by Stephen Lendman
Operating as virtual press agents for power, US media scoundrels find new ways to embarrass and shame themselves - journalism the way it should be considered anathema, disinformation and fake news substituting.
Comey's sacking should be a non-issue. Instead it's called another Saturday Night Massacre and "worse than Watergate." It's neither. Reliable independent media alone explain what news consumers need to know.
In the case of Comey's sacking and removing other Obama administration holdovers, it's a matter of Trump wanting his own choices in key positions, ones he trusts, serving his agenda, not going another way. It happens every time a new administration takes office in Washington.
Coverage of Sergey Lavrov's White House visit was a separate issue, creating presstitute hysteria - instead of reasoned reporting and commentaries.
Not in America, especially anything related to Russia. Hysteria erupted after photos taken by Tass photographer Alexandr Scherbak were published internationally.
He, a US media photojournalist, along with a White House photographer alone were in the Oval Office briefly - authorized to take official photos for international distribution, a normal procedure.
"Proper protocol was followed," White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders explained at Thursday's press briefing.
So why all the fuss - because Wednesday's photo-op involved Russia, triggering all sorts of conspiracy theories.
The neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post headlined "Here's how the Russians might have snuck a recording device into the Oval Office," saying:
"(P)eople were quick to question the wisdom of allowing into the Oval Office at least one Russian who hadn't been screened enough…Much less, one who brought with him electronic equipment in the form of his camera. The Russians would love to place a recording device in the Oval Office…"
The New York Times was just as hyperbolic, saying "Russia's official news agency (Tass) released" photos of Trump, Lavrov and Moscow's ambassador to Washington Sergey Kislyak showing "the three men laughing together in the Oval Office…a public relations coup" for the Kremlin.
"Former White House officials were left to wonder about the security implications of having allowed a Russian photographer unfettered access to the American president's office."
Commenting on US media hysteria over allowing him into the Oval Office, Scherbak explained he's "worked as a professional photo correspondent for many years" - never before "facing such absurd and ludicrous charges…"
Photos he takes are distributed by Tass, other new agencies free to use them. His activities follow proper procedures at all times. He's a photojournalist, not a spy.
"(T)here was nothing unusual about the photoshoot with Trump and Lavrov," he stressed. "After the meeting with Tillerson, I was taken by a US representative to the White House. I was scanned, patted down, and then sniffed by canines."
"I took only two cameras to the photoshoot. I left all my stuff, including my cellphone, in another room as I was told to do."
"We worked for just a minute and that's all," Scherbak serving as official Russian delegation photographer, as he's done many times before without incident.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called US media hysteria "intellectual agony," accusing them of irresponsibly "bullying" their colleagues.
Russia bashing in America is standard practice whenever an opportunity arises or can be invented. World class diplomat Lavrov takes it all in stride, undeterred from doing his job with honor and dignity.
On Facebook, Shcherbak said "I am an individual who is not in the public eye and I've never commented on my work before, but this hysteria around my photoshoot at the White House has forced me to write this post."
Separately, he explained lists of journalists accompanying Russian officials on trips are submitted in advance to host countries.
It's standard practice, causing hysteria Wednesday because Lavrov and others with him were in the Oval Office.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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