28.09.2021 Author: Phil Butler

The Vladimir Putin They Never See: Ordinary As You and Me


We live in a whacky world made much more zany by journalists who cook up headlines to appease their bosses, and a public numbed by information overload. This week’s case in point, all the hub-bub about Vladimir Putin going fishing in Siberia. It’s amazing, that with the world ablaze with wildfires, islands sinking into the sea, and the atmosphere becoming a hothouse, fishing photos of Putin take precedence. It’s time we take a closer look.

Okay, let’s just be real here. This guy is an outdoorsman in his DNA. End of story. However, western mainstream media seems to think he’s somehow like American presidents. Visions of Barack Obama pretending to be a pro football quaterback or NBA star come to mind. Only now, the Daily Beast caps it with “Russian President Vladimir Putin Bolsters Macho Image With Fishing Snapshots.”

I can only guess that author Barbie Latza Nadeau (Correspondent-At-Large) prefers images with Donald Trump holding a pitching wedge in one hand, and a Big Mac in the other, to Putin’s fly casting rod. Or, perhaps, President Joe Biden’s gymnastics on stairs? The New York Times has the current US president in the running for the “Mendacity” championship of the world. Short version – “What is it Russian leaders are supposed to enjoy?” Putin should rather take up Russian speed knitting, I guess.

But, let’s be straight here. The Daily Beast is owned by IAC, which is in turn run by billionaire Barry Diller, the founder of Fox Broadcasting and the real Godfather of corporate owned media in the west. Searching, as I should do in due dilligence, I could not for the life of me find Diller doing anything athletic. The only reference I could find on him was the 2021 Sun Valley conference, where it appears he meets up with the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Tim Cook, Warren Buffett, and other rugged American he-men. Funny, none of them seem to fish or fly fighter jets like Putin, though.

Anyhow, the Daily Beast story derived from a Reuters one, was actually erroneous in that the Russia president did not hunt bears or fly advanced fighters on this Siberia trip. Yahoo! Reported more accurately that the man who will turn 70 in a couple of years spent the time fishing and walking in the wilderness with his pal, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Another funny thing the corporate owned media failed to mention, is the fact that half of the photos released by the Kremlin are of landscapes instead of the Russian leader. Check for yourself. The Kremlin photo release has little emphasis on any kind of so-called “Macho” imagery. Think about it. Just how woodsy and masculine do you have to be to dip a hook in the water? This round of Putin outdoors just shows a man who loves that kind of life, enjoying a bit of it with an old friend.

Now that I think about it, it’s the sort of mini-vacation many of us would like to spend away from the madness. How about a mainstream media headline reflecting that?

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.