"People's Servants" started bustling. The main trends in the information space during June 1-7, 2019. Election Detector
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"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 talk-shows, information channels, Russian propaganda) monitoring studies. Issues of "Election Detector", devoted to the presidential campaign are available here.
The main trends
Daily coverage of Victor Medvedchuk's and his wife Oksana Marchenko's visit to film festivals in Italy, where they participated in the presentation of Oliver Stone's film "The Untold History of Ukraine", by Inter, 112, NewsOne, and ZIK channels was the most common symptom this week. News programs on Inter and Medvedchuk's media talked about the party organized by Marchenko, prepared collections of "bright photos" of the couple, reports from the presentation, and showed how the owner and his wife gave flowers to Nicole Kidman. Particularly telling are the efforts of ZIK channel and website, about "unalterableness of whose editorial policy" the new owner had told the general producer Natalia Vlashchenko. As well as a play-by-play from the festival on the air of the "Ukrainian Format" talk show on NewsOne. Just in case someone still needed evidence that the main purpose of concentrating media resources in Medvedchuk's pocket was to meet the owner's personal and propaganda needs, even if they contradict public interest and common sense.
Yulia Tymoshenko and Volodymyr Hroisman are constantly trying to convince Zelenskyi and his associates that it is they and their experienced teams that are a necessary addition to the new faces of the "People's Servant", and that there is no better candidate for the post of the head of the government. Yuriy Boyko is also worried and is demanding that the president immediately appoints a prime minister and the new government, while his associates from the "Opposition Platform - For Life" increasingly criticize Zelenskyi for his indecisiveness with regard to the elimination of the results of the previous president's work. On the contrary, "Ukraine" channel began to promote Oleh Lyashko as a potential head of the Verkhovna Rada.
It seems that the "People's Servant" party is no longer so sure about its huge advantage, therefore, they began to resort to banal PR in the news and to send their representatives to virtually all political talk shows, including those on Medvedchuk's channels. At the same time, Zelenskyi's associates adhere to the principle which helped him win: not to promise anything, avoid direct answers to questions, rather speak about opportunities than about intentions and plans. The topic of clone candidates was discussed less often than the last week. The president does not take part in the promotion of his party, although at the talk show party members must willy-nilly take responsibility for his actions or inaction.
Despite the pre-election tension and over-saturation of the media space with propaganda messages, summer is in the air. Since there are no real political events, journalists grasp such pseudo coverage opportunities as the "law on anti-swearing policy" proposed by Olha Bohomolets.
The mutual encumbrance between the "Opposition Platform - For Life" and "Opposition Bloc" is still significant, but Poroshenko once again became the main target of black PR in television news. Critics, primarily those on "1+1", blamed him for all the current problems. In a word, everything is just as in the poem by the host of the "Newspalm" Yurko Kosmyna.
Ten curious incidents and manipulations that took place this week
∙ Oleh Tyahnybok found an answer to the question "Why do "Svoboda" members visit Medvedchuk's channels?": he said that they are just like the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, i.e. use their enemy's weapon without having their own.
∙ Every day this week, "Inter", "112", NewsOne, and ZIK broadcasted the far-fetched news about Medvedchuk's visit to the film festival.
∙ "Ukraine" channel collected a bunch of arguments for Lyashko becoming a speaker. All of this was done despite the fact that according to the ratings, he has no chance to become a member of the Verkhovna Rada.
∙ The "Opposition" on "Ukraine" channel staged a debate, in which Yuriy Boyko did not take part (and had not planned on doing so). The viewers were shown the "punitive" Ilia Kiva with an assault rifle.
∙ "Inter" journalist Dmytro Anopchenko took an expert look at Olena Zelenska and explained what had been wrong with the expression on her face.
∙ ICTV was persuading their audience that Okean Elzy band gives free concerts "without politics" during the promotional "Tour of Changes" of the "Voice" party.
∙ On "Inter", Anatoliy Shariy was called odious; while on Channel 5 he was called pro-Russian; but none of the channels explained how he can prove that he lived in Ukraine, when in fact he did not.
∙ On "112", Vadim Rabinovych called on the people to vote down the president in the parliamentary election: Zelenskyi had disappointed him.
∙ Participation in the majoritarian election did not prevent Maksym Buzhanskyi and Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn from being "reasoners" at the "People Are Against" talk show and from criticizing their rivals on ZIK.
∙ Olha Bohmolets did manage to get on the air of most television channels. "The law on anti-swearing policy" is a cunning trick.
The most important events related to the election, which were covered in the media in the period from June 24 to June -30
Kolomoiskyi called the war in the Donbass an internal conflict, which Russia is not involved in.
Two sides of lustration. On July 4, "1+1" and Channel 5 showed two absolutely opposite realities when speaking about a protest action against the abolition of the law on lustration. "1+1" channel said that "representatives of the "Svoboda" party asked Petro Poroshenko's supporters to leave, because their leader had allegedly had the power to change the composition of the Constitutional Court, but had not done this". On the contrary, Channel 5 only mentioned the "European Solidarity" party and voiced their version of events: "The European Solidarity" blamed nationalists who were present at the protest for the attack. It is said that there was a provocation after the hymn; people began to wrench party symbols away and tear flags, several people were hit." There was no expatiation of the reason for the provocation and who the "nationalists" were. However, they at least included an interview with the "National Corps", which explained its claims to Poroshenko's party — according to them, "The European Solidarity" is allegedly trying to divert attention from what is happening in court. The audience will find out nothing about the essence of the accusations against Poroshenko — whether he had not done what he should and could have done with regard to the court.
People's speaker. On July 4, "Ukraine" channel decided to guess who would become the speaker. In their newscast they first talked about this with the ex-president Leonid Kravchuk, and then with Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is the channel's favorite. When talking about who should be a speaker, the leader of the "People's Front" called Oleh Lyashko "a bright personality with significant experience in faction management." In addition, they included the results of the study conducted by Edison Research at the channel's request: among the politicians whom Ukrainians would like to see as the head of the parliament, Anatoliy Hrytsenko was in the first place, Volodymyr Zelenskyi was in the second place (the poll had been conducted before the presidential election), and Lyashko was in the third place. However, the channel explained everything to the viewers in the following way: Zelenskyi is already a president, and Hrytsenko wants to head the government, therefore we have Lyashko left. In addition, political commentator Volodymyr Tsybulko once again spoke in favor of Lyashko. At the same time, everyone forgot about the fact that according to all the ratings compiled by sociological agencies, the Radical Party has no chance to be in the Verkhovna Rada.
One might wonder what this has to do with Poroshenko. "Inter" provided the most interesting coverage of all protests against the registration of Shariy and Klyuyev (you will find more detailed information about this below) in their program "Details of the Week". In the introduction, the host Oleksiy Likhman intrigued everyone: "Who exactly was actively protesting in the capital? And what does this have to do with the previous president's party?" The hint that the protests were organized by the "European Solidarity" party was quite heavy. Just as confidently the host said that Shariy had left Ukraine in 2012, and Klyuyev left together with Yanukovych in 2014. Although, once again, Shariy and Klyuyev have some arguments which they use to persuade the court that this was not the case. The story also included information about the fact that both representatives of political forces (which were not named) and activists participated in the rally. Then Poroshenko was blamed: "The President's Office blamed their predecessors for the registration of odious candidates" — according to Andriy Bohdan, the Central Election Commission was created by "Parubiy and Poroshenko", and judges of the Supreme Court were also appointed by the ex-president at one time. And then the most daring statement was made: "the next day, under pressure from people on the streets and officials of the Central Election Commission, he changed his decision and canceled the registration." If when saying about the "pressure from the officials" they meant that "the law-enforcement officers had provided the commission with documents confirming that Klyuev and Shariy were abroad for the last five years" (what kind of pressure is this?), then the statement that the Central Election Commission had been pressured by people from the "streets" was left without explanation. Then, by making a logical connection with this situation, the channel talked about protests against possible abolition of the law "On Cleansing the Authorities." Here they focused on the fight in which a candidate from the "European Solidarity" party was injured, although Andriy Biletskyi, the head of the "National Corps", denied that someone had been beaten. In the end, the fact that Poroshenko's party had been involved in both events was a cross-cutting theme of the story about these two rallies. However, the information about the protest on Maidan against Shariy and Klyuyev is not true, since the rally was not organized by the "European Solidarity" party, even though Poroshenko did support it orally.
In the "Ukrainian Format" program on NewsOne, Iryna Vereshchuk, candidate from the "People's Servant" party, stated that "Petro Oleksiyovych had gathered people on Khreshchatyk", without providing any evidence.
On the contrary, Channel 5 glorified participants of the protest against Shariy and Klyuyev, stating that this was an example of "how ordinary Ukrainians can accelerate the work of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Security Service of Ukraine and influence the vote not only on the day of election". They emphasized that the protest was organized spontaneously in several hours.
Mysterious people with balloons. "1+1" paid the greatest attention of all to Anatoliy Shariy and his support group. "TSN.Tyzhden" showed Petro Poroshenko, who was aggressively denouncing unknown people with red balloons at the "European Solidarity" rally. It was an intrigue who these people were; only later it was said that those were supporters of Shariy's party, which "is guided by Moscow and is aimed at confusing people." When speaking about the registration of Shariy and Klyuyev, they once again reminded: the previous government – the "democracy based on kicks", whose fruits are now used by politicians – is the root of evil. The words about the fact that the reform of the courts had been simulated, and no one managed to renew the Central Election Commission for two years, were alternated with the footage from Poroshenko's rallies — here you have the culprit.