Putin’s American Cheerleaders
How Jeffrey Sachs, Mark Episkopos and Dimitri Simes contribute to the Russian propaganda effort.
By Adrian Karatnycky
Jan. 6, 2023 1:19 pm ET
More surprising are the appearances of several establishment figures: Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs; the National Interest’s former national security correspondent, Mark Episkopos; and Dimitri Simes, until recently president of the Center for the National Interest. They willingly appear on the programs of Russia’s most odious state propagandist, Vladimir Solovyov. Mr. Solovyov has called for a Russian invasion of Europe, bombing Ukrainian cities into the ground, and punishing Ukrainians for “Nazism.” Last month he declared on air that “the more we burn Ukraine now, the easier it will be to pummel Germany, Britain, France, all those European Nazi bastards, and the United States will also suffer.”
Mr. Sachs has made three appearances on Mr. Solovyov’s programs since November. Mr. Sachs has long argued that the West provoked Russia into invading Ukraine in 2014 by virtue of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s “threatening” expansion toward Russia. In his appearances last fall, he called for an immediate end to hostilities, which would preserve Russian control over 15% of Ukraine—more than double the Ukrainian land Moscow controlled before the February 2022 invasion. According to the Russian dubbing of Mr. Sachs’s English-language comments, he has told Russians that a “massive number” of Americans “wish to exit the conflict in Ukraine,” condemned the U.S. administration for “disinformation,” and called President Volodymyr Zelensky’s conditions for peace “absolute nonsense.”
Every U.S. citizen has a right to express an opinion about the issues of the day. And experts are free to challenge the pro-Ukraine views held by the vast majority of Americans. But cooperation with official propagandists who beat the drum for a state perpetrating massive war crimes and atrocities is another matter. Messrs. Sachs, Episkopos and Simes should know better.
Mr. Karatnycky, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, is author of the forthcoming “Battleground Ukraine: From Independence to the Russian War.”
Mr. Episkopos is no longer a correspondent for the National Interest. An earlier version misstated this.
AllSides Media Bias
About Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! is featured on the AllSides Media Bias Chart™.
Democracy Now! is a news media source with an AllSides Media Bias Rating™ of Left.
What a “Left” Rating Means
Sources with an AllSides Media Bias Rating of Left display media bias in ways that strongly align with liberal, progressive, or left-wing thought and/or policy agendas. This is our most liberal rating on the political spectrum. Learn more about Left ratings
Feedback does not determine ratings, but may trigger deeper review.
As of January 2023, 18,111 people have voted on the AllSides Media Bias Rating for Democracy Now!. On average, those who disagree with our rating think this source has a Lean Left bias.
Confidence is determined by how many reviews have been applied and consistency of data.
As of January 2023, AllSides has low or initial confidence in our Left rating for Democracy Now!. If we perform more bias reviews and gather consistent data, this confidence level will increase.
Per an independent review conducted by an AllSides staff member in February 2022, Democracy Now! focuses on issues of importance to liberals and progressives, such as deaths from COVID-19, medical misinformation and the effects of gun violence, and rarely focuses on issues of equal importance to conservatives.
Led by left-leaning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González, Democracy Now! describes its content as “a diversity of voices speaking for themselves, providing a unique and sometimes provocative perspective on global events.”
Democracy Now! Ownership and Funding
Funding and ownership do not influence bias ratings. We rate the bias of content only.
Owner: Democracy Now Productions (DNP)
Democracy Now! is produced and owned by Democracy Now Productions (DNP), an independent media nonprofit. DNP is funded through contributions from listeners, viewers, and various philanthropic foundations such as the Park Foundation and Ford Foundation.
Financing and ownership information last updated February 17, 2022. If you think this information is out of date or needs to be updated, please contact us.
Democracy Now! is an hour-long American TV, radio, and Internet news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman, Juan González, and Nermeen Shaikh.
Democracy Now! video
We discuss Western hegemony and U.S. policy in Russia, Ukraine and China with Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, whose new article is headlined “The West’s False Narrative About Russia and China.” Sachs says the bipartisan U.S. approach to foreign policy is “unaccountably dangerous and wrongheaded,” and warns the U.S. is creating “a recipe for yet another war” in East Asia. Democracy Now! is an independent global news hour that airs on over 1,500 TV and radio stations Monday through Friday.
Democracy Now! video
With the war in Ukraine now in its 10th month, Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden have both expressed openness to peace talks to end the fighting, as have leaders in France, Germany and elsewhere. This comes as millions of Ukrainians brace for a winter without heat or electricity due to Russian strikes on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure. “This war needs to end because it’s a disaster for everybody, a threat to the whole world,” says economist and foreign policy scholar Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. He says four major issues need to be addressed to end the war: Ukraine’s sovereignty and security, NATO enlargement, the fate of Crimea and the future of the Donbas region.