@Der - Yes that reddit page came up when I searched the communism/capitalism quote but I wasn't convinced that was where I'd heard it. Something tells me Pilger used it once or twice, though I could be thinking of the Russian visitors who said they were better off because at least they knew that everything in the press was propaganda & lies.
Nice in any case to have it corroborated by someone who has looked into it at length
Found the Zinn quote in the Afterword to People's History:
'By the time I began teaching and writing, I had no illusions about “objectivity,” if that meant avoiding a point of view. I knew that a historian (or a journalist, or anyone telling a story) was forced to choose, out of an infinite number of facts, what to present, what to omit. And that decision inevitably would reflect, whether consciously or not, the interests of the historian.
There is a certain drumbeat of scolding one hears these days, about the need for students to learn facts. “Our young people are not being taught facts,” said presidential candidate Robert Dole (and candidates are always so scrupulous about facts) to a gathering of American Legionnaires. I was reminded of the character in Dickens’ Hard Times, the pedant Gradgrind, who admonished a younger teacher: “Teach nothing but facts, facts, facts.”
But there is no such thing as a pure fact, innocent of interpretation. Behind every fact presented to the world—by a teacher, a writer, anyone—is a judgment. The judgment that has been made is that this fact is important, and that other facts, omitted, are not important.
There were themes of profound importance to me which I found missing in the orthodox histories that dominated American culture. The consequence of those omissions has been not simply to give a distorted view of the past but, more important, to mislead us all about the present.' - https://erenow.net/common/peoplehistory/26.php
re: Havel, I agree that he turned out to be a massive neoliberal and servant of western capitalism (don't know if Hedges has a similar understanding) and perhaps he was always that way. The point still stands, I think, that he used VoA through lack of alternatives, not because he loved America. Even though he may have done... if that makes sense?
@Keith - I think it was 2,000, at least at the start of the year. Possibly it had dropped from previous years. Source Telegraph, so might need to be corroborated:
'RT attracts an average audience of just 2,000 viewers across Freeview and Sky, according to the ratings compiler Barb' - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/02/26/hundreds-complain-russia-todays-coverage-ukraine-invasion/
@John - thanks, I wouldn't normally be prepared to wade through the beeb's toxic output but something about this really got my goat!