I believe the demonisation of Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation, creates an obstacle to political understanding. This was obvious in the political rhetoric surrounding the shooting down of the Malaysian Flight MH17 over the Donbass region in Ukraine. But is it also obvious in the continuing rhetoric around the Ukrainian and Syrian civil wars.
This demonisation can end up being a form of censorship as it prevents anything like an objective discussion of political issues. It can even prevent people using available news sources because they are tainted in their minds if they don’t go along with the demonisation.
In a sense, it is like the conditioning of Pavlov’s dogs. For many people the words “Putin” and “Russia” create an immediate knee-jerk reaction which prevents discussion of the issues at hand.
This video showing an attempted discussion, on Aljazeera US, of the possibilities of the US and Russian Federation working together to counter Daesh (ISIS) in Syria and bring about a political settlement of the civil war is a rather extreme example of problems resulting from demonisation. So extreme that Aljazzera no longer hosts the video of the programme – this one was recorded off the TV screen by a separate person who has made it available.
Frankly, I cannot understand how Aljazeera US allowed their programme frontperson to behave so badly.