Good News for Pravda!

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 13 2013 3:10 PM

Good News for Pravda!

John Hudson has done a great thing for journalism on a hot Friday by basically trolling John McCain into considering an op-ed in Pravda. Read the whole piece, which is hilarious for how easily both parties agree to a publicity stunt. Notice the light touch Hudson uses when Pravda's Russian editor claims "we already have a U.S. politician who acts as a regular contributor to Pravda.Ru - Paul Craig Roberts, a former Senator, a man who used to be in the team of Ronald Reagan." McCain's spokesman Brian Rogers, laughs this off by pointing out that Roberts, not a former senator, mostly writes "pro-Putin stuff and how the United States is a criminal regime."

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Well, yeah. This wonderful stunt seems rooted in a misunderstanding about what Pravda.Ru is. Pravda, the Communist Party organ, was shut down briefly during the fall of Communism but now exists as a paper that publishes in a vastly reduced form. Pravda.ru is a spinoff founded by journalists who used to work for the paper, and it's basically Russia's version of World Net Daily.

So, as Hudson points out, Roberts is a 9/11 Truther who writes for Pravda.ru because it's got a famous name, and who else is going to run him? Pravda's editorial board, recently, has been assuring readers that the evidence of Syrian chemical weapons use is fake.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has apparently confirmed what Russia has been saying all along, that videos and photographs apparently showing victims of a chemical attack in Ghouta on August 21 were fabricated. International experts had presented their evidence to the XXIV Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on September 9.
The same evidence has confirmed suspicions that the ones using chemical weapons that night were indeed the terrorists supported by the West.
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In the news pages, Pravda is focusing on the threat America will soon pose to Russia

The Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov believes that Russia still needs to help Syria. "We have to constantly realize that we will be next after Syria," the leader of the Communist Party told  Pravda.Ru. 

And so on like this -- click around and you pine for the glory days of Communist news. It's not a government site, but a sadder private venture that feeds off conspiracy theories about Americans. This stunt is going to be a nice little coup.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.