Over on the massive Pajamas Media megablog, LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld rips into the deviant feral lunatics known as Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan, who give new meaning to the phrase “right wing nutjob.” This pair of malignant Putin appeasers are America’s answer to Neville Chamberlain, and it makes us sick even to write their names.
It’s a telling commentary on how far and how fast Vladimir Putin has has fallen that even hardcore Putin apologists like Mark Adomanis are now scurrying to abandon him in order to save their own reputations.
In a recent op-ed for the Moscow Times, Adomanis concedes that the European Union’s cutting Russia off from investment cash will deal a devastating blow to the Russian economy. He admits that even as Russia’s economy grinds to a screeching halt, the EU’s action will choke off the lifeblood of the economy, making borrowing vastly more expensive and therefore unattainable to many small businesses. He admits that the Russian finance sector is “largely at a standstill already,” before the new round of sanctions have even taken effect. The obvious result is recession.
Adomanis mocks Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, who actually claims with a straight face that massive worldwide economic sanction are a good thing for Russia. It’s a neo-Soviet jaw-dropper if ever there was one.
But Adomanis also feels compelled to write this in the second paragraph of his piece: “It is possible, of course, that the Europeans will lose their nerve.” That’s wishful thinking, and smells of desperation. Adomanis has been writing for years that the EU would not be capable of imposing sanctions like those he now sees before him, most particularly because Russia’s fossil fuel might would prevent it. Now, the utter frivolousness of Adomanis’s prior views have been exposed for all the world to see.
Indeed, conspicuous by its absence is any effort at all from Adomanis to confront his prior bogus analysis of Russia. His claims about the strength of the Russian economy have been proved totally false, just as his claims about the impotence of the West have been. And most importantly, for years Adomanis has done what he could to provide cover to Putin as he consolidated his malignant regime in Russia, claiming and implying that Putin was not the evil force that Republicans like Mitt Romney claimed.
Adomanis smugly mocked Republicans like Romney and Palin, who correctly predicted Russia’s incursion into Ukraine while Adomanis did not, in a supremely juvenile and immature fashion. He’s now trying desperately to walk it all back and jump on the bandwagon driven by Romney and Palin, but it’s much too late. Adomanis has no credibility left, as the entire Russophile community does not. Putin has pulled the rug out from under them, and all they can do is fall.
Over on the powerful and influential American Thinker blog, LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld exposes the dangerous collaborators of Vladimir Putin to be found on the American far right, and issues a clarion call for remembering the example of the greatest American conservative, Ronald Reagan, as new iron curtain descends across the former USSR.
We feel this qualifies as the single most hilarious headline on an article about Russia that we’ve ever seen: “Yes, Americans hate on Russia too much. This ‘Daily Show’ segment proves it.”
The headline appeared over a piece by The Washington Post‘s “foreign policy blogger” Max Fisher.
It’s so hilarious because (1) the “evidence” of the author’s conclusion comes exclusively from a frivolous TV comedy show and from leading Russia hater Julia Ioffe, who’s quoted in the body of the piece, and because (2) Fisher himself had viciously bashed Russia just a couple of days earlier. Twice, One of his key quotes: “Maybe it’s not so surprising that Americans would be sour on Russia.”
There’s just something so amazingly sublime about an American who clearly knows absolutely nothing at all about Russia getting his information from a TV comedy and then purporting to illuminate “ignorant” Americans about the country after doing himself exactly what he’s now found it possible to criticize, and not noticing. It’s rolling-on-the-floor, good-times-for-all hilarious!
There’s so much ignorance in the author’s text it’s hard to know where to begin.
(1) Fisher finds it somehow laudable that the ‘Daily Show’ reported the fact that Russians don’t know about famous Russian villains in U.S. popular culture. He thinks this proves the U.S. is too hard on Russia. Exactly the opposite is true. Russians have given Americans many, many valid reasons to fear and dislike them, from providing support to Hezbollah terrorists to aiding U.S.-hating regimes like Iran, Syria and Venezuela to choosing to hand unchecked power to proud America-hating KGB spy named Putin. Maybe if Russians knew how much they’ve antagonized the powerful USA, they’d change their ways.
(2) Fisher writes: “The popular American treatment of the Olympic games in Sochi drives home how unsympathetic Americans can be toward Russia, and makes this a perfect moment to call attention to that habit.” Incredibly, Fisher doesn’t stop for a second to review Russian treatment of Americans. If he knew anything at all about Russian popular culture, he’d know it demonizes the USA and that Russian politics demonize it even more, going all the way back to Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s demand that the USA surrender Alaska.
(3) He writes: “When the opening ceremony featured a song by the celebrated Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, for example, many Americans seemed eager to point out that he was gay, as if those homophobic Russians would be unaware of this fact or must all support the country’s anti-gay laws.” But Russians are unaware that Tchaikovsky was gay, because this fact like many others are suppressed in the Russian education system. It’s totally outrageous that Fisher would claim they are not without even trying to document a source. Russia is engaged in a furious crackdown on homosexuals because of its benighted ignorance about them, and Fisher is rationalizing this.
(4) He writes that foreign journalists didn’t criticize China’s human rights record as much as they are doing to Russia “even though the then-ongoing crackdown on Tibetan rights activists was arguably far more severe than anything happening in Russia today.” Is Fisher really unaware of the savage litany of murders of Putin’s political opponents and critics? Does he know that Russia has murdered more journalists (like him) than almost any other country, and far more than China ever dreamed of doing? Is he really suggesting that Russia should get a free pass on human rights atrocities if China got one? Did he even try to look for coverage criticizing China during the games, which was in fact abundant? Does this “journalist” care about facts at all?
(5) He writes that there is “no countervailing narrative in the United States that maybe we’re too hard on the Russians.” Here at last, he finally admits that this is “also a product of President Vladimir Putin’s own government, which after his disputed 2012 reelection and the ensuing protests has sought to whip up nationalistic sentiment.” But is he really unaware of the vast array of Russia-funded media being pumped out on a daily basis? He’s never watched Russia Today? He’s never seen the Russia Beyond the Headlines supplement in the New York Times? Has he ever heard of Professor Stephen F. Cohen, whose drumbeat of pro-Russia, anti-US screeds at The Nation magazine is endless? Simply amazing stuff.
(6) Amazingly, Fisher openly admits that Russian officials are telling brazen anti-American lies to the Russian people about such issues as Afghanistan yet he does not directly criticize Russians as he does Americans nor does he call for any changes in Russian policy. He cannot point to anyone in Russia who is challenging these hostile anti-American attitudes towards the USA, yet he does call upon Americans to “question their views of Russia.” Apparently, Fisher is one of those people who view Russians as helpless children incapable of taking any adult responsibility, and who therefore must be led towards it by Americans taking unilateral action. Needless to say, that is the road to ruin.
A recent blog post in the obscure Business News Europe attempts to take the Economist magazine to task for anti-Russia bias leading to fact errors. What it succeeds in doing is proving that pro-Russia bias is at least as toxic.
The most amazing thing about the piece is that while criticizing the Economist for publishing anti-Russia “rants” based on emotion rather than facts, the author Ben Aris, who is BNE’s editor in chief, does exactly the same thing while defending Russia. His hysterical screed is at least as one-sided, emotional, anti-Economist and fact-challenged as the Economist piece he purports to criticize. It makes for hilarious reading.
Unsurprisingly, Aris is a frequent contributor to Russia Beyond the Headlines as well as Russia Today, the Kremlin-owned and -operated propaganda websites. So it’s hardly surprising he’d be unable to tell the truth about Russia.
Here are the errors, lies, fabrications and falsehoods Aris offers in his crazed, one-sided diatribe pandering to Putin:
(1) Aris writes: “The trouble is that, rather embarrassingly, the latest survey released in December [by Transparency International] showed Russia going from the ‘most corrupt country in Eastern Europe,’ to the “least corrupt.’ This even happened close to International Anti-corruption Day on December 9, yet none of the western press bothered to report it.”
This is just totally false and outrageously dishonest and inaccurate. TI’s latest 2013 survey gives Russia 127th place for corruption. Poland is #38, Hungary is #47, Czech Republic is #57, Slovakia is #61, Serbia is #72 and Bulgaria is #77 — every one of them far less corrupt than Russia. So it’s really no big surprise that the “western press” didn’t report Russia is the least corrupt in Eastern Europe.
They didn’t because it’s not.
We sent a tweet to Aris about this blatant error. He didn’t respond or correct. Nice ethics there, Mr. Aris!
It’s really quite hilarious watching the scurrying Russophiles respond to the latest international survey that reveals Russia to be a barbaric outsider among the population of civilized nations. What to do?! Try to spin them, simply ignore them or attack them as blatant acts of “russophobia”? What to do, what to do?
In a recent web item, Russia Today puffed out its chest over the latest “doing business” rating from Bloomberg, in which Russia ranked #43. You might think Russia would wish to sweep a result like that under the table, considering that it made Russia by far the worst-performing nation in the G-8, and considering that China came in at #28 and Brazil at #38.
But Russia Today considered it great news, since Russia’s ranking had improved from 2012 by 13 spots. Jaw-droppingly, Russia Today reported the fact that Russia was ranked even with Oman and just below Bulgaria, just above Panama, as if the positioning were unremarkable.
Russia Today chose to conceal from its readers (not providing any link to the Bloomberg data) that four of the other five nations from Eastern Europe appearing on the list were rated higher than Russia (Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and even Bulgaria easily bested Russia, with only Romania falling behind).
Bloomberg provides an interesting page of data on Russia that Russia Today also chose to ignore. Maybe that’s because the data on inflation and stagflation is pretty horrifying: Only 15 countries are more ravaged by inflation than Russia according to Bloomberg, and only 23 are more at risk of the onset of stagflation. Yet, despite these economic blows, Bloomberg also found that only 7 countries in the world were more decadent and vice-ridden than Russia. Another surprising Bloomberg revelation: Only seven countries have fatter women than Russia.
The dishonesty with which Russia Today “reports” the “news” is truly breathtaking and neo-Soviet in character. A person who relied on Russia Today for information about Russia would simply have no clue what the real place was like.
It’s happened slowly and surreptitiously, but the Public Editor of the New York Times has undergone a metamorphosis. Today, she spends more time singing the paper’s praises than calling it to task. Call her the Public Cheerleader.
In May of 2011, the Russian government began inserting a color supplement known as “Russia Beyond the Headlines” into the pages of the Times. Masquerading as news, RBTH has weekly regaled Times readers ever since with all manner of Kremlin propaganda. Only if you were a seasoned Russia watcher or read the fine print and then started Googling would you have any idea about the true origins of the supplement.
Yet three years later, the Times’ Public Editor Margaret Sullivan claimed to be blithely unaware that the supplement even existed, much less had she or anyone else in the Public Editor’s office investigated the propriety of the Gray Lady’s conduct in regard to it.
In a January 2014 column, Sullivan wrote: “Just last week, The Times began a careful foray into native advertising — paid content that looks something like news.” Her statement was simply false: The “foray” began three years ago, when RBTH first appeared. Indeed, Sullivan had “reported” in December of 2013 that native advertising was “about to arrive” at the Times “after months of preparation and scrutiny.” In fact, it had already been in place for quite some time. What is Ms. Sullivan reading, if it’s not the New York Times?
An extraordinary new low in the annals of online journalism was plumbed by the Huffington Post on 12/27/13. It wasn’t just the fact that it was a commercial masquerading as an op-ed piece masquerading as a news story that was so shocking, but that the purpose of the commercial was to bilk Americans out of their hard-earned incomes in order to line the pockets of the corrupt, America-hating Russian Kremlin. Happy New Year’s from HuffPo, Mr. and Mrs. America!
The author of the piece in question was one Shai Baitel, identified on the HuffPo website as an expert on Middle Eastern politics. So, quite predictably, the topic of the article was the Russian economy.
Delighted with the behavior of Edward Snowden in attacking the USA, the minions of Vladimir Putin have taken to claiming like bleating sheep that Snowden is no different from Daniel Ellsberg and therefore should be viewed as a hero and given asylum in Russia. Since Ellsberg won his case against the US government, they say, Americans could not complain about such an action by Russia. This absurd bit of neo-Soviet propaganda is extremely bizarre since Vladimir Putin himself, a proud KGB spy, loathes people like Snowden, and his hostility towards Snowden himself is obvious. But much more important, it is an absolute lie.
Putin’s minions like to point out that the 82-year-old Ellsberg himself has sided with Snowden in an op-ed piece for the Washington Post.
Ellsberg claims that there are “grounds for most countries granting Snowden asylum” but completely ignores the fact that “most countries” certainly have not done so, and in fact the only countries to have even considered the idea are a ragtag group of American enemies. Ellsberg seems to believe that only he, Snowden and American enemies understand that Snowden is a hero, a laughable and senile notion to say the least.
Ellsberg claims that if Snowden turned himself in and sought to defend himself in court, he would “almost certainly be confined in total isolation” rather than being released on bail as Ellsberg was. Ellsberg suggests this justifies Snowden’s becoming a fugitive. But Ellsberg then states: “As Snowden told the Guardian, This country is worth dying for. And, if necessary, going to prison for — for life.” This incoherent contradiction reveals Ellsberg as a babbling old man, desperate to relive his glory days who cannot but see himself in Snowden (they even bear a physical resemblance). His credibility vanishes.
With all due respect to soothsayer Ellsberg, “almost certainly” just doesn’t cut it. Ellsberg proved it is possible to fight the U.S. government and win, and his bizarre claim that America has changed since his time so that this is no longer possible finds no support whatsoever in the facts. Ellsberg himself admits that a principled whistleblower would have no problem going to jail — or giving his life — for his principles. That’s exactly what exposes Snowden as a total fraud, and no about of wiggling by the senile Ellsberg can change that.
Putin’s minions hilariously attempt to argue that the world must take Ellsberg’s word as the last one on this subject. Were that the case, then Putin’s minions would have to take Mikhail Gorbachev’s word as the last one on Putin, and Gorbachev has repeatedly and emphatically denounced Putin. Of course, they will never do so. They are hypocrites who will tell any lie they can think of in their furious effort to justify Russia’s neo-Soviet revanchism.
Snowden has turned to China, Russia and Venezuela not because he occupies the moral high ground but because he occupies the depths. Glenn Greenwald, Snowden’s mouthpiece, has openly threatened the USA on his behalf, using anti-American rhetoric that leaves no doubt about Snowden’s true motivations. Snowden has also been embraced by Julien Assange, who is hiding out in Britain rather than face criminal charges in Sweden. The notion that Sweden is somehow a force for pro-American evil beggars belief.
And it is this seething contempt for American that makes Snowden the darling of Putin’s minions. Their hallucination, however, that Russia can somehow get away with giving Snowden asylum is bound to explode in their faces. They are kidding themselves. Just as the entire world viewed Russia’s attack on Georgia in 2008 as naked aggression and refused to recognize Russia’s annexation of Ossetia and Abkhazia, the entire world stands with the USA against Snowden. The mere fact that Putin’s minions adore him so is more than enough proof to convince a reasonable person that Snowden is evil. If Russia gives asylum, even temporary asylum, to Snowden it will be an act of war upon the United States, and Russia will soon find the consequences of that act unbearable.
Putin himself has already recognized this. He has openly stated he will not allow relations with the USA to be destroyed by Russia’s policy towards Snowden. In this, at least, he seems to have Russia’s best interests at heart. Clearly, his minions do not.
Edward Snowden is a thief who stole data belonging to the U.S. government, and hence to the people of the USA, and then fled the country into the waiting arms of American enemies. He is being prosecuted by the Obama administration, which has been embraced by the world as the antidote to the Bush regime that favored abandoning civil liberties in exchange for national security. His defense by America’s most hardened foes shows that this policy is correct.
Snowden had a wide array of legal options available to him should he have wished to challenge U. S. policy on surveillance (it’s worth nothing that, to date, Snowden still has yet to name a single U.S. citizen who has been harmed by this surveillance in any specific way). Snowden ignored all of these legal options, and chose to become a fugitive thief. The reasons for his actions are therefore obvious, and the reasons that the lovers of Vladimir Putin have for supporting him just as clear.
Over on the massive Pajamas Media megablog, LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld castigates an outrageous WaPo op-ed piece by former Bush administration official Paul Saunders, who urges that Americans just keep calm and submit to the will of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
Meanwhile, on the powerful and influential American Thinker blog, Kim rips into another equally nasty little Putin collaborator, the doddering and apparently senile Larry King, who has just signed on to be a part of Putin’s propaganda machine known as Russia Today.