EDITORIAL: The Beeb and Mr. Medvedev


The Beeb and Mr. Medvedev

The BBC aired a pathetic excuse for an “interview” with Russian “president” Dmitri Medvedev last week, and concluded by stating:

Who is Dmitry Medvedev really? No single interview can answer that question.  But for what it is worth, he seemed to me a man on a journey, and rather more interesting than the Putin front man people describe.  He is smart and he is well aware that he is a player in a world dominated by media-savvy rivals, not least the man he is clearly fascinated by, that Mr Obama.

What a charade:  This is basic Psych 101 stuff. If Medvedev is a boring nobody, then so is the reporter who is interviewing him, and then why should the viewer care? But if Medvedev is “rather more interesting” . . . It’s also journalism 101, the part about ethics and conflict of interest.   

The pathetically vapid nature of the BBC’s written summary of the interview is all the proof you need of how utterly useless the exercise was — and therefore how it played right into the Kremlin’s hands.  Given this kind of spineless, idiotic coverage, it’s little wonder the Kremlin thinks it can liquidate KGB defectors on British soil using radiation weapons and get away with it.

The BBC, at least, asked Medvedev directly whether he was in charge of Russia, and in response “Medvedev patiently explained the constitutional division of powers.”  In other words, he talked about how things are supposed to be, not how they are — and the BBC just accepted that.  It pointed out in summarizing the talk that only 12% of Russians believe Medvedev is in charge, but it didn’t ask him about that poll data, nor did it ask him whether he could fire Putin if the government’s failures justified it.

It didn’t ask about Litvinenko (though it did at least mention his name).  It didn’t ask about Markelov. It didn’t ask about Politkovskaya.  Nothing about the crackdown on democracy, nothing about rigged elections, not a word about Russian aggression in Ukraine and Georgia, to say nothing of the Arctic.  Asked about extraditing Andrei Lugovoi, Medvedev flatly refused, claiming that relations with Britain were improving but not giving a single example of any such improvement that Russia could claim advancing.  Asked about the harassment of the  British Ambassador and the British Council, Medvedev said:  “I don’t see any particular problem here.”  No followup.

Though Medvedev supposedly speaks English well and favors English-language rock music, it allowed him to speak only in Russian during the interview. Though Medvedev has continously attacked the U.S. as the cause of the global financial crisis, in a wretchedly cowardly and dishonest manner he refused to repeat this attack in the interview, and the BBC did not confront him about his prior accusations in any way.  Medvedev said, seemingly in a threatening manner, that British companies must “choose the right partners” when doing business with Russia — in other words, those approved by the Kremlin.

Asked whether Russia had any influence over Iran, Medvedev ignored the question and began babbling about missile defense. The interviewer did nothing to bring him back on track.  Medvedev claimed he did not want any new nuclear missiles on Russia’s border, but did not indicate Russia would do anything to stop their development, and the interviewer did nothing to bring out the massive assistance Russia has been providing to the rogue nation in terms of both technology and military supplies.

In bizarre fashion, seeming deranged, Medvedev declared that “Afghanistan must find its own path to democracy” free from foreign intervention.  Yet the interviewer said nothing about Russia failing to allow Georgia to find its own path, and choosing instead to invade.

Asked about leniency for Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Medvedev said “let’s wait for the result” of the retrial and refused to consider any pardon until it concluded, claiming (laughably) that the president of Russia had no authority to intervene in court proceedings.  Shamefully, there was no attempt whatsoever to challenge Medvedev on the sham trial that put Khodorkovsky in prison in the first place, well documented by Khodorkovsky’s attorney Robert Amsterdam.

The BBC ended its interview by asking Medvedev:  “What would you like us to know about you that we don’t?”  Medvedev was flummoxed. He hesitated, and he stammered. He looked bewildered, like a little rabbit in the headlights of an oncoming truck.  The he stated, giggling like a bashful schoolboy:  “I”m ready to do a photo session if that helps. It’s difficult to talk about myself.  I don’t know what would be interesting for people.”

Indeed. You don’t know, Mr. Medvedev — and you don’t need to care, do you?  Because the people just don’t matter, except that is for The Person.

4 responses to “EDITORIAL: The Beeb and Mr. Medvedev

  1. The problem with the BBC is that it has long been infiltrated, and basically run by left wing idealogues and pinko idiots who literally worshipped the USSR.

    Just look at its basically anti British coverage of the Falklands war when the then Argentine military dictatorship invaded the Falklands to try and distract the Argentine public from the dirty war at home, and the collapsing economy (sound familiar), or the way the BBC denegrates the British armed forces (let alone what it says about the US) fighting in Iraq & Afghanistan, its trumpeting of the “virtues” of Hamas, the Taleban, Hezbollah, the current clique of communazi’s who run Russia etc.

    The head of one of Britains opposition parties, the Liberal Democrats recently blew the whistle on the fact that the advisors on Russia to the BBC, who have direct input into its coverage of Russia, used to work for the KGB or Soviet era publications such as Pravda or the Komsomol newspaper.

  2. Why did they not ask Putins puppet about this?


    Russian Newspaper Worker Dies After Attack
    April 2nd, 2009

    Sergey Protazanov, a newspaper worker for the opposition Grazhdanskoe Soglasie newspaper in the Moscow suburb of Khimki, died Monday in his home. According to colleagues and friends, he was violently attacked the day before, the Gazeta.ru online newspaper reports. Police, meanwhile, blamed Protazanov’s death on either poisoning or overdose.

    “He died after a brutal attack which took place during the weekend,” said Alla Chernysheva, an activist leader in a local environmental movement. According to Chernysheva, Protazanov was attacked from behind and hit in the head, knocked to the ground, and kicked repeatedly. Protazanov, who is disabled, was then hospitalized and released the next day.

    Anatoly Yurov, the editor of Grazhdanskoe Soglasie, said Protazanov worked there as a layout designer and reporter, and had called him from the hospital after his attack. “On Sunday during the day, a stranger called Protazanov’s wife and told her that her husband was lying in an entranceway on Yubileynaya ulitsa,” Yurov said. “His relatives came to get him and saw that he had been beaten, was covered in blood and bruises. An ambulance took him to the hospital, he was given a shot and released.” On Monday, Yurov said he called Protazanov in the afternoon and offered to drive him to the hospital. The designer admitted he was feeling ill, but said he wanted to rest at home. He died within three hours.

    Law enforcement investigators, meanwhile, asserted that Protazanov had died as result of alcohol poisoning or a possible overdose on painkillers. “Protazanov’s body was found on Monday, March 30th without any trace of a violent death, by his wife and parents,” the Moscow police press-service said. “A forensic medical investigation has not yet been completed, but the preliminary cause of death is deemed poisoning.”

    Police added that they found pain medication in Protazanov’s apartment, and asserted that he had started drinking heavily a week before his death. Relatives and colleagues disputed the claims, explaining that Protazanov took medication as result of a long history of headaches.

    “The theory of poisoning is complete rubbish,” Yurov told the BBC. “It was murder. If a person is beaten up in such a way that he died then it is murder.” The editor said he suspected that Protazanov was not robbed, and was attacked for his work. Yurov said the designer was working on an issue with a story on electoral falsifications in the northern Moscow suburb.

    According to the ITAR-TASS news agency, a police spokesman said that bruises found on Protazanov’s face and head had nothing to do with his death.

    Protazanov is not the first person involved in opposition politics to be attacked in Khimki. Mikhail Beketov, the editor-in-chief of the Khimkinskaya Pravda newspaper, remains in a coma after he was jumped on November 13th.

    According to Yurov, a total of six journalists have been violently assaulted in Khimki in the last two years.

  3. Really, the BBC sucks up to Russia? Can’t say I have seen any of that. Most articles on the BBC news site and tv news always have a critical edge to them. As for the interview it was no different to any interview given with any head of state.

    • Oh I don’t know Bob, look at the hammering GWB took every time he gave an interview on BBC. Or TB for that matter, or Gordon Brown.

      There has been a noticable lack of decent reporting from the BBC on Russian matters for some time.
      When some of their reporters start spouting BS such as “Russia’s legitimate sphere of influence” such as the Putinista Rupert (and what a Rupert he is) Winifeld-Hayes you have seriously got to wonder.

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