Has McCain Read Pravda Lately?

How It Works
Sept. 13 2013 5:09 PM

Has McCain Read Pravda Lately?

83567088
Traditional Russian wooden dolls featuring Barack Obama and John McCain are displayed for sale in central Moscow on Nov. 5, 2008.

Photo by Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP/Getty Images

My former FP colleague John Hudson has stirred up a bit of mischief today. After Sen. John McCain joked that he would “love to have a commentary in Pravda" to respond to Vladimir Putin’s op-ed in the New York Times, Dmitry Sudakov, the English editor of Pravda, told Hudson that McCain would be welcome to write for the publication. McCain’s communications office then responded, saying they would be “reaching out to Dmitry with a submission."

Not that this matters greatly, but the Pravda Sudakov edits is not quite the one McCain remembers from the Cold War. The official mouthpiece of the Soviet era was shut down in 1996, then revived a few years later and now functions–kind of–as a mouthpiece for the Russian Communist Party Central Committee, a four-page glorified pamphlet with a staff of 23 and an elderly readership interested in revisionist histories of the Stalin era. (There’s also Komsomolskaya Pravda, the former Communist youth newspaper that has adapted to post-Soviet times and is one of the country’s more popular papers today.)

Advertisement

The much better known Pravda.Ru–Sudakov's publication–is a different beast entirely, a frequently updated and highly-entertaining tabloid, publishing in both English and Russian, whose content is a kind of cross between WorldNetDaily and the National Enquirer. Typical features might include Nostradamus predictions, alien skulls found on Mars, and “thirteen terribly weird facts about women.”

It also ran one of the more memorable op-eds of the 2012 U.S. election cycle, which declared that “Electing Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States of America would be like appointing a serial paedophile as a kindergarten teacher, a rapist as a janitor at a girls' dormitory or a psychopath with a fixation on knives as a kitchen hand.”

It’s other words, it’s not exactly the equivalent of the New York Times, but it’s a fun site and I can’t wait to see what the senator and former presidential candidate has to say on it. 

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
History
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 29 2014 3:10 PM The Lonely Teetotaler Prudie counsels a letter writer who doesn’t drink alcohol—and is constantly harassed by others for it.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 29 2014 11:32 PM The Daydream Disorder Is sluggish cognitive tempo a disease or disease mongering?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.