Monday, June 18, 2007

Fred Hiatt Plays Dangerous Game Of Chicken Shit

The lead editorialist of the Washington Post Fred Hiatt attempts to get a Russian spokesman jailed or killed. He violates journalistic ethics in doing it. The second statement should be the lede, but you get your hackery from the Bush stooge you have, not the one you want or need.

Today Hiatt pounds out another anti Russian demagoguery that is chock full of irony.
Russia bullies it's small neighbors. Russia jails people without due process. Russia is paranoid about everybody being against them. Consider this next quote in light of Hiatt being a true dead end believer in George W. Bush's foreign policy.

Those who spend time with Putin insist that he genuinely believes the West operates as does his Russia. Just as he has political opponents beaten or jailed, so do leaders in Berlin or Washington, he tells associates, and any criticism of Russia's human rights record is nothing but self-serving hypocrisy. His zero-sum view of the world -- if someone else gains, Russia must have lost -- he also ascribes to other leaders.

I agree with Hiatt that Russia does evil to it's critics. Some studies have suggested that 261 journalists have been murdered in Russia since the Soviet Union collapsed. Famous critics of Putin have a way of having bad things happen to them.
Near the end of his presentation last week, I asked Shuvalov about this apparent contradiction: If Putin is so popular, and Russia so content, why does the Kremlin feel it must script the nightly news so tightly on national TV? Why the striking lack of confidence?

Putin's adviser said he could not reply on the record. His CSIS host encouraged him to reply off the record, so I cannot tell you what he said. But if his response would have, if reported, caused him difficulties back home, then the Kremlin feels even less secure than we suspect.

Russian critics of Putin end up having bad things happen to them. In order to prove that, I am going to make it appear that one of his spokespeople said something nasty about him off the record, violating an agreement to keep the conversation private in order to do what exactly? Pray that Shuvalov ends up with pelonium induced baldness? Two shots to the back of the head?

What serious journalist would say that a mob lawyer in public says Bush is great, but off the record he told me some stories about the guy that you would not believe? A newspaper would fire that individual because it would make the rest of the paper's scribes jobs more difficult knowing that they couldn't be trusted. Fred Hiatt, on the other hand, gets to run the paper into the ground.

In the week that Jack Kevorkian was released from prison, let's hope that Hiatt's attempt to assist in the death of a source is as successful as his efforts to rally the public around a never ending occupation in Iraq. To hope that the Washington Post would intervene at this point is wishful thinking.