Russia’s Neo-Soviet Media Crackdown

“When this reporter met Nina Solodayeva, a former Uralasbest security guard and her husband, Ivan Solodayev, who had stage-four lung cancer, a car with the company’s security detailed pulled up to stop the conversation taking place. Solodayeva lost her job that day.”

That’s an excerpt from an article published by ace Russia reporter Anna Nemtsova in Newsweek detailing the collapse of Russia’s Stalinist monotowns.  After visiting many of them, she concludes:  “It is the same story in every monotown I visited. Only freedom of speech and action can provide the sort of jobs needed to replace the old smokestack industries built in Soviet times. But instead of encouraging openness and innovation, the government stands by as dissent is punished and optimism snuffed out.”

In other words, instead of opening facing the problem and trying to solve it, just as in the time of Stalin the Kremlin is seeking to sweep the problem under the carpet and destroy anyone who reports on it.

Over on the powerful and influential American Thinker website, LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld has more on the story of Putin’s neo-Soviet crackdown on the media, focusing on the often hilariously dishonest “reporting” by Kremlin-controlled TV concerning the Ukrainian uprising.

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Julia Ioffe and her Campaign of Lies about Russia

Julia Ioffe

EDITORIAL

Julia Ioffe and her Campaign of Lies about Russia

If there were to be a photograph next to the paragraph in the Pajamas Media Wikpedia entry that explains why PM was formed, it should be a photograph of New Yorker “reporter” Julia Ioffe, who also writes for Foreign Policy.  She’s the very worst MSM Russia journalist on the planet. She’s the disease, and PM is the cure.

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An Ignorant Braying Jackass Called Christopher Buckley

Writing in the New York Times, someone called Christopher Buckley states:

Yes, Russia still has a Communist Party; some myths really do die hard. [Communist Party Leader Gennady] Zyuganov runs for president on a regular basis, making him the Harold Stassen of Russian politics, only snarly and frightening.

Umm, no.

Harold Stassen never once ran for president.  On numerous occasions he ran for the Republican presidential nomination, in other words for permission from the Republican Party to run for president, but he never got it, not once. On the other hand, he did run for and win the governorship of Minnesota on several occasions.

Christopher Buckley, Braying Jackass

Zyuganov has never been elected to any office, ever, but he has appeared on the actual ballot for president many times. And Zyuganov has done very well when on the ballot for president of Russia. Last time, for instance, he came in second with over 17% of the vote, more than twice the total of his next-nearest competitor.  In his wildest dreams, Stassen never came in second in a national election.

What’s more, Zyuganov says that there was massive election fraud and he should have done even better. Besides that, the actual winner of the last election in Russia was Vladimir Putin, a proud KGB spy.  Putin has enacted policies like bringing back the national anthem of the USSR, rehabilitating Joseph Stalin, ending direct election of governors and senators and wiping out independent national television.  Many believe he has murdered, tortured and arrested his political opponents (Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Anna Politkovskaya  and Galina Starovoitova, to name just three).

So the point is this:  Buckley is a very, very ignorant, ridiculous little man, and his ignorance is typical of the filth-ridden sewage published by the New York Times about Russia.  The Communist Party isn’t a silly joke or footnote in today’s Russia, it’s front and center. The KGB has power. Soviet symbols are all over the place, and a neo-Soviet crackdown is well underway.  And part of the reason this is happening is that the New York Times generally, and maniacs like Buckley (and Ron Paul, and Pat Buchanan, etc.), have misled the world about what is happening and caused it to fail to recognize the need to confront and challenge neo-Soviet evil.

The End of Navalny

Well, he had his fifteen minutes. What more can a person ask?

The March 10th protest in Moscow organized by Aleksei Navalny ended in absolutely humiliating failure. By this time, according to Navalny’s promises when the movement began, we were to be seeing close to a million Russians on the streets of Moscow. Instead, we saw just 10,000 somber, clueless faces. And the opposition lied shamelessly about the attendance, putting for the utterly ridiculous propaganda that 25,000 were present. It was a utter disaster.  But look below the surface and it was even worse.

Look at who, for instance, comprised that tiny, ragtag group:  A hoard of skinheads, neo-Nazis, and Communists was a big chunk.  Their flags dominated the scene.  Remove them, and the pathetic remainder would have seemed little more than rabble.

Even more important, there was no focus to the meeting, no memorable speech, no energy in the crowd at all.  No leadership, no unity of purpose or even of organization. The movement has clearly shown itself unable to sustain its momentum for even five months, much less the five years that will need to pass before another election of significance will happen in Russia.

Media reporting on the movement has been shockingly incompetent.  Instead of reporting aggressively on the movement’s flaws, reporters chose appalling cheerleading. Some of them went so far as to literally lock arms and join the movement they were supposed to be reporting on.

In doing so, these reckless and incompetent reporters — the worst of whom was surely Julia Ioffe of the New Yorker — actually helped Putin consolidate his power.  The helped the movement to ignore its life-threatening faults and therefore helped the movement to avoid focusing on and reforming them.  They made the movement weaker, not stronger, and ultimately helped kill it.

But the biggest problem, of course, was Navalny himself. A perusal of his juvenile Twitter statements, perpetually laced with utterances like “OMFG!“, clearly shows what should have been obvious to all from the start:  This man is no King or Mandela or Ghandi.  He has no political agenda and neither he nor anyone around him is capable of doing the hard work necessary to create and sustain a political party.  All Navalny was capable of doing was creating a small cult of personality on the Internet and bringing them out into the streets for a lark. Soon they got bored, and went home.

Masha Gessen Jumps the Rails

On December 26th Russia pundit Masha Gessen published two hilariously dishonest and utterly deranged comments about the Moscow protest movement recently, one on a New York Times blog and one on a blog operated by The Guardian.  It’s precisely this kind of gibberish that makes it impossible to take the Moscow protesters seriously.  After all, if they’re really so powerful why is it necessary to use so many fantastic lies and so much absurd hyperbole when discussing them.

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Rob Minto of the Financial Times is a Braying Jackass

Rob Minto, the braying jackass

It’s shocking to see such childish and idiotic financial “analysis” being produced by as lofty a source of financial information as the Financial Times of London.

Writing on the FT’s “Beyond BRICS” blog, Rob Minto claims “Russia is not as unequal as you think” based on a report he read (but does not even take the time to link to, really shabby stuff) from Russian stock brokerage house Renaissance Capital.

RC used Gini coefficient analysis to produce a chart that, apparently, Minto did not even take the time to read.  The chart plots the positions of 22 different countries based on per capita income and Gini rating for economic inequality.

Apparently they haven’t learned to count yet over at the FT, because only five countries out of the total group show more economic inequality than Russia (South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Argentina).  That’s right, sixteen of the 22 countries showed less economic in equality. Russia stood in the bottom quartile of the group, yet Minto, a braying jackass if ever there was one, thinks this proves Russia isn’t that unequal after all.

And that’s only the first gaping flaw in Minto’s analysis.

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