Monday, February 28, 2005

Via Reuters comes this fascinating incident from the Bush-Putin meeting in Bratislava:

"When Bush complained about restrictions on press freedom in Russia, Putin gave a response that surprised Bush and baffled the Americans.

"He said if the press was so free in the United States, why did reporters at CBS News get fired over a story that arose during the presidential campaign, officials said.

"CBS News fired four employees in January after an independent report critical of CBS anchor Dan Rather found a "myopic zeal" led the network to disregard basic journalism principles when it aired a faulty story on Bush's military service record.

"A senior U.S. official said other Russian officials raised the same issue during the day and noted a Russian journalist at the Bush-Putin news conference had asked about journalists fired in the United States. This led to suspicions that the question had been orchestrated by the Kremlin.

"The view that Bush somehow had something to do with the CBS firings was'divorced from reality,' the U.S. official said."

For those of you who don't know about the "Rathergate" incident, it was a case uncovered by bloggers, who also coordinated an investigation amongst themselves that soon brought to light the deception that CBS had very eagerly fallen for.

But could the Kremlin be so dense as to not be aware of the blogosphere phenomenon? Are they so out of touch with the internet? If that is so, then it really leads me to believe that American pre-eminence in things innovative will be preserved for a long time to come.


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