Opposition Derby. The main trends in the information space during June 24-30, 2019. Election Detector
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The “Opposition Bloc” and “Opposition Platform – For Life” rip each other’s throats out and create parallel reality. Vakarchuk goes out on the field of demagogic battles and badly sustain under kicks. Election Detector 2.5.
“Election Detector” is a weekly analytical review which timely captures the main topics, trends, manipulations, and changes in the information space, related to the election. Read more detailed analysis in our regular (television news, weekly TV magazines, political talkshows, information channels, Russian propaganda) monitoring studies.
Issues of “Election Detector”, devoted to the presidential campaign are available here.
The main trends
The most active generators of manipulations and advertorial materials in television news, weekly newscasts and talk shows during the week under review were the “Opposition Platform – For Life” and the “Opposition Bloc”. They desperately exploited their media resources by combining their candidates’ PR and imitation of “repressions” on the part of the authorities with a black PR against each other. But if the “Opposition Bloc” managed to spread its PR in news and talk shows on the channels of Pinchuk and “1+1”, then the “Opposition Platform – For Life”, whose resource on the national television is limited has invented new know-how: repeating the same PR stories and messages for a few days in a row. For example, the same news about how Medvedchuk “triumphantly” freed four hostages came out in news on “Inter” on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The channels of Viktor Medvedchuk worked similarly in the talk shows: The same representatives of the “Opposition Platform – For Life” are saying the same thing from program to program. This week they glorified Medvedchuk’s success in the foreign policy arena and reminded that Zelenskyi promised peace at all costs (and the price is formulated in the “peace plan” by the “Opposition Platform – For Life”).
The “People’s Servant” party sends its representatives to the talk show, but practically is absent from the news.
News programs do not have time and do not even try to analyze lists consisting of unknown surnames, not to mention the single-mandate district candidates. Ukraine risks electing the Verkhovna Rada from people whose voters at the time of voting will know only what is written on their billboards.
The first major foreign policy cataclysm for Ukraine – Russia’s return to the PACE and the offer of Russia to transfer seamen under conditions that are humiliating for Kyiv – did not go unnoticed to the television news, but remained both not analyzed, and not reflected, because the media mostly gave word to the participants of the electoral process which were formulating their comments, based on reasons of political expediency.
The news that Medvedchuk allegedly bought “Inter” from Firtash was made up, and the news that the Austrian court allowed to extradite Firtash to America, did not become a big one – even those TV channels that reported it (for example, ZIK) did not analyze what consequences this could have in Ukrainian politics and economy.
Ten curious incidents and manipulations that took place this week
∙ In the weekly newscast on “1+1”, the future faction of “Opposition Platform – For Life” was called “a fraction of the little Putins”.
∙ Saakashvili and his associates were invited to a new talk show on channel “Ukraine“, but he was given a half of the time for PR.
∙ Serhiy Prytula on STB wanted to joke and spit nonsense about the elocution of his party’s leader.
∙ “1+1” made a story about single-mandate district candidates from the the “People’s Servant” with a commentary by Oleksandr Tkachenko. Earlier, Tkachenko said that “1+1” would not provide promotion for the “People’s Servant”.
∙ Several days in a row, “Inter” told how Yuriy Boyko won in all the courts against the “Opposition Bloc”. But in fact, they did not say what the claims under the lawsuit were.
∙ On “Priamyi” channel, it is believed that Zelenskyi is to blame for rise of Medvedchuk – he has come up with the piece at any price, while Medvedchuk, so to say, only repeated it.
∙ Danylo Hetmantsev from the “People’s Servant” thanked NewsOne and “Strana.ua” for having forced Poroshenko to leave.
∙ Channel “Ukraine” has come up with a new way to inspire Lyashko’s voters without calling the numbers: “Sociologists believe that the Radical Party can overcome the barrier.”
∙ Sviatoslav Vakarchuk interrupted the dispute with Oleksandr Vilkul on “1+1” having mentioned that new politicians can not argue with the old ones.
∙ The news that Medvedchuk bought “Inter” from Firtash – even though it was not true – became more popular with the news of the possible extradition of Firtash to the United States.
The most important events related to the election, which were covered in the media in the period from June 24 to June 30
Murayev challenged Boyko to a debate.
Zelensky says he is disappointed with Russia’s return to the PACE.
Investigative journalists found evidence that the head of the Presedential Administration is laundering money.
Poroshenko gave himself away as potential buyer of Priamyi channel.
The beaten ex-mayor of Konotop Semenikhin accused the People’s Deputy Molotok of the attack.
The “European Solidarity” party announced the preparation of searches at their office.
The court excluded Huzhva from the Wanted List.
The “Voice” has withdrawn the nomination of their single-mandate district candidate who is a relative of Zahoriy.
Trukhanov faces possible 12 years of imprisonment.
The candidate of the “Voice” Oleksandr Kurdydyk was withdrawn from elections.
Zelenskyi criticized Medvedchuk for self promotion on hostages.
Zelenskyi appointed a candidate from the “People’s Servant” as Secretary of the Investment Council.
The Austrian court allowed to extradite Firtash to America.
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the candidatures of the eight heads of the Regional State Administrations.
The “People’s Servant” party compains about clones in single-mandate districts.
The “Voice” organized a rally at the Verkhovna Rada.
Bakanov appointed a lustrated officer of the Security Service of Ukraine as his deputy.
Klimkin and Zelenskyi quarreled because of Russia’s response.
On June 28, on channel “Ukraine”, “Holovna Tema. Vybir” [Main topic. Choice] was released in the debates format for the first time. Yulia Tymoshenko and Svyatoslav Vakarchuk met there. The leader of the “Voice” party had a tough time, since he was not accustomed to talking about “impoverishment” and “tariff genocide”, and general talks like those about old-new politicians and “changing everything” do no have effect on Tymoshenko. In particular, an experienced politician showed that the singer does not know the price of gas for the public, and also shamed him for the fact that during the first term in the Verkhovna Rada he did not attend the sittings and did not engage in law-making work.
Had not, has not and will not have. On June 25, “1+1” dedicated a material to single-mandate district candidates from the “People’s Servant” party who run in Kyiv. Allegedly, they are all from Kyiv and are worried about Kyiv. In support of this thesis, a soundbite by Oleksandr Tkachenko – the “1+1” manager and candidate from the “People’s Servant” – was included. By the way, in a recent interview with theBabel he responded to the question whether “1+1” will support the “People’s Servant” in the election with a reference to monitoring by “Detector Media” – saying that there was not much of Zelenskyi in the news before the presidential election, and stated that the channel “had not, has not and will not have” the goal of supporting the party. But he forgot to add, that “1+1” was very actively promoting Zelenskyi in entertainment formats and threw mud at Poroshenko and his associates in the “Ukrayinski Sensatsiyi” [Ukrainian sensations] and “Hroshi” [Money] programs by Oeksandr Dubynskyi, another current candidate from the “People’s Servant” party.
Friends of Onufriy. Channels, friendly to the “Opposition Bloc”, and “Inter” showed two parallel realities on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the enthronement of Metropolitan Onufriy, the head of the Moscow Church in Ukraine. “Ukraine” and “STB” made from it a promotional material for Vadym Novinskyi, who they started to promote separately and without connection to the “Opposition Bloc”. Channel “Ukraine” quoted the gratitude of Novinskyi to Onufriy, and “STB” reported that Onufriy awarded Novinskyi for “virtue and loving-kindness” with a medal. Meanwhile, “Inter” told how representatives of the “Opposition Platform – For Life” Yuriy Boyko, Nestor Shufrych and Mykola Skoryk congratulated Onufriy. Boyko claimed that, thanks to Onufriy, “the church withstood” and wished him to work “in the glory of God and our people.” The politician did not specify which people exactly. The news did not report about any people congratulating Onufriy on this day, except for these politicians.
Just a bit more of the opposition quarrel. On June 26, Odesa city and regional organizations of the “For Life” party announced their transition to the “Opposition Bloc”. The lawfulness of such a decision would have to be commented by lawyers, while the channels broadcast this news without checking and without backgrounds but in the PR format. In particular, this was shown on “ICTV” with the addition of information that the “Opposition Bloc” received the first place in the bulletin in the draw. Channel “Ukraine” explained in more detail that the reason for the transition was “ideologically different political views of the party’s leadership and of the regional branch.” The position of the “Opposition Platform – For Life” was not presented in the materials. On the same day, “Inter” reported that members of the Druzhkivka City Council from the “Opposition Bloc”, “Our Region” and the “Petro Poroshenko Bloc” left their factions and created a faction of the “Opposition Platform – For Life” with 21 deputies.
Persecuted Boyko. One of the technologies to attract attention to own political force is imitation of its persecution and pressure from the authorities. “Inter” fuels the story with the lawsuit connected to de-registration – “the old and the new authorities continue the judicial war against Yuriy Boyko.” The permanent guests of the programs on “Inter”, political commentators Taras Zahorodniy and Oleksiy Yakubin, as well as a lawyer and party colleagues speak in support of Boyko. At the same time, the material does not even immediately name the plaintiff (Viktoria Slobodenyuk), it does not explain who she is, the plaintiff’s party is not given word and it is not explained what her claims are. On the “Podrobytsi” website this story is called “political revenge of competitors”. It is also characteristic that “Inter”, having devoted a lot of air time to the farfetched judicial story with Boyko, did not mention at all another court decision but only by an Austrian court and about the extradition of Dmytro Firtash to the United States of America.
Already on June 26, “Inter” has reported that the court did not satisfy the claim. However, they added that the Central Election Commission did not register the candidate Volodymyr Saldo from the “Opposition Platform – For Life”, because he has not lived in Ukraine for the last five years. Only the party’s position was voiced and they expressed disagreement. The details of Saldo’s absence from Ukraine were not being retold, although they are quite thrilling.
On June 29, channels “Inter” and “112” solemnly announced that Boyko won all the courts where his registration as candidate was litigated. There was not background information about who and why litigated it.
Mistook the undesired for the reality. First, information that Viktor Medvedchuk bought 80% of “Inter” TV channel from Dmytro Firtash appeared in social networks and in the Telegram channel of the Ukrainian Institute of Analysis and Management of Policy which was eventually quoted by UNIAN website. Despite the fact that the news was denied both by Medvedchuk and by Firtash, it appeared to be extremely viable. A series of politicians, political commentators and media workers (for example, Yanina Sokolova, Lisa Bohutska and Viktor Taran) spoke in the social media about another terrible attack on the Ukrainian media, although nobody found evidence of this information. It seems that the years of talking about media literacy and the need to check the information before disseminating it went into vain not only for ordinary citizens but also for those people who directly work with the media.