New blog – российская-федерация

New blogs seem to be lurching to life faster than I can keep up. One of the most recent is российская-федерация, by Heribert Schindler, seems to be majoring on relations between Russia and Germany.

But the post that really caught my eye was this one, which obliquely discusses anti-Russian sentiments, both within blogs and the wider media, by reference to James Bond films.

So why am I speaking of a �war of the words� ? The more I follow the coverage of Russia in the media, the more I am convinced that there is a system behind it. I am convinced that, just like the fictional �Carver Media Group� in the movie I can�t get out of my mind, there is simply business behind the covering of Russia.

A business which isn�t really interested in providing a balanced coverage of the actual situation and the events in Russia. As to the commercial media I am inclined to accept that the negative tendency towards Russia is inspired by our money, money the media tycoons want to have.

And that’s just his criticism of the media.� Wait til he gets started on the bloggers…

Fascinating stuff.

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33 Responses

  1. Wait til he gets started on the bloggers…

    Andy, do you suppose I have suicidal tendencies ? 😉 Well, you might be right 😉

  2. HERIBERT:

    You wrote: “But I also agree with Sean that there is not a single piece of watertight evidence presented by those who speak in terms of “The Kremlin did it”. I am in favour of the legal motto of “being innocent until proven to be guilty”.

    Why is it that, when asking us to wait until there is “watertight evidence,” you fail to specify what actions against Russia you would be prepared to support in the event this “watertight evidence” was obtained?

    Do you really believe that you are speaking with full regard for American national security? Do you really think anyone could possibly believe that you speak with America’s best interests at heart, compared to those of Russia for example? Frankly, I think your suggestion that we should wait around allowing Russia to grow stronger and stronger and more and more dangerous until there is conclusive evidence is just bizarre. Can you point me to an example in which you lecture Russians to wait for “watertight evidence” before criticizing America?

    Frankly, moreover, your statement that Russia should “do all it can” to protect journalists strikes me as an utterly meaningless platitude. Year after year journalists continue to fall, and no action of any kind has been taken. You say Putin should speak out publicly, but you don’t say what action you are preparaed to support as a sanction against him should he fail to do so. Basically, you are saying you are wiling to gamble with people’s lives rather than criticize the Kremlin unfairly, and I think that’s disgusting.

    What will you say to us if it turns out Putin did order these killigns? “Oops, sorry about that?”

  3. Sean says:

    Looks like LR has found a new friend. Welcome to Russoblogosphere, Heribert.

  4. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”Why is it that, when asking us to wait until there is “watertight evidence,” you fail to specify what actions against Russia you would be prepared to support in the event this “watertight evidence” was obtained?”

    LR, hilarious as ever, ignores the heart of the argument to suit her own agenda. She fails to address Herbert’s point – where is the evidence? Those of us who live in the real world realise that without evidence nothing is proven. This, of course, is against all of LR’s points. LR hasnt a scrap of solid irrefutable evidence that:
    (1) Proves the Kremlin has been murdering journalists and dissidents.
    (2) That Yukos did not evade tax.
    (3)That Maria Sharpova is a slut, as she says on her site and to me in comments posted there.

    She takes the word of the US State Department as fact – the same people who said there were WMDs in Iraq.
    Says it all really.

  5. Castor says:

    Why WOULD a German citizen have to place U.S. interests foremost?

    And one would hope that waiting for evidence might be one of the lessons Americans learned the hard way in Iraq.

  6. Do you really believe that you are speaking with full regard for American national security?

    Being a German, living in Germany, American National Security is not my top priority.

    Do you really think anyone could possibly believe that you speak with America’s best interests at heart, compared to those of Russia for example?

    I do not expect anybody to think this as America’s best interest is neither my top priority.

    Generally spoken, anybody is well advised to make his decisions based on knowledge, not on assumtions. True, there are far more assumptions than facts available but assumptions tend to lead us in the wrong direction.

    Question: When I see my neighbour in the local gun shop buying a firearm I can assume that he’s getting prepared to go and rob the bank down the street. Can I have him arrested and sent to jail for an armed robbery because I assume he will rob a bank ?

    As long as he doesn’t rob, or attempts to rob, that bank, buying this gun is not a crime yet.

    See my point ?

  7. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Herbert,

    well said above. LR’s fundamental problem is she believes that US priorities overide everyone elses. She forgets most Europeans couldnt care less about the US. Then, what can you expect from an American?

  8. Then, what can you expect from an American?

    There is nothing such as “The American, just like there is nothing such as “The Russian”. I know quite a few Americans who have fair and balanced views and are very reasonable in their opinion.

    I do care about America’s concerns, just like I care about Russia’s concerns. But I am not America’s advocate and therefore America has not the top priority, at least for me.

    Maybe it simply has slipped LR’s attention that I am not an American. I give her the benefit of doubt.

  9. Michael Averko says:

    At the top of the business of covering Russia is Johnson’s Russia List.

    A sizeable enough donation to it no doubt gets preference in having material posted at JRL.

    Awhile back, eXile moaned about the Carnegie influence at JRL. This was when JRL was censoring eXile.

    So I’ve been told, several (at the very least one) Russian government funded entities have contributed to JRL, thereby explaining why JRL often posts the frequently mundane Eng. language material from Russian government funded outlets.

    Donations aside, JRL prefers the Russia unfriendly slant for reasons clearly documented in the March 1, Siberian Light interview with yours truly. Further documentation is provided in the comments section below that interview.

    As for the court appointed (by JRL) Russia friendly’s, they aren’t always the best sources and often comment in a politically safe enough way. For example, enough influential American business people are pro-Russian for selfish reasons’ sake to make it okay to criticize Andrei Ilarionov. On the other hand, at JRL, try finding an intelligently presented Russocentric view supporting why Trans-Dniester has a better case for independence than Kosovo. Also note how JRL recently promoted an article supporting Checehnya’s supposed case for independence.

    BTW, JRL has been invited to explain its politically slanted postings.

    Responsible forces inside of the Russian government should (if not already done) encourage a full scale critical review of the funding undertaken to enhance the Eng. language coverage of Russia.

    Regretfully, some peceived Russia friendlys approach the field in a market share manner that’s willing to sacrifice valuable contributions for fear that such sources might professionally threaten the existing status quo.

  10. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Fair enough Heribert. There are perfectly reasonable Americans. I’m doing the country a diservice when I know quite a few balanced people from there. However, unlike you I couldnt care less about the place after recent years and its got nothing to do with Russia bias. The behaviour of the United States since 9/11 has been nothing short of appalling.

    LR doesnt care where commentators are from. You’ll soon see that to both Russians and Americans she dictates her US line. As Mike Averko can testify, she doesnt give anyone the benefit of the doubt ever.

    Mike -answer me this please, how can anyone who pretends to be balanced actually publish LR, like JRL? Am I the only person who thinks her spin and lies are dreadful? Maybe I’m totally wrong and have missed something. I actually live in Moscow. And I cant get over the rubbish she writes. Am I totally alone in this? Or have most english language Russia bloggers never actually set foot on Russian soil?

  11. Michael Averko says:

    Ger:

    In answer to your question and point posed to me, it’s clear that David Johnson has a bias.

    Awhile back, he intimidated one Moscow based journalist into issuing a forced apology to Gessen, Albats and Lipman. In a recent instance, the JRL editor essentially got someone a job with a fairly prominent Moscow based media outlet. This newly hired person wasn’t getting posted anywhere with the exception of his/her individual JRL submissions, some of which were reposted at the JRL section of The Moscow Times influenced Russia Profile. The Russia Profile JRL section reflects what David Johnosn considers to be the best of JRL.

    Why are newly created and-or acquired Russian government funded outlets being influenced by someone with David’s biases, which are part of why the Eng. language communication of Russia is hurting? He took advantage of entering his list in the early days of the net, when many of us weren’t yet connected.

    I wouldn’t have such a valid point if JRL was posting:

    http://tiraspoltimes.com

    http://www.rusjournal.com

    Sites far more viewable than Eugene Ivanov’s blog which JRL promotes.

    JRL which never posted any of my Intelligent.ru, Russia Blog and Sean’s Russia Blog articles, while having posted less popular material from those sites.

    Like La Russophobe – JRL is biased against intelligently presented Russocentric views in the Eng. language.

    In addition to this particular comments section, let David or anyone else go over my March 1, Siberian Light interview and the comments made below it and directly address my core points.

  12. Michael Averko says:

    Some related samizdat:

    http://talk.guardian.co.uk/WebX?14@500.2XnFbCncqNM.13@.77480649/7392

    The above site is a talk forum I created. I’m not the owner of it.

  13. Welcome to Russoblogosphere, Heribert.

    Sorry Sean, I’ve almost missed this.

    Thank you very much for the welcoming words.

  14. Rebecca says:

    Heribert Schindler said:
    March 15th, 2007 at 8:05 am
    Then, what can you expect from an American?

    There is nothing such as “The American, just like there is nothing such as “The Russian”. I know quite a few Americans who have fair and balanced views and are very reasonable in their opinion.

    I do care about America’s concerns, just like I care about Russia’s concerns. But I am not America’s advocate and therefore America has not the top priority, at least for me.

    Maybe it simply has slipped LR’s attention that I am not an American. I give her the benefit of doubt.

    OOOH! I like him!

  15. Rebecca says:

    Mike -answer me this please, how can anyone who pretends to be balanced actually publish LR, like JRL?

    Ger, I’d imagine that in order to be considered balanced it is necessary to publish La R – along with the views of those who disagree with her. NOT publishing someone shows as much bias as only publishing those you agree with. Believe it or not, La Russophobe is a valuable voice in maintaining the ‘balance’ of the blogosphere, and in challenging Russophiles to clarify, revise and justify their views.

  16. Rebecca wrote: OOOH! I like him!

    Thanks Rebecca, that makes two people liking me …. you are #1 and I am #2. What a great day, my popularity rose by 100 % in a single day. You should see that bright smile on my face 🙂

  17. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Rebecca,

    below are remarks I made on a previous post regarding LRs site. Its just a small sample of her bullshit.
    Criticism is one thing. If she simply published her copy and paste jobs and past reasonable comment it’d be fair enough. But she doesnt do that. Fevered, manic attack and paranoia is what she does. Labelling a whole nation drunks and whores -is it useful really?
    As a point of interest Rebecca have you ever been here? Do you actually have some factual knowledege of lfe in Russia? Not blogs or newspaper articles? ”Russophiles” like me -whatever that means – are hardly going to be amused by a portrayal of Russia as a country of drunks and wife beaters. I’m far more aware of Russia’s woes than you and Herbert are sitting comfortably at home. But her site is about HATRED.

    This I put to her before. There are many more innaccurate hate filled posts of a similar vein:

    Cruelty to Disabled”- contains no actually evidence of cruelty, does however talk a lot about TOILETS and incompetence by staff of Lufthansa the German airline at Sheremetyevo-2.
    ”Rocket disaster” -criticises unmanned Russian rocket crash whilst ignoring fatal US shuttle disasters
    ”Annals of Sharapova” -groundlessly and libellously labels international tennis star Masha Sharapova a slut.
    ”Russia and 9/11” -actually implicates Russia in the 9/11 events, ignoring the fact that Putin himself warned Bush days before that something very big was about to happen -the Russians just didnt know what it was.(source ”Kremlin Rising” by Peter Baker, Washington Post ex-Moscow correspondent)
    ”Mobile phone glut” -blames Russian economy for waning of mobile market in Russia, ignoring that mobile companies world wide are shedding jobs and cutting back due to poor sales.

    Please read the opening paragraps below re Latvian citizenship. If this essay and the support of it isnt racist, then I dont know what is. How Latvia havent been sanctioned by the EU is beyond me.
    http://russophobe.blogspot.com/2007/03/listening-to-professor-ethan-s-burger.html

    Is all that is balanced and useful?

  18. HERIBERT:

    Thanks for frankly confirming that you couldn’t care less about American national security, and are giving Americans advice about how to respond to the Russian threat anyway, advice that would naturally lead to undermining their security.

    Naturally, therefore, we’ll ignore you, and Russia will go the way of the USSR, in small part thanks to “analysis” like yours.

  19. LR, my words were: I do care about America’s concerns, just like I care about Russia’s concerns. But I am not America’s advocate and therefore America has not the top priority, at least for me.

    I stated that I do care about the national security [concerns] of both countries. But in fact America’s interest has not the priority regarding the interest of any other nation. So America, at least for me, has no priority.

    You are very welcome to ignore me. I do not feel particularly honoured by your attention, being ignored by you doesn’t cause any pain either 🙂

  20. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Heribert – I told you so. I 100% told you so. See my point about LR now?

  21. Michael Averko says:

    Re:

    “Rebecca said:
    March 15th, 2007 at 5:50 pm
    Mike -answer me this please, how can anyone who pretends to be balanced actually publish LR, like JRL?

    Ger, I’d imagine that in order to be considered balanced it is necessary to publish La R – along with the views of those who disagree with her. NOT publishing someone shows as much bias as only publishing those you agree with. Believe it or not, La Russophobe is a valuable voice in maintaining the ‘balance’ of the blogosphere, and in challenging Russophiles to clarify, revise and justify their views.”

    ****

    That’s JRL’s overt bias. Posting Oliver Bronsen/La Russophobe and politcally censoring intelligently presented English language Russocentric views.

    The supporting details are overwhelming.

  22. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Mike -well first of all thats a shocking situation regarding intimidation. And worst of all having to apologise to Yevgenia Albats, who isnt right in the head. When it suits Albats she throws around threats like ”I know people in the States” etc. I know people in the States too -I’ve an aunt living in Queens who is a dinner-lady. Every fool in the world knows someone in the US!)Albats had her awards and its over now. She’s one of these people who thinks awards entitled her to say whatever rubbish she wants forever and that what she says is invariably correct. Her stuff on Echo Moscow is dreadful. Express Gazeta is a better source of useful info and thats saying something)
    More seriously though can you clarify something for me – I may be mistaken – are you saying that the Russian state are funding sources using Johnsons stuff e.g. LR indirectly? That is a disgrace if thats the case. I may have misread you.

  23. Rebecca says:

    GER,
    Don’t attack me. I don’t agree with her methodology or her politics (and you’ve been commenting here long enough now not to be ‘jumping in with both feet’). What I do realise though is that voicing extreme viewpoints is an excellent way of provoking debate, and in forcing fence sitters to make a decision – (usually against the shouty crackers extreme person). And no one can say that LA R doesn’t provoke debate. She slags of Russia. Fine – that then prompts you to defend it in equal and opposite measure. That makes balance. Yes she’s nuts, but sometimes you need to see both extremes of viewpoint to realise what’s the sensible ground.

    No I haven’t been to Russia. I don’t live there like you, I don’t speak the language and I’m fairly ambivolent to the place as a whole. You may note however that my arguments have bugger all to do with Russia or America or the moon for that matter – What I’m saying is true irrelevant of the topic of discussion.

  24. Michael Averko says:

    Ger:

    JRL went from being accused of a Carnegie tool (as per an eXile article when JRL banned it) to something which more regularly posts material from certain Russian government funded venues. I’m told that these Russian government funded venues donated to JRL.

    Nevertheless, JRL continues to show its bias. Like posting LR and not The Tiraspol Times or the AJRSS, along with rarely posting yours truly.

    The JRL editor has a definite bias going against intelligently presented Russocentric views in the Eng. language. In turn, a number of the Russian government funded news orgs., often lack the best of Eng. language commentary regarding the former USSR.

    It’s a situation of Russia haters and some court appointed Russia friendlys who aren’t always the best source material. Then you’ve the others category, which would probably best describe folks like Andy and Sean.

    Albats is horrid. However, just what are Arutunyan’s own views? How original in analysis is her commentary? How different are her views from Gessen?

    The Eng. language media coverage of Russia remains circumspect. In a June 10, ’05 Intelligent.ru exchange, Sergei Roy used the term “self serving bastards” to describe the purported efforts to improve upon it.

  25. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Rebecca

    where above precisely did I attack you, exactly? And stop rattling on about my previous apologies, none of which, unless I’m mistaken, were directed at you.

    Its fair enough to say that she does provoke debate, but its not proper debate. Proper debate is when a point is made and its merits or lack thereof are discussed. If you went to her site and actually looked at the posts I outlined above you’d see what I mean. Words like ‘drunks’, ‘whores’ ‘slut’ etc, are these conducive to proper discourse? These just piss people off. They dont stir dicussion. They stir anger and recrimination. She reminds me of fools who you meet in pubs, coming out with totally off the wall remarks and just getting angry reactions.
    I know what the sensible ground is already. I’m not a continuous defender of Russia or its government. I’m fully aware of Russia’s many limitations and weeknesses but that does not give license to the whole tone and content of her site. Go there today and check out the latest Sharapova rant. Sharapova has won two grand slams but according to freakshow she’s a fraud. Thats not an extremist view. Thats not a caustic, cold eyed view. Thats just bullshit -LR is bullshit. Thats what I take issue with. Maybe I’m mistaken and you are right. Maybe she’s a great, positive contribution to the english language discussion of Russia. But I doubt it. She just seems like a pain in the arse to me.

    So you know nothing about Russia by your own frank admission. Then why bother commenting? It sounds like a skit fom the Daily Show.
    ”I dont know anything about the issues, Jon. I just want to debate. About the debate. About the debating of the debate. Not about the issues”

  26. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Mike -Sergei Roy may have been on to something there! JRL does certainly have an anti russocentric bias. There’s certainly a lot of hate there. But I think publishing LR is just the ultimate low really. How anyone after visiting her site can come away thinking she makes a positive contribution is beyond me. Maybe I’m missing something here Mike. Maybe I’m a cranky old Irish fool and dont know what I’m talking about. But she’s just horrendous and her blog is one of the lowest cesspools of rant I have ever come across. In science she would be termed ‘discredited’ and simply not published anywhere.
    Then there’s the likes of you not being published by JRL when she is – a disgrace. Talk about nonsense.

    Albats even looks nuts, but like you I dont know where Anna stands either. Your point about the fact that much of Albats and Gessen’s work is actually rubbish and not worthy of printing is well made but sadly totally lost on the likes of LR. It never dawns on these people that they arent being censored- they are just crap! If its hysterical, innaccurate and controversial then its fine by JRL and LR. In fact I cant really think of a decent english language journalist in Moscow. Its very hard to find genuine, agenda-free balanced material. Andy to his credit does try to dig some out and post it here.

  27. Michael Averko says:

    Ger:

    There’re no doubt some decent folks trying their best within the current power structure. Their ability to push for a progressive change is limited. The knowledgeable ones among them recognize this. There’re also some young upstart types who think they’re hot shit by their promoted rise which isn’t so well deserved relative to those getting censored.

    It’s a very managed environment in need of change for quality sake.

    I’ve clearly shown that the censoring of intelligently presented Eng. language Russocentric views has nothing to do with ratings and the quality of such a perspective.

    A key point of judgment relates to who hides from adversity as opposed to those welcoming a direct challenge.

  28. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Mike:

    it certainly seems that way. There seems on both sides of the debate a tendency to polemics and when one side accuses the other of that, the other counters with the same retort. I’ve been naughty myself but I do at least try to discuss the merits of various issues. LR was so upset by my doing this she banned unfiltered comments. She called my questions, which I repeated as she failed to answer, spam. Now the latest line is that people who challenge her are ‘brigadniki’, some sort of conspiracy theory Kremlin creation designed to upset Putin critics. LR overestimates her importance – I dont think the Kremlin are all that bothered what bloggers are saying.

    But what I am certain of is a huge ego issue among all these blogs and personalities, whose side who is on and petty rivalries. There seems to be an obsession with being known by each other there, its really weird. There seems to be more discussion about he said she said crap than actual issues. Maybe I just dont know what blogging is all about I suppose.

  29. ReluctantMuscovite says:

    Maybe the blogosphere has lost touch with it’s usenet origins and is thus not familiar with the concept of ‘trolling’. Don’t feed the trolls.

  30. Michael Averko says:

    Ger:

    Agree.

    Then there’re others who seemingly present themselves in a way purporting to reflect “balance.”

    See:

    http://www.russiablog.org/2007/03/cobblers_by_day_cabalists_by_n.php

    IMHO, I’m not off base for believing the LR reference to myself as being a somewhat disingenuous attempt to dismiss my commentary without ever really addressing any of it.

    A kind of dumbing down of media which definitely benefits the existing status quo at the top of it.

    Never mind the inaccuracy of applying Khrushchev to present day Russia:

    http://www.siberianlight.net/2007/03/18/the-shoe-award/#comment-31046

  31. Rebecca says:

    Ger:
    So you know nothing about Russia by your own frank admission. Then why bother commenting? It sounds like a skit fom the Daily Show.
    ”I dont know anything about the issues, Jon. I just want to debate. About the debate. About the debating of the debate. Not about the issues”

    Yup. You got me to a tee.

    It’s interesting to see though that you clearly see LA R as a serious issue facing modern Russia, otherwise all this harping on about her would just be debating “about the debating of the debate” now wouldn’t it? xxx

  32. GER O'BRIEN says:

    True enough Rebecca!

    Is that xxx a kiss?) Am flattered!

  33. Michael Averko says:

    Re:

    “Michael Averko Says:

    March 21st, 2007 at 5:18 pm
    Oh yes I’m being censored, which is what you can do here and I can choose to discuss elsewhere.

    Edit note: Michael, you are disallowed form commenting here as I feel no need letting you post any comments containing threats and suggestions to f*** me for not letting you use my blog for your campaign against Johnson’s Russia List. You are not being censored, you are being banned for rude language and intending to threaten me. Please feel free to discuss elsewhere. This is perfectly ok with me. Good bye !”

    The above quoted comes from Heribert’s character flawed blog.

    People who censor with gross misrepresentations are flawed like Heribert.

    Contrary to Heribert, he does censor by cutting out what I actually said and then demagogically putting into his own words what I said. A most twisted individual.

    As for rudeness, Heribert initiated such with me. In addition to his blog, there’re his posted comments at Sean’s blog.