Putin Wonders Why Bush Fired Dan Rather

One of the interesting things about foreign governments is that they think we do things in the US just like they do. For instance, when President George W. Bush was elected the natural reaction of many in the world was to write this off as dynastic succession. After all, that is the way things are done in their country.


But when Bush talked about the Kremlin's crackdown on the media and explained that democracies require a free press, the Russian leader gave a rebuttal that left the President nonplussed. If the press was so free in the U.S., Putin asked, then why had those reporters at CBS lost their jobs? Bush was openmouthed. "Putin thought we'd fired Dan Rather," says a senior Administration official. "It was like something out of 1984."

The Russians did not let the matter drop. Later, during the leaders' joint press conference, one of the questioners Putin called on asked Bush about the very same firings, a coincidence the White House assumed had been orchestrated. The odd episode reinforced the Administration's view that Putin's impressions of America are often based on urban myths fed to him by ill-informed aides.

Hat tip Confederate Yankee who wonders if it was Oliver Willis who is advising Putin.

Posted by: Rusty at 12:15 PM


1 So, this is the leader of the country that just sold Iran all the nuclear fuel it wants... great.

I know Russians, they can't be this dumb? right?

Posted by: blackpajamas at February 28, 2005 01:41 PM

2 Oh don't worry. Russia only agreed to give Iran the nuclear fuel if Iran promised to return the spent fuel rods....yeah, there's a dirty joke in there somewhere.

Anyone else both completely fucking surprised and not surprised that the world is now operating on the exchange of *promises*? For nuclear fuel. Involving Iran. And Russia is our ALLY in all of this??? Gimme a fucking break.

Of course, we all trust Russia has a plan if (when) Iran reneges on this "promise" or decides to "alter the terms of the agreement. Pray we don't alter it any further." And, of course, we all know Russia isn't trying to rebuild its influence in that part of the world. That would just be plain nutty.

Totally fucking mind-boggling.

Posted by: Venom at February 28, 2005 02:08 PM

3 Oh don't worry. Russia only agreed to give Iran the nuclear fuel if Iran promised to return the spent fuel rods....yeah, there's a dirty joke in there somewhere.

Uh, no. Just a dirty bomb.

Posted by: kbiel at February 28, 2005 05:16 PM

4 Let's see: a Russian reporter asked Putin a friendly question. Uh, oh! It must have been ----- Geoff Gannonovitch!

Posted by: D, Carter at February 28, 2005 08:06 PM

5 IMHO, I don't think Putin (does one ever really leave the KGB behind?) is either stupid or believes what he said.

He's doing it strictly for domestic consumption.

Through the years I've dipped into Russian history ... even took some language lessons.

A more paranoid people you will not meet.

Posted by: Darleen at February 28, 2005 11:57 PM

6 Putin likes money.

Posted by: greyrooster at March 01, 2005 05:15 AM

7 Is putrid putin upset becuase his favorate liar is gone? too bad but whar happens when a liberal left-wing journalists lies on nationwide TV there is hell to pay

Posted by: sandpiper at March 01, 2005 02:51 PM

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