lisitsa-300x209…because one day, without having done anything wrong, she saw her music banned from the in-flight entertainment program of Dutch airline KLM (Dutch). The reason? According to several Ukrainian pro-government activists who asked for the removal, Mrs. Lisitsa had expressed her sympathy for the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17. KLM didn’t bother to verify the accusations and Dutch national news organisation NOS ran the story without bothering to check it either.

“She expressed sympathy for the attack on flight MH17” and “Lisitsa supports separatists in Ukraine,” NOS wrote, implicitly stating: “The Russian separatists in Ukraine shot down the MH17 and Mrs. Lisitsa approves of it.” NOS did not provide any evidence or even an indication. Neither did it offer Mrs. Lisitsa the opportunity to refute the allegations. We can therefore safely assume that the sole purpose of the NOS piece, is an obvious attempt at character assassination and that the journalist who wrote it would be greeted with open arms at “Der Stürmer” if we could send him back in time to an era where public harassment was commonplace.

Only after being confronted with a riot on Twitter, NOS changed (Dutch) the article just enough to save face in case the issue would escalate any further. Still no trace of evidence, still no rebuttal.

Kiev criticism

Mrs. Lisitsa is a widely acclaimed concert pianist and an outspoken opponent of the current government of Ukraine. She is politically active and speaks her mind. You may not agree with her views, but she has as much right to speak as everyone else. And we all have the right to listen to her opinion and her music without her being turned into a pariah by a few paid schemers, a misguided airline and some petty journalist working at a news organization famous for its biased reporting.

Thanks to people like Mrs. Lisitsa we know more about what is happening in Ukraine than news organizations like NOS would ever be willing to tell us. After the current Ukrainian government came into power with the help of a carefully US-plotted coup d’état in early 2014, it embarked on a massive military campaign against ethnic Russians in the Donbas region. According to a recent UNHCR report, more than five thousand people have been killed and over a million have been displaced. While the Western media was peddling the anti-Russian narrative served by US State Department-prompted comedians like Bellingcat, the new Ukrainian government hired paramilitary extremists to do its dirty job, apparently in pursuit of the ethnic cleansing agenda which one of its coalition parties, Svoboda, has been advocating for decades.

It is not difficult to make the connection between the government in Kiev, their US and European corporatist friends and their extreme right-wing minions swaying with swastika’s while shooting and looting their way through Eastern Ukraine. Western media could have made the connection if unbiased reporting was their objective and if it had hired real journalists instead of scribing schemers who have been misinforming the public for months in an attempt to spread discord and fuel hatred against the oppressed in an obvious escalation against Russia.

Mrs. Lisitsa had the courage to make this obvious connection. But there is no indication that she expressed any sympathy for the attack on the MH17. In fact she did refute the allegation on social media immediately.

Pillory journalism

If Mrs. Lisitsa would indeed had have expressed her sympathy for the attack, she would either incriminate the people she supports or approve of a crime committed by the people she opposes. Hence, framing her as being sympathetic for the attack, immediately puts the blame of downing the MH17 on the Russian resistance in Eastern Ukraine. This type of yellow pillory journalism, whether against individuals, communities or countries, has been perfected by corporate media to serve the interests of its masters, but it should have no place in a national news organization.

And it wouldn’t have if NOS (and the government that funds it, for that matter) had not been infected by the usual corporate suspects and turned into a public persecutor ready to tarnish any person’s or community’s reputation whenever it serves their predatory ambitions. One should really consider privatizing NOS so it will have ample opportunity to further perfect its harassment techniques down to the level of its new business partner Fox News, the rag it recently became associated with.