[CrashList] The Nation: Cohen/American Journalism and Russia's Tragedy
M A Jones
jones118 at lineone.net
Thu Sep 14 01:08:51 MDT 2000
This article is adapted from Stephen Cohen's new book,
Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia,
which is being published this month by W.W. Norton.
October 2, 2000
American Journalism and Russia's Tragedy
By Stephen F. Cohen
With only a few exceptions, America's professional
Russia-watchers-policy-makers, financial advisers, scholars and, not least,
journalists-committed malpractice throughout the nineties. They claimed to
know the cure for what ailed Russia after the Soviet breakup in 1991, gave
regular assurances about the ongoing treatment and, while noting occasional
relapses, predicted a full recovery.
Their prescriptions, reports and prognoses have turned out to be completely
wrong. Nearly a decade later, Russia is afflicted by the worst economic
depression in modern history, corruption so extensive that capital flight
far exceeds all foreign loans and investment, and a demographic catastrophe
unprecedented in peacetime. The result has been a massive human tragedy.
Among other calamities, some 75 percent of Russians now live below or
barely above the poverty line; 50-80 percent of school-age children are
classified as having a physical or mental defect; and male life-expectancy
has plunged to less than sixty years. And, ominously, a fully nuclearized
country and its devices of mass destruction have, for the first time in
history, been seriously destabilized, the Kursk submarine disaster in
August being yet another example.
Underlying all the American misreporting and false analyses of the nineties
was an enthusiastic embrace of the Clinton Administration's ill-conceived
policy-a virtual crusade to transform post-Communist Russia under President
Boris Yeltsin into a replica of America through US-sponsored "reforms,"
first and foremost economic "shock therapy." The crusade was (and remains)
an official project, but it also captivated investors, academics and
journalists, who in their respective professional (or unprofessional) ways
became its missionaries.
Reporters, editorialists and columnists played an especially lamentable
role. Accepting the Administration's premise that "Yeltsin represents the
direction toward the kind of Russia we want,"1 they made that nation's
purported "transition to free-market capitalism and democracy," as the
process of conversion was termed, the guiding concept, prism and basic
narrative of their coverage, with little, if any, concern for its impact on
the people or the country's stability. As the missionary chorus of the
American crusade, they helped obscure Russia's unfolding tragedy and
abetted the worst US foreign policy disaster since Vietnam. It was, and in
significant ways continues to be, a bleak chapter in the history of
Journalists had long been forewarned. At the birth of Communist Russia,
Walter Lippmann and Charles Merz published an analysis of the US press
coverage of the 1917 Revolution and the ensuing civil war between Reds and
Whites that became a celebrated textbook case study of journalistic
malpractice. Lippmann and Merz found that in terms of professional
standards the reporting was "nothing short of a disaster" and that the "net
effect was almost always misleading." The main reason, they concluded, was
that US correspondents and editors believed fervently in their government's
anti-Red crusade and had thus seen "not what was, but what men wished to
Seven decades later, it happened again. Most journalists writing for
influential US newspapers and newsmagazines believed in the Clinton
Administration's crusade to remake post-Communist Russia. Like a Washington
Post columnist, they quickly "converted to Yeltsin's side." Like Business
Week's Moscow correspondent, they "hoped for the liberal alternative" and
believed in the "job that Yeltsin and his liberal reformers had begun."
Like the New York Times foreign affairs columnist, they were certain Russia
needed the "same basic model" that America had. And with that newspaper's
correspondent, they worried constantly that Russia might opt instead for a
"path of its own confused devising." Some were even more embattled. For a
longtime Washington Post correspondent still in Moscow today, the
post-Communist crusade was another chapter in a "Cold WarSnot yet really
Leaving aside a plethora of factual errors, the first casualty, as Lippmann
and Merz had warned, was professional objectivity. Moscow correspondents,
according to a 1996 survey, tended to look at events there "through the
prism of their own expectations and beliefs." Three years later, a reviewer
of a book by a former correspondent concluded that the author's
"spectacularly wrong projections" arose out of her personal hopes for
Russia, "which prompted her to accept appearances for reality and desire
Such hopes and fears produced a US media narrative of post-Communist Russia
that was manichean and based largely on accounts propounded by US
officials. On the side of good were President Yeltsin and his succession of
crusading "young reformers," sometimes called "democratic giants"-notably,
Yegor Gaidar, Anatoly Chubais, Boris Nemtsov and Sergei Kiriyenko. On the
side of darkness was the unfailingly antireform horde of Communist,
nationalist and other political dragons ensconced in its malevolent
parliamentary cave. Chapter by chapter, the story was reported over and
again for nearly a decade, always from the perspective of the "reformers"
and their Western supporters. It was, a leading Russian journalist thought,
Yeltsin and his team were, it seemed, the only worthy political figures in
all the vastness of Russia. Most Russians saw his economic shock therapy,
which had cost tens of millions of ordinary citizens their life savings and
plunged them into poverty, and related political measures as extremist, but
for the US press Yeltsin was the sole bulwark against "extremists of both
left and right."6 There was little if any room for non-Yeltsin reformers.
When one, Grigory Yavlinsky, ran against Yeltsin in the 1996 presidential
campaign, he was pilloried in US dispatches and editorials: "History will
remember who was the spoiler if things go bad for democracy." On the other
hand, whomever Yeltsin appointed, however unsavory his political biography,
invariably turned out to have "clean hands" and to be "one of the
democrats" and a "reformer," including Yeltsin's eventual designated
successor, Vladimir Putin, a career KGB officer.7
More generally, affirming that all Yeltsin backers were invariably
"reformers" resulted in odd reasoning on the part of US journalists. Thus,
Moscow's mayor could be "a democrat" while being "an autocratic ruler." A
Washington Post correspondent even included rapacious insider-oligarchs
because "they bankrolled Yeltsin's presidential campaign against his
Communist rivalSand they generally favor the country's rocky transition to
a free-market democracy, which has made them fabulously wealthy." His
Newsweek counterpart knew who could not be a "reformer"-anyone "generally
antipathetic to US interests in Russia."8
Sustaining such a manichean narrative in the face of so many conflicting
realities turned American journalists into boosters for US policy and
cheerleaders for Yeltsin's Kremlin. As early as 1993, even a pro-American
Russian thought the US coverage of his country was "media propaganda." An
independent New York press critic made a similar point in 1996, complaining
that newspaper reporting was a "mirror of State Department double-think."
For a senior US scholar, the media's pro-Yeltsinism even "recalls the
pro-Communist fellow-travelling of the 1930s," though the "ideological
positions are reversed."9
American journalists created, for example, cults of those Russian
politicians whom the US government had chosen to embody its policy. The
extraordinary Yeltsin cult of the early 1990s-"as Yeltsin goes, so goes the
nation," in Time's formulation-was eventually eroded by his policy failures
and personal behavior. But as late as 1999 he remained, according to the
New York Times, the "key defender of Russia's hard-won democratic reforms"
and "an enormous asset for the U.S."10
As for Yeltsin's "young reformers," no matter how failed their policies or
dubious their conduct, their reputations hardly suffered at all, at least
not for long. Consider Chubais, whom US officials regarded as a "demigod"
and head of an "economic dream team."11 Even after he was widely suspected
of having ordered a cover-up of a Kremlin financial crime by his aides (an
allegation later confirmed), a New York Times correspondent informed
readers that "Chubais is plotting how to carry out the next stage of
Russia's democratic revolution." And long after he was known to have
personally profited from the privatization programs he administered, in
part by rigging market transactions, he remained, according to another
Times correspondent, a "free-market crusader," indeed the "Eliot Ness of
free-market reform."12 Nor was the Times alone in such reporting. A 1999
study by two American journalists published in The Nation concluded that
the Wall Street Journal's Moscow bureau had been "little more than a PR
conduit for a corrupt regime."13
There were even worse malpractices at the expense of professed American
values. In 1993 US columnists and editorialists followed the Clinton
Administration almost in unison in loudly encouraging Yeltsin's
unconstitutional shutdown of Russia's Parliament and then in cheering his
armed assault on that popularly elected body. The reasons given were
uninformed and ethically specious. Insisting that "it would be not just
expedient but right to support undemocratic measures," journalists even
rehabilitated the ends-justify-the-means apologia long associated with and
thoroughly discredited by Soviet Communists themselves: "One can't make an
omelette without breaking eggs."14 Even the next Parliament, the Duma,
elected under Yeltsin's own superpresidential constitution, became a target
of US media abuse, as though Russia would be more democratic without a
legislature, ruled only by the president and his appointees.15
Another example highlights the irrelevance, even cold indifference, of much
US reporting on post-Communist Russia, where (even according to a
semiofficial Moscow newspaper) most people were "being exploited" and
impoverished in unprecedented ways. Discussing the brutal impact of
economic shock therapy on ordinary citizens, another pro-Western Russian
complained that US correspondents had "no desire to look Russia's tragic
reality straight in the eye." A Reuters journalist later made the same
observation: "The pain is edited out."16
Poverty and health crises were, of course, reported, but usually as
sidebars to the main story of Russia's "transition" and as legacies of the
Communist past. Virtually all US correspondents and editorial writers were
contemptuous of any Russian proposals for a gradual, "somehow less painful
reform," whether by Yeltsin's own vice president in 1993 or Prime Minister
Yevgeny Primakov in 1998 and 1999. Indeed, they seemed to think, following
US officials and economists whose policies had already failed disastrously,
that more shock therapy was needed, such as eliminating the housing and
utilities subsidies that sustained millions of impoverished families,
perhaps half the nation or more.17
Like old-time Soviet journalists, their latter-day US counterparts pardoned
present deprivations in the name of a bright future that did not come.
There was, for example, this astonishing but not unrepresentative assurance
published by an especially influential US journalist in 1997: "While it is
undoubtedly true that daily life in Russia today suffers from a painful
economic, political, and social transition, the Russian prospect over the
coming years and decades is more promising than ever before in its
history."18 The following year Moscow's fraudulent financial system
collapsed and the "prospect" for tens of millions of Russians became even
As Russia sank ever deeper into economic depression and poverty, US
journalists continued to parrot Kremlin and Washington assertions that
economic stability and takeoff, which still have not really come, were just
around the corner. (Vice President Al Gore is quoted as having said in
March 1998, "Optimism prevails universally among those who are familiar
with what is going on in Russia.") On the eve of its 1998 financial
meltdown (and even after), they still found ways to assure readers that
Russia was "a remarkable success story."19 Not even Putin's subsequent
admission that "poverty exists on an unusually large scale in the country"
would make it a focus of US reporting.
Many American correspondents clearly did not like "doom-and-gloom" stories
about unpaid wages and pensions, malnutrition and abandoned provinces,
where, a Russian journalist tells us, "desperation touches everyone."
(Newsweek's correspondent advised the poor to continue living on bread:
"They could do worse.")20 Nor did they report more than a very few of the
desperate acts of protest taking place around the country, and virtually
none of the ways the "reform" government deprived workers of whatever
rights and protection they once had in the Soviet system. American
journalists preferred other "metaphors for Russia's
metamorphosis"21-usually in the tiny segment of Moscow society that had
prospered, from financial oligarchs to yuppies spawned by the temporary
proliferation of Western enterprises.
Thus, for a Washington Post columnist who had recently been a
correspondent, an especially successful insider beneficiary of state assets
was a progressive "baby billionaire" and, for the Wall Street Journal, a
"Russian Bill Gates."22 For others, including a New York Times editorial
writer and also former Moscow correspondent, "one of the best seats for
observing the new Russia is on the terrace outside the cavernous McDonald's
[that] serves as a mecca for affluent young Muscovites. They arrive in Jeep
Cherokees and Toyota Land Cruisers, cell phones in hand."23 In the new
Russia at that time, the average monthly wage, when actually paid, was
about $60, and falling.
No wonder few readers of the US press were prepared for Russia's economic
collapse and financial scandals of the late nineties. Those who relied on
the New York Times, for example, must have been startled to learn-from an
investigative reporter, not a Russia-watcher-that contrary to its prior
reporting and editorials, "The whole political struggle in Russia between
1992 and 1998 was between different groups trying to take control of state
assets. It was not about democracy or market reform."24
Facts may be stubborn things, but in this case no more so than many US
journalists. In 1999 the Yeltsin era and Russia's purported "transition" to
prosperity, stability and democracy ended not only in economic collapse and
human misery but also in the first civil war in a nuclear country and with
a career KGB officer in the Kremlin. A few US journalists spoke of "lost
illusions"-though almost never their own25-but most merely updated the
media's fictitious narrative of the nineties. Thus, on the occasion of
Putin's election this past March, top editors of both the New York Times
and Washington Post wrote apologias for the entire Yeltsin period and by
implication their papers' coverage of the Russian nineties.26
Certainly there has been no media (or official) reconsideration of the
arrogant, intrusive and dangerously counterproductive US crusade to
transform a different civilization. In late 1999 the Post's chief Moscow
correspondent extolled the "great Russian transition," marveling that
"Russians have accomplished much of what we asked." An editor of the New
York Times Book Review, presumably in a position to know, reassured readers
of "the desirability of remaking the former Soviet Union in a Western
image." And like those of other influential papers, the Post's editors
remain unrepentantly missionary: "Yes, meddle in Russian affairs."27
Nor has there been any real acknowledgment of the crusade's calamitous
impact on the Russian people, whose fate the US government and media so
lamented when they were the Soviet people. The "Great Transition
Depression," as a UN study properly calls it, is almost never mentioned and
the nation's massive poverty only euphemistically, as in "Russians who have
benefited little."28 By the late nineties, according to a Moscow writer
admired in America, the "pitiful ruins of the Russian economy stuck out on
the bared sandbars as if after a shipwreck." But to a visiting high-level
Washington Post expert, "Russia looks terrific." Similarly, for Business
Week's ranking specialist, the insider privatization that most Russians
equate with plundering and impoverishment remains "one of the most
successful reforms of the Yeltsin era."29
Even the economic happy talk of the pre-1998 meltdown is back. US press
accounts, parroting as they did in the nineties self-serving assurances by
Western bankers and investment firms, are again reporting that Russia's
half-dead economy is actually "booming."30 But Russian authorities from
economists to President Putin have warned that the modest spurt of
industrial output since 1999 is the result of artificial and temporary
factors and has done little if anything to benefit capital investment or
ordinary citizens. (Capital flight may even have increased during this
Coverage of Putin himself, the little-known head of the KGB's successor
agency only a year ago, has been more mixed. He became president thanks to
a nearly genocidal war in Chechnya and an electoral process manipulated by
Kremlin insiders hoping for a post-Yeltsin praetorian to protect their
power and ill-gotten wealth. Predictably, the Clinton Administration
immediately anointed him "one of the leading reformers" and his political
rise a "genuine democratic transition." Until it finally acknowledged last
month that the new Russian leader is "the un-Boris," the Administration
tried to make Putin its Yeltsin of the twenty-first century in order to
justify its failed policies of the nineties.
Some US journalists did the same. According to the lead New York Times
correspondent, to take perhaps the most influential example, Putin occupied
the Kremlin through "a democratic transfer of executive power" and "clearly
has an intellectual grasp of democracy," even a "seemingly emotional
commitment to building a democracy."31 (A six-month investigation by the
Moscow Times, an expatriate paper, has just concluded that "falsification"
was "decisive" in Putin's March electoral victory.)
When the American press turned sharply against Putin in August over his
perceived handling of the Kursk tragedy, the extraordinarily voluminous
coverage was no less ideological and sermonizing. It seemed as though the
US government had never lost a nuclear submarine and its crew, put "great
power" interests above those of victims and their families, concealed
strategic information in the name of national security and now has more
right to prowl the Barents Sea than does Russia. Indeed, much of the
coverage suggested that our former superpower rival should immediately
disarm unilaterally. Nor, of course, did the commentary point out how much
Yeltsin's US-sponsored "reforms" had done to erode Russia's maintenance and
control of its nuclear weapons.
But most of the press still has nothing but enthusiasm for the "excellent"
economic program being attributed to Putin-a new dose of severe, admittedly
"painful" shock therapy that could only further victimize the poor and
profit the rich. In addition to a regressive 13 percent flat tax, it would
slash remaining social guarantees, including the housing and utilities
subsidies that barely sustain most Russians, raise basic consumer prices
and endanger already meager pensions. It is, a US correspondent joyfully
points out, "considerably bolder than almost any plans that most Western
nations have ever tried to push past suspicious voters."32
The mainstream US press may be indifferent to the fate of Russia's
impoverished majority but not to that of its handful of "much maligned"
oligarchs who were allowed under Yeltsin to "privatize" hundreds of
billions of dollars of Soviet state assets for a fraction of their value.
The country's economic recovery requires some degree of renationalization,
as even the former chief economist of the World Bank argues. But when Putin
began to crack down on oligarchical asset-stripping, tax evasion and
illegal capital export this summer-steps approved by 75 percent of Russians
surveyed-the Washington Post sternly warned him against "revisiting the
privatization deals" and the Wall Street Journal, against even
"antagonizing" the tycoons.33
All this suggests that many American journalists, like Western investors,
the US government and the kleptocrats themselves, would hardly object if
Putin becomes a Russian Pinochet in order to safeguard Yeltsin's "reforms"
and impose his own "excellent program." Thus, a Los Angeles Times
correspondent reports, apparently in full agreement, the growing Western
view that "a little authoritarianism might be just what Russia needs."34 If
influential US journalists and the institutions they represent now share
this opinion, we are left with nearly a decade of not only empirical but
also ethical malpractice.
The following abbreviations are used: Business Week (BW); Johnson Russia
List, e-mail (JRL); Los Angeles Times (LAT); The New Republic (NR); New
York Times (NYT); Washington Post (WP); and Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Considerably more evidence and examples appear in my Failed Crusade:
America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia (New York, 2000).
1. Quoted by Daniel Williams in WP, March 13, 1993.
2. "A Test of the News," supplement to NR, Aug. 4, 1920.
3. Jim Hoagland in WP, Nov. 6, 1992; Rose Brady, Kapitalizm (New Haven,
1999), pp. 242-43; Thomas Friedman in NYT, Oct. 24, 1999; Steven Erlanger,
ibid., July 28, 1993; David Hoffman in WP, Sept. 19, 1999.
4. Ellen Shearer and Frank Starr, "Through a Prism Darkly," American
Journalism Review, Sept. 1996, p. 37; Anthony Olcott in WP Book World, June
27, 1999, p. 6. For a general indictment of press coverage, see Matt Bivens
and Jonas Bernstein, "The Russia You Never Met," Demokratizatsiya, Fall
1998, pp. 613-47; and Mark Ames and Matt Taibbi, The eXile (New York,
2000). For references to factual errors, see my Failed Crusade, p. 252, n.
17 and p. 264, n. 92.
5. Leonid Krutakov interviewed by Matt Taibbi and Mark Ames in JRL, Oct.
23, 1999. For "giants," see Lee Hockstader in WP, Jan. 1, 1995. For
examples of sourcing, see Steven Erlanger in NYT, April 9, Dec. 4, 1993;
Fred Hiatt in WP, March 26, 1995, Dec. 10, 1996; and David Hoffman, ibid.,
Dec. 13, 1997. On the other hand, Russia's many opposition politicians and
economists were rarely quoted or interviewed, except to be dismissed. Still
worse, there is little evidence in the coverage that US correspondents in
Moscow read the Russian press.
6. NYT editorial, Dec. 14, 1993. Similarly, see David Hoffman in WP, Oct.
7. For Yavlinsky, see Michael Specter quoting Michael McFaul approvingly in
NYT, May 5, 1996; and similarly the NYT editorial on May 1, 1996, and
Specter's dispatch on May 18, 1996. For "clean hands," see Michael Wines on
Sergei Stepashin, ibid., May 13, 1999; and, similarly, Michael Gordon's
promotion of the inexperienced and inept Sergei Kiriyenko, ibid., April 12,
8. Alessandra Stanley in NYT, June 10, 1997; David Hoffman in WP, Jan. 10,
1997; and Carroll Bogert in Newsweek, March 21, 1994, p. 51.
9. Vladimir Kvint in NYT, Jan. 24, 1993; James Ledbetter in Village Voice,
May 28, 1996; Robert V. Daniels, Russia's Transformation (Lanham, Md.,
1998), p. 193.
10. John Kohan in Time, Dec. 7, 1992; Celestine Bohlen and Thomas Friedman
in NYT, April 15, 16, 1999, and similarly the editorial, June 6, 1999.
11. Bivens and Bernstein, p. 620.
12. Michael Gordon and Alessandra Stanley in NYT, Oct. 17, 1996, Nov. 17,
1997. Similarly, see David Hoffman in WP, Sept. 9, 1997; Paul Quinn-Judge
in Time, Dec. 15, 1997; and Carol Williams in LAT, March 25, 1998.
13. Matt Taibbi and Mark Ames, "The Journal's Russia Scandal," The Nation,
Oct. 4, 1999, p. 20.
14. Charles Krauthammer and Jim Hoagland in WP, March 19, 1993. For
omelettes, see also David Remnick on Charlie Rose, PBS, Oct. 4, 1993. For
voices in unison, see A.M. Rosenthal, the editorial and Leslie Gelb in NYT,
March 16, 22, 28, April 29, 1993; George Will in WP, March 25, 1993; and
editorials in Chicago Tribune, May 9, 1993, and NR, April 12, 1993.
15. See, e.g., Alessandra Stanley in NYT, Jan. 19, 1997; Chicago Tribune
editorial, May 9, 1998; and Jim Hoagland in WP, Dec. 16, 1999.
16. Oleg Bogomolov in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Feb. 8, 1994; and John Morrison
cited in Shearer and Starr, p. 39. For exploitation, see Iraida Semenova
and Aleksei Podymov in Rossisskaia Gazeta, Jan. 24, 2000.
17. See Steven Erlanger in NYT, April 24, 1993; for more shock therapy, see
WP, editorial, March 12, 1997; Michael Gordon in NYT, July 13, 1997; and
below, note 32.
18. David Remnick, Resurrection: The Struggle for a New Russia (New York,
1997), p. 362.
19. See, e.g., Steven Erlanger, the editorials and Richard Stevenson in
NYT, Aug. 22, 1994, July 16, Sept. 25, 1995, May 24, 1996; Fred Hiatt,
Margaret Shapiro, Michael Dobbs and the editorial in WP, April 2, July 30,
1995, March 19, 1997; Carol Williams in LAT, Dec. 2, 1997; Steve Liesman in
WSJ, Jan. 28, 1998; and Hiatt in WP, July 12, 1998. For Gore, see Mark
Egan, Reuters dispatch, JRL, Oct. 8, 1999.
20. Carroll Bogert in Newsweek, May 31, 1993, p. 12. For more impatience
with "doom and gloom," see Steve Liesman in WSJ, Sept. 26, 1996. For the
provinces, Leonid Krutakov cited above, note 5.
21. Ann Hulbert in NR, Oct. 2, 1995.
22. Fred Hiatt in WP, March 9, 1998; WSJ quoted in Bivens and Bernstein,
p. 631. Similarly, see Richard Stevenson's enthusiasm for the
Russian-American investor Boris Jordan in NYT, Sept. 20, 1995, in light of
the exposé of Jordan's activities by David Filipov and Matt Taibbi in the
Boston Globe, Oct. 22, 1997.
23. Philip Taubman in NYT, June 21, 1998. Similarly, see Steven Erlanger
and Michael Specter, ibid., July 23, Oct. 12, 1995; Carol Williams in LAT,
Dec. 24, 1997; David Hoffman in WP, Sept. 16, 1999.
24. Timothy O'Brien quoting Nodari Simonia in NYT, Sept. 5, 1999.
25. Michael Dobbs and Paul Blustein in WP, Sept. 12, 1999. Similarly, see
Fred Hiatt, ibid., Aug. 29, 1999; John Lloyd in NYT Magazine, Aug. 15,
1999, pp. 34-41, 52, 61, 64.
26. Bill Keller in NYT Book Review, March 19, 2000, pp. 1, 6; Fred Hiatt in
WP, March 23, 2000. Similarly, see David Hoffman's defense of Vice
President Gore's role in the crusade, ibid., June 4, 2000.
27. David Hoffman, ibid., Sept. 19, 1999; Barry Gewen in NYT Book Review,
Oct. 31, 1999, p. 34; WP editorial, June 1, 2000.
28. Human Development Report for Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS
1999 (New York, 1999), p. 15; Paul Quinn-Judge in Time, July 3, 2000, p. 41.
29. Tatyana Tolstaya in The New York Review of Books, Nov. 19, 1998, p. 6;
Robert Kaiser, Charlie Rose, PBS, Sept. 10, 1999; Rose Brady in BW, March
13, 2000, p. 14E12.
30. Michael Sesit in WSJ Europe, July 7-8, 2000. Similarly, see Reuters
dispatch, JRL, Feb. 19, 1999; Michael Wines in NYT, June 2, 2000; and James
Cox in USA Today, July 21, 2000.
31. Michael Wines in NYT, May 8, Feb. 20, July 9, 2000. For other pro-Putin
pieces, see John Lloyd in NYT Magazine, March 19, 2000, pp. 62, 64-67; and
David Hoffman's minimizing of Putin's role in the Chechen war, in WP, March
32. Michael Wines in NYT, June 29, 2000. For similar enthusiasm, see David
Hoffman in WP, July 7, 2000; Paul Hofheinz (who calls it an "excellent
program") in WSJ Europe, July 5, 2000; and the NYT editorial on the flat
tax, May 28, 2000.
33. WP editorial, July 22, 2000; Paul Hofheinz in WSJ Europe, July 5, 2000.
Similarly, see David Ignatius in WP, July 23, 2000. For whitewashing the
"much maligned" Boris Berezovsky, widely considered the most rapacious
oligarch, see Michael Wines in NYT, July 15, 2000; and the way Berezovsky
is presented, or allowed to present himself, by David Hoffman in WP, July
18 and 20, 2000; and Paul Quinn-Judge in Time Europe, July 17, 2000. For
the survey, see Vedomosti, Aug. 3, 2000.
34. Maura Reynolds in LAT, March 24, 2000. Similarly, see Michael Wines in
NYT, Feb. 20, 2000; and David Hoffman in WP, March 25, 2000.
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