April 14, 2019 | Story | No Comments
If you’ve seen the pictures of a frail Julian Assange being carried out of Ecuador’s London embassy like a bearded battering ram by a gaggle of coppers, then you did so courtesy of video agency Ruptly.
Normally the identity of the video agency that provides news footage is not worthy of a story in itself, but Ruptly has one distinctive factor which sets it apart: it’s Russian. Even worse, it’s Russian and it’s a subsidiary of RT.
CNN appears so shocked that the footage of Assange being manhandled “wasn’t captured by leading UK broadcasters like the BBC, Sky News or Independent Television News (ITN)” that it wrote a story headlined “How a Russian-owned media outlet landed the first video of Julian Assange’s arrest.”
CNN explains away the gazumping embarrassment by insinuating that Russia Link + Assange = Conspiracy.
It uses an irrelevant quote from a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, and asks Ruptly’s deputy head of news if she feels pressured by the Russian government. She says no, although I suspect she does feel pressure to film newsworthy events as they happen.
The adjectives CNN uses to describe Ruptly are worthy of exploration and explanation. In the headline, the agency is described as ‘Russian-owned,’ which is another way of saying evil.
In CNN’s tweet, Ruptly is a ‘niche’ media outlet. ‘Niche’ is a term used to describe something that is a bit forbidden, maybe a bit filthy. If you Google the term ‘niche material’ at work, the IT department will be canceling your credentials within minutes.
CNN’s Hadas Gold wrote: “Ruptly, which has carved out a niche for itself by recording events around the world and selling the footage to other broadcasters, is a subsidiary of Russian state-backed media outlet RT.”
I mean, if that is a niche, then it’s a pretty big one. I’ve never heard Reuters or AFP or AP described as niche before.
And in CNN’s online write up, Ruptly is described as ‘obscure.’ This put-down suggests Ruptly is not ‘one of us,’ not worthy of attention, not one of the chosen ones.
Responding to CNN, Ruptly said: “We would like to point out that it is not exactly correct to call us a ‘niche’ or ‘obscure’ video agency. As an award-winning global multimedia agency, we provide news video, live events, and broadcast services to over 1,200 media clients worldwide, including some of the biggest names in news journalism. We have actually provided CNN with a number of materials since our launch.”
So CNN is a fan of obscure, niche material too! Isn’t that always the way?!
Just to clear up exactly how Ruptly got the footage, it stayed outside the Ecuadorian Embassy and filmed the door for days on end, even when all the other outlets went home. That’s it. Ruptly was there because the forthcoming arrest had been rumored for days, which was why the more well-known media outlets had also been there, but ultimately missed the money shot.
The Russian scoop is clearly embarrassing some members of the establishment media, but there’s no need to take the blame anymore, just like with Brexit and Trump, you can just blame Russia.
By Simon Rite
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