Eunuch, Failure, Puppet-Master: Russian Propaganda Sees Barack Obama Off

This week's edition of The World According to Russian State TV.

Donald Trump is an "alpha male," according to Russian state TV, while Obama is a "eunuch."

Donald Trump will soon be president of the United States, but outgoing President Barack Obama remains Russia's chief adversary. At least, that's what Russian state television's flagship Sunday news shows would have you believe. 

This week, the Kremlin's propagandists devoted much of their airtime to celebrating the end of Obama's term, engaging in racist stereotyping of the U.S. president, and implying that his exit would end Russia's geopolitical problems.

Read more coverage about Russian propaganda making a U-turn on the U.S.: America? We Love Those Guys: Russian Propaganda U-Turns on the U.S.

Obama Leaves Europe in Disarray

Kiselyov's Vesti Nedeli (“Weekly News”) kicked off with a report on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Peru. Despite Obama's effort to pit Asian countries against Russia, President Vladimir Putin was warmly welcomed by leaders of both Japan and China. Relationships with both these countries are about to thrive now that Obama's sabotage is water under the bridge, the segment from the program implied.

Meanwhile, Europe is losing its mind over Obama leaving the White House. “Putin's phone conversation with [U.S. President-elect Donald] Trump prompted political seizures across Europe,” Kiselyov said. “Europe felt like an abandoned mistress. Obama rushed to comfort it, but what can he do?” the anchor added, comparing the incumbent U.S. president to a “eunuch.”

But at least Obama called Russia a "military superpower" that needs to be reckoned with during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. That made Kiselyov quite happy.

“Maybe Obama is trying to be fashionable?” the anchor asked, hinting that respecting Russia's military might is the new trend. “No,” he immediately said, answering his own question. “For him, Russia is generally an enemy.”

Valery Fadeyev's Voskresnoye Vremya (“The Times on Sunday”) on Channel One echoed Kiselyov's sentiments. “Obama decided to show one last time that he means something for global politics,” Fadeyev said, introducing a segment on the U.S. president's visit to the EU. “He is forcing European leaders to extend the sanctions against Russia until it fulfills the Minsk agreements. This is pure propaganda. It is Kiev that doesn't comply with the agreements, and everyone knows it.”

The same talking point appeared in the third flagship show, Vladimir Solovyov's Voskresny Vecher (“Sunday Evening”). Solovyov suggested his guests, conservative lawmakers and pundits, discuss “Obama's revenge”: “In his farewell tour of Europe, he managed to force the extension of anti-Russian sanctions after all,” Solovyov said. He then asked whether Germany was next in line to lead the “fight against Russia.”

Both Vesti Nedeli and Voskresnoye Vremya depicted Ukraine as a country in disarray due to the impending end of Obama's presidency. Both shows implied that the Ukrainian government is bound to fail without guidance from Washington, it's supposed puppet master. Unlike Obama, Donald Trump may not provide this guidance.

Failure From the Jungle

Obama is just generally an uncivilized man, one segment in Kiselyov's program implied, showing the president meeting with Trump at the White House. During the meeting, Kiselyov pointed out, Trump behaved “humbly,” whereas Obama's demeanor was “cheeky” and “unceremonious.” 

“He was throwing his arms about as if he were in a jungle,” the anchor said.

He is a “failure” as a president, Fadeyev from Channel One suggested. During eight years in office, he didn't do anything good at all: His attempts to “bring democracy to countries” resulted in wars instead. “He was inciting civil war in Libya and Syria, ISIS thrived on his watch, as well as the bloody Maidan [in Kiev] and the war in the Eastern Ukraine,” Fadeyev said.

He doesn't deserve the Nobel peace prize he was awarded in 2009, the anchor went on to conclude. “Maybe he received it just because he was the first black president of the U.S.? It is some sort of a politically correct сliche to give an award to a president just because he's not white,” Fadeyev said.

Trump an 'Alpha Male'

By comparison, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump was subject for praise this Sunday. Not only does he appear to be assembling a pro-Russian cabinet, but his wife is also an incredible lady. An entire segment of Kiselyov's show focused on her virtues, describing the future first lady as smart, beautiful, and wise. She knows five languages and doesn't even need Michele Obama's tailor, the reporter emphasized.

Significant amounts of time were devoted to the U.S. media and their biased coverage of Trump. “Negativity about Trump continues,” said Kiselyov. But major media outlets are beginning to acknowledge their mistake, he added, citing a recent statement from New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. that promises unbiased reporting. And yet Trump, the report went on, has been smarter than the mainstream media: Throughout his campaign he used social media as a main communication platform.

Fadeyev from Channel One devoted less time to Trump than to Obama, but also didn't miss the opportunity to say a kind word about the president-elect. “

Judging by the candidates for key posts [in Washington], Trump is not a radical; he is a balanced, versatile politician,” Fadeyev said.

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