Monday, February 28, 2005

The Daily Rus 

If only Vladimir Putin read blogs... he might know what's really going on.
"George Bush knew Vladimir Putin would be defensive when Bush brought up the pace of democratic reform in Russia in their private meeting at the end of Bush's four-day, three-city tour of Europe. But when Bush talked about the Kremlin's crackdown on the media and explained that democracies require a free press, the Russian leader gave a rebuttal that left the President nonplussed. If the press was so free in the U.S., Putin asked, then why had those reporters at CBS lost their jobs? Bush was openmouthed. 'Putin thought we'd fired Dan Rather,' says a senior Administration official. 'It was like something out of 1984.'

"The Russians did not let the matter drop. Later, during the leaders' joint press conference, one of the questioners Putin called on asked Bush about the very same firings, a coincidence the White House assumed had been orchestrated. The odd episode reinforced the Administration's view that Putin's impressions of America are often based on urban myths fed to him by ill-informed aides."
...who have been talking to Congressman Maurice Hinchey.

So let me rephrase: if he only read right-wing blogs, considering that some inside the left side of the blogosphere are starting to push the Rathergate-is-a-Rove-conspiracy line (so, by that logic, President Bush did fire Dan Rather).

Bad news: old Soviet habits die hard for this former KGB operative - it's the media's official role to lie; why should anyone get fired over that?

Good news: if Putin has anything to do with it, Dan Rather can count on a job on Russian TV.

(This is, of course, far from the only example of faulty Russian intelligence at the highest levels - you might recall at the height of the tensions last year over Ukraine Kremlin's conspiracy theories about the nefarious role of Zbigniew Brzezinski (Carter's NSA) in fomenting the Orange Revolution.)


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