Thursday, April 14, 2016


Vladimir Vladimirovich has a secret. It's probably not the one he's telling everybody. Photo by Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti via Mosaic.
This is really unpleasant: in today's edition of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin's annual Tsarist audience ceremony, where he entertains questions from the Russian masses for a four-hour session, he was asked about the Panama Papers showing some of the extensive shell company holdings of his closest friends, including the official VVP best friend cellist Sergei Roldugin, who seems to have become a secret billionaire by sheer magic, and replied, according to Sputnik Deutschland (the German equivalent to RT in the US, an outlet for Russian international propaganda),
Uns ist bekannt, dass sich dort Mitarbeiter offizieller amerikanischer Institutionen befinden. Wo ist der Bericht zum ersten Mal erschienen? In der Süddeutschen Zeitung, die zu einer Medienholding gehört. Und diese Medienholding gehört zum amerikanischen Finanzunternehmen Goldman Sachs, also sind überall die Ohren des Auftraggebers zu sehen, die noch nicht einmal rot werden. Und wir brauchen keine Reue von ihnen erwarten. Sie werden so weitermachen“, so der russische Staatschef.
("We are aware that there are employees of official American institutions on that. Where did the report appear first? In the Süddeutsche Zeitung, which belongs to a media holding company. And this holding company belongs to the American finance company Goldman Sachs, so you can see the ears of the bosses everywhere in this, and those ears are not even turning red. And we don't have to expect them to show any remorse, they'll keep doing the same thing," said the Russian head of state.)
It's true that Goldman is an important investor in SZ's owner Südwestdeutsche Medien Holding, since 2007, obviously not true that the firm runs the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

What I hear there (I just caught the story on BBC, but the only written version I could find quickly was this one) is something I hear a lot in Russian propaganda, particularly in the accusations against George Soros's Open Society Foundation as the hidden mastermind of the Ukrainian revolution, making my own ears red not with embarrassment but with appalled discomfort—classical Protocols of the Elders of Zion anti-Semitism, the paranoid picture of a world ruled from behind the scenes by a cabal of Jewish financiers, sometimes more explicit as in last year's RT story about Hillary Clinton as the "Illuminati candidate", always just scary even when it's laughable. There's serious and deadly anti-Semitism around, and a lot of it rolls out of Russia. I don't know why more people don't talk about it.

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