued.
A Times columnist, Iain Martin, tweeted about the media: “The worst newspaper in the world”.
Pie continues in the satirical comedy video how prices in the UK are soaring that families are struggling to afford food.
“Our trains don’t run, our airports are a nightmare, you can’t leave our country because of understaffing and queues at border control,” he said in the direct-to-camera shot with some cuts to real footage.
“Our garbage is piling up, our healthcare system is on life support, even the damn weather isn’t working.”
Pie didn’t mince his words when speaking about former Prime Minister Johnson and his successor Truss.
In particular, he slammed Johnson for staying in power until a successor was chosen only to have one more summer vacation — and then “making front-page news just because he came to work.”
Some have criticized the work of The New York Times for being indistinguishable from Russian propaganda.
One Twitter user wrote: “I briefly thought this was enemy propaganda. We have a bad crop of politicians, just like the US. We’re not remotely falling apart at the seams.’
In his own piece, political correspondent Tom Harwood asked, “Russia Today or the New York Times? It’s really impossible to say now.”
“For heaven’s sake, NYT,” wrote freelance journalist Andrew Connelly. “You could literally walk into any pub and get an infinitely better, more entertaining and accurate analysis of the UK than this cheerless, lazy, ex-Russian state media schtick.”
British political commentator Tom Harwood said it was difficult to tell whether the video was produced by Russia Today or the New York Times
Journalist Andrew Connelly added that you could “go to a pub” to find a “more entertaining and accurate analysis of the UK”.
One user said he would unsubscribe from The New York Times
Another user said the Times should change its name to Russia Today.
“Your hatred of Britain is so irrational that you are hiring an ex-propagandist for Russia Today to smear this country,” wrote one Twitter user.
Walker previously worked for Russia Today, now commonly referred to as RT – but he insists he has severed all ties with the controversial network.
RT is a Russian state-run television channel funded by Moscow. It operates on free-to-air channels for audiences outside of Russia in multiple languages including English, Spanish and Arabic.
From his Johnathan Pie account on Twitter, Walker defended himself against a 2016 criticism that he was a Putin shill.
“I’ve never worked for RT,” he insisted, “they used to license my content, which they never censored, but I no longer have any ties with RT. OK?’
Other users said the New York Times is over Pie’s comedic work.
“In this livelihood crisis, it’s kind of you to give us a quick way to cut bills by canceling my NYT subscription,” tweeted journalist Benjamin Butterworth.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11182425/Its-video-Kremlin-Margaret-Thatcher-aide-slams-NYT-propaganda-machine.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 ‘It’s a video the Kremlin would release’: Margaret Thatcher’s adviser slams NYT as ‘propaganda machine’