Crazy Bruce Chapman, Talking to Himself
It has been more than three weeks now since anyone has published a comment on the Discovery Institute’s “Russia Blog” (for those unfamilar, a pro-Kremlin propaganda exercise run by a Russian citizen in close cooperation with Russia Today, the Kremlin’s TV station).
That’s right: Three weeks.
During those three weeks, Russia Blog has published eight posts, and half of them have been written by the head honcho of the Discovery Institute himself, Bruce Chapman. Not a single one of his posts have received a single comment. Ouch. That’s a tough one to swallow, even by the cruel standards of the blogosphere. It seems that justice has finally prevailed and Russia Blog is going the way of dodo.
As an epitaph, Let’s take a look at the insane gibberish he’s been babbling, shall we? Not for nothing has it been totally ignored by the entire universe.
Most recently, Chapman praised the Russian police for “foiling” the assassination of Isa Yamadayev in Moscow, claiming it indicated the Kremlin was getting serious about protecting dissidents. There’s just a few tiny problems with this “analysis.” First, Russia Blog hasn’t even mentioned the murder of Natalia Estemirova, much less has it called upon the Kremlin to do justice for her. Likewise, it ignored the killing of Stanislav Markelov. Put Natalia’s name into their search engine, and see what happens. Nada. Zilch. If you relied on Russia Blog for your Russia news, you wouldn’t even know who Estemirova was, much less that she had been murdered. Second, Isa is crazy and it’s far from clear what, if anything, happened to him. When his brother Sulim, an arch foe of the Kremlin, was gunned down in Dubai, Isa claimed for weeks that he was still alive. In fact, he still says so. He revealed the information about his alleged attack on his blog.
Before that, Chapman called it a “gaff” when Joe Biden referred to Russia as a second rate power on a pathway to self destruction. His “analysis” of the statement consisted of two sentences with no evidence of any kind to prove that any factual assertion Biden made was wrong. He wrote his two-sentence post with unbridled arrogance, is if hoards of readers would take it as a jumping-off point to defend helpless Russia and ridicule crazy America. Oops, didn’t happen. What is was this man smoking, to imagine that it might have done? Our post about Biden’s comments, by the way, has more than five dozen comments, more than are displayed on all the posts on Russia Blog’s home page combined.
Then Chapman claimed that Russian banks were “pushing back” against Putin’s efforts to dictate their business practices (Putin has ordered Sberbank to lend at a certain volume and price regardless of market conditions or its balance sheet). It appears Chapman posted the material to the blog himself, since his one-paragraph item contains a typo and an unitegrated hyperlink (apparently Chapman is not too experienced in the ways of blogging). But more important is that he hardly seems to have read his own link, which contains not the slightest shred of evidence of “pushback.” The idea that Russian bankers are openly defying Putin’s authority is pathologically insane. Even Russian citizen and Russia Blog editor Yuri Mamchur would not be so ignorant as to write such a thing.
And then finally Chapman faces Putin’s effort to cozy up to the Russian Orthodox Church by teaching religion in schools. We fell his pain. One the one hand, fundamentalist intelligent-design preaching Chapman is practically wetting his pants with delight over the formal mixing of state and religion. He says in so many words it’s an example the U.S. may want to study and emulate. Yet on the other hand, Putin is repudiating Chapman’s beloved brands of Christianity, promoting the Orthodox Church to the exclusion of all other variants, which of course causes Chapman to panic. Watching him stuttering and stammering incoherently over this conflict is really quite delicious, we must say.
It’s taken a bit of time for the world to wise up and realize that a blog published by a Russian citizen and a crazed extremist religious clique is probably not a good place to collect reliablie information about Vladimir Putin and his government. Better late than never, we always say.