The Russian president's going off the reservation last week has provided 1000 cases of mass media misinformation. For alternative media upstarts, Putin's disappearing act may just be a gift of the gods of PR.
If alternative media ever prayed for a miracle, Vladmir Putin delivered one the last two weeks. He did so simply by going fishing, catching the flu, or studying somewhere deep underneath his Kremlin offices. Wherever the world’s most watched leader was, fantastic rumors of his whereabouts virtually nullified hundreds of news broadcasters. Here’s the biggest PR campaign, Russia Insider never organized.
The depth to which some western media publishers allowed their journalists and editors to sink to this past week was astonishing. Even if you are a died in the wool Obama clone, seeing two page reports on the so-called “quiet coup” Putin was supposedly supplanted by had to tweak your BS alarm. The Daily Mail online is a poster child of an unintended PR backlash today with: Vladimir Putin is 'alive' but 'neutralised' as shadowy security chiefs stage a stealthy coup in Moscow, it was claimed last night.” When the spin goes so far, media cannot get off the hook quoting from “sources” – The Mail wanted readers to bite on the takeover line. Mirror online echoes the same, and the gullible Shane Croucher over at International Business Times made an all day affair of researching FSB spooks, ghouls and goblins. The Washington Post and other legendary US media were a bit more sly about their Putin jabs during his absence. Those reports essentially let their readership formulate individual opinions the Washington Post wanted them to. By that I mean, the newspaper’s online contingent was leading forcefully. Read for yourself the conclusion of this Adam Taylor piece before Putin walked out of a Siberia gulag on Monday.
On the blogs of Huffington Post and ten dozen other so-called “new media” platforms, self made foreign relations and social media experts lost their collective minds. Andrea Chalupa for one, took the opportunity to sound like a US State Department Foghorn Leghorn with; "Kremlin's Troll Army Is Quiet: Sign of a Coup?" If you follow the trail of anti-Putin, anti-Russia, and pro ousted billionaire oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky (above), you always come upon Michael Weiss, who is editor of Institute for Modern Russia’s media arm, The Interpreter. For somebody like me, someone who helped test and propagate social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, the sharing psychology of these people is hilarious. The aforementioned Huff Po contributor is keyed on lists of Euromaidan Press’ English News phylum.
You’ve a mind to uncloak and to uncork your own brand of just desserts onto a world of deceivers for whatever reason. For more fuel to fire your imagination and ire over journalistic decepticons, here’s some choice headlines during the absence of the world’s most talked about celebrity.
Newsweek - ‘Putin Involved in Drug Smuggling Ring’, Says Ex-KGB Officer
TIME – “Kremlin Critics Fear Political ‘Hit List’ as Putin Drops Out of Sight”
Bloomberg View - Putin Disappears Like a Dictator
Forbes – “Can Putin's Absence Indicate A Palace Coup In Moscow?”
Chicago Tribune - Putin's disappearance implies a Russian dictatorship
The Fiscal Times – “With Putin Still Missing, Things Get Weird in Russia”
The Inquisitr – “Vladimir Putin Ousted In Silent Coup, Reports Say, As Mystery Over Russian Strongman Continues”
The Blaze – “Expert: Vladimir Putin’s Disappearance Could Mean Russia’s Undergoing a Coup”
You see headlines with question marks, they give the impression of dialogue and inquiry, when in reality the writer often intends to instruct.
I’ll leave it to you, the educated reader to do your own Google media outlet assessments. But for those of you who really want to tune in on who the wildest accusatory writers are these days, check out the headline from Reuters AFTER Mr. Putin surfaced. This just hours ago from Reuters blogger Masha Gessen (so well thought of by Khodorkovsky’s Interpreter and author of unauthorized Putin biographies) :
Gessen and Reuters are not the only die hard evangelists of “Down With Putin” though. Today Politico Magazine still wonders (wishes?) Russia were part of Arizona or Scotland. And FrontPage Mag even suggests the “coup that wasn’t” was staged just so Phil Butler could further evangelize the merits of Russia, oh sorry. No, that magazine was talking about Putin’s PR machine conjuring all this up. But then, what if Vladimir did? What if he did invent a vacuum into which the accusers could all disappear?
I guess by now you’ve made up your mind. Let me add one thing before you to comment on the Daily Beast or something. The satirical and humorous aspects of this are fun, even fruitful looked at objectively, but the underlying problem with today’s press is no laughing matter. Trusted media we once could depend on for news that helped us make good decisions, it’s been morphed into tabloid journalism and corporate advertising to pass for news. Vested interests abound, which would not be a problem in a transparent world. What I am saying here is, misleading purposefully for whatever reason, this is not freedom of the press – it is propaganda pure and simple. And so, the purpose of Russia Insider has been evangelized by the opposition.
Let me know your thoughts.