It became very apparent in the days after the invasion began that the overarching narrative from the U.S.-led West was going to be "Russia bad, Ukraine good" -- despite the fact that Ukraine has long been known to be one of the most corrupt countries in Europe. And after all, the Ukrainians essentially bought off Joe Biden when a state-aligned energy giant hired him to become a 'board member' for tens of thousands of dollars per month.
As such, all negative news about Ukraine has been scrubbed in order to fool Americans into believing that country is simply a victim of violent oppression from the 'tyrannical' Russian President Vladimir Putin.
For example, the MSM used to regularly publish false stories claiming that then-President Donald Trump is a "Nazi" and far-right "fascist," and in doing so, focused on real-life examples of such extremism throughout the West. That includes downplaying the Ukrainian military's Azov Battalion, which the FBI has described as “a paramilitary unit” notorious for its “association with neo-Nazi ideology."
That was 2020; in early March 2022 following Putin's invasion, the language the MSM used to describe and portray the Ukrainian unit changed significantly -- as in, it become much more subdued and has now gotten to the point where no references to the white nationalist ideology are made.
March 17, The New York Times: "Facebook last week said it was making an exception to its anti-extremism policies to allow praise for Ukraine’s far-right Azov Battalion military unit, “strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard.”
April 29, The New York Times: "These scenes are from videos shared online in recent days by the Azov regiment, a unit in the Ukrainian military, which says they were taken in the mazelike bunkers beneath the sprawling Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine."
Why use examples from the Times? Because it really is the 'paper of record' for the left-wing MSM, much like California is the incubator for the Democratic left's most insane woke ideology. The rest of the media takes its cue from the Times.
Moon Of Alabama blog notes the change in the media's Azov coverage:
It is not that Azov has de-radicalized over time. It has in fact grown more extreme.
Azov has infiltrated other organizations, especially some units of the Ukrainian regular military, the national guard, the police and the internal secret security organization SBU. Azov is by far not the only fascist (para-)military organization in Ukraine. There is the Aidar battalion, the Right Sector, the C-14 'youth' organization of the fascist Svoboda party as well as a dozen other such organization.
These groups are not only not prohibited as they should be but get encouraged and partially financed by the Ukrainian government.
The blog also provides a wealth of examples showing the difference in coverage now that the West has chosen to side with Ukraine over Russia:
-- Salon, Feb. 2014: Is the US backing neo-Nazis in Ukraine?
-- HuffPost, March 2014: The Neo-Nazi Question in Ukraine
-- NBC News, Sept. 2014: German TV Shows Nazi Symbols on Helmets of Ukraine Soldiers
-- Consortium News, June 2015: US House Admits Nazi Role in Ukraine
-- The Hill, November 2017: The reality of neo-Nazis in Ukraine is far from Kremlin propaganda
-- Real News Network, January 2018: The US is Arming and Assisting Neo-Nazis in Ukraine, While Congress Debates Prohibition
-- Atlantic Council, October 2018: Ukraine, Anti-Semitism, Racism, and the Far Right?
-- Washington Post, April 2022: Right-wing Azov Battalion emerges as a controversial defender of Ukraine
The tenor of the coverage has definitely softened over the course of just a few weeks, with the MSM now tacitly even promoting the same "Nazi battalion" it once sought to routinely expose.
If this doesn't prove how dishonest our media really has become, then nothing will.