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The war in Ukraine since Russia President Vladimir Putin’s invasion has sparked some controversial analysis in the liberal media.
Ukrainians have taken up arms to defend their homeland as Russian troops continue to advance toward the capital, Kyiv. The invasion has claimed over 1,000 civilian casualties so far, according to the United Nations, while over 1 million refugees have fled to neighboring countries.
While the war has united those of all political stripes in feeling compassion for the plight of the Ukrainian people, progressive pundits have uttered some partisan analysis of the fighting in recent days.
MSNBC host Joy Reid claimed Monday that the war in Ukraine was getting so much attention due to demographics.
“The coverage of Ukraine has revealed a pretty radical disparity in how human Ukrainians look and feel to western media compared to their Browner and Blacker counterparts, with some reporters using very telling comparisons in their analyses of the war,” Reid said on “The ReidOut.”
“We don’t need to ask ourselves if the international response would be the same if Russia unleashed their horror on a country that wasn’t White and largely Christian, because Russia has already done it. In Syria,” she added, referencing Russia’s deployment of soldiers to help quell the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s civil war.
Voter suppression claims
Several media pundits tried to tie the conflict in Ukraine to domestic matters. A few took swipes at President Biden, for instance, for failing to make a connection between the fight for freedom in Ukraine to voting rights efforts in the U.S. during his State of the Union address.
“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd and his guest, author and Princeton University professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr., agreed that Biden missed an opportunity to mention the anniversary of Bloody Sunday in his remarks on Ukraine. Bloody Sunday occurred on March 7, 1965, when unarmed civil rights protesters were met with violent resistance from local law enforcement during a march from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights. Todd said he was “surprised” by Biden’s apparent whiff, while Glaude said he was “stunned.”
“If there’s one thing that surprised me about the president’s State of the Union, it was the lack of connecting the fight for democracy and freedom abroad with the fight for democracy and freedom at home. Today’s Bloody Sunday,” Todd said.
“I was stunned,” Glaude said. “I mean, it was an easy kind of rhetorical move: Let’s defend democracy abroad and secure democracy at home.”
MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross made the same connection, saying on a recent episode of The Cross Connection that as she observes the chaos in Ukraine, she realizes, “democracy can be a fragile thing, and it feels a bit fragile in America right now.” She then accused the Republican Party of engaging in “rampant voter suppression.”
In a discussion about the possibility of the U.S. banning Russian oil ahead on Sunday’s “This Week,” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos called climate change an “existential crisis,” defending comments made by former Secretary of State John Kerry that the war could have a “profound negative impact on the climate.” Biden announced a ban on U.S. exports of Russian oil Tuesday.
Downplaying prices at the pump
Late night host Stephen Colbert irked viewers by appearing to downplay the impact rising gas prices have had on Americans.
“Today the average gas price in America hit an all-time record high over $4 per gallon. Okay, that stings, but a clean conscience is worth a buck or two. It’s important. It’s important. I’m willing to pay $4 dollars a gallon. Hell, I’ll pay $15 a gallon because I drive a Tesla,” Colbert said.
CBS correspondents defended Biden’s claim Tuesday that his policies had not affected the prices at the pump.
“He also made it clear, Weijia, that his policies, the Biden administration policies, are not hurting oil production in this country. He wanted to make that clear, too,” “CBS Mornings” co-anchor Gayle King told CBS senior White House correspondent Weijia Jiang.
“Right, because that’s what Republicans have been saying very forcefully. Wondering why we can’t just ramp up oil production here. Well, the President just said that oil companies have the option to do that right now, but they aren’t taking it. And we did talk to a commodities expert, a strategist who said that’s exactly right,” Jiang agreed.
Other media figures like “The View’s” Whoopi Goldberg and CNN’s John Harwood chose to blame former President Trump for the current chaos or suggest the situation would have had been even more perilous if he was still commander in chief.
“If bonehead had been president, and I say what I said last time, there wouldn’t have been any issue because that guy would have handed Ukraine over to the Russians,” Goldberg claimed Monday.
“When you hear Republican politicians snipe at Biden on the crisis, remember: the Republican president who left office last year used his term to strengthen Russia’s hand and weaken Ukraine’s, his party protected him as he did it, he still leads the party,” Harwood tweeted of Trump.
The blame game amused Fox News contributor Joe Concha, who said on Fox News Tuesday that Trump was “living rent-free” in many liberal pundits’ minds.
Biden announced a ban on all imports of oil and gas from Russia Tuesday, acknowledging it would hurt Americans at the gas pump, but would be a “powerful blow” to Putin.