Putin pulls a Clinton
What do you think, dear reader, when you gaze upon the image above (click to see it full size, if you have the stomach for it). Do you think: “Who in God’s name would be so warped as to arrange a scene like that, much less want to photograph if for posterity?”
That’s what we thought, too! Would you then be surprised to learn that the person who composed and photographed this image has just been hired as one of the official photographers for Vladimir Putin, so-called “prime minister” of Russia?
So were we!
You’d be less surprised, though, if you knew that the photographer was a very nubile young woman, one in fact who had been honored with the title “Miss Moscow” and who flounced around all over the Internet posing in lingerie. (Dima Medvedev, incidentally, has his own comely young lass to take his photograph).
Now, we don’t claim to be experts in photography. But we don’t think any such expertise is needed to compare the young lady’s “work” and her lingerie shots and figure out why she was hired. We think it’s perfectly clear, just as the entire Russian blogosphere does, what’s going on here.
One can see in these events Russian corruption in a nutshell. Putin’s press secretary responded to the criticism that the woman had absolutely no talent as a photographer by stating: “She is a really good photographer, and her modeling past is of no interest to us whatsoever because it’s not a crime.” Peskov then contradicted himself by arguing that Putin could not get anyone better because the terms of employment were similar to “penal servitude.”
But according to Putin’s propaganda, he’s so beloved by his people that the very best photographers in the country should be lining up to do this job for free! And according to Putin’s propaganda, his management of the economy has been such that Russia is now in clover, and ought to be able to pay fair wages to high-level government photographers.
So here again we see neo-Soviet Russia at its very worst, laughably contradicting itself at every turn and setting an example at the very pinnacle of power of exactly the kind of corruption that has laid the Russian economy low.