Sep 15, 2008

Putin to Free Media: "I know who you are"

Today, we note an unusual meeting in Sochi between Putin and the heads of Russia's media outlets. Not that it is remotly unusual for a Prime Minister to issue talking points and editorial guidance to news outlets, but for the first time in five years, Putin invited the editor-in-chief of Echo Moskvy, Alexei Venediktov, to join in the fun.

As you can imagine, hilarity promptly ensued:

"Putin berated the [Echo Moskvy] editor in front of his peers, criticizing Echo's coverage of the war with Georgia and reading from a dossier of transcripts to point out what he considered errors. ‘I'm not interested in who said these things,' [said Putin], 'You are responsible for everything that goes on at the radio station. I don't know who they are, but I know who you are.'"

What we’ve learned:
--State journalists in Russia have the easiest job in the world. [/copy, /paste, /call it a day]
--Real journalists in Russia have one of the most dangerous.
--Putin knows where you live.

Someone should buy Alexei Venediktov a drink.

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