The American mainstream media's coverage of the Sochi Olympics has been more concerned with bashing Russia and Vladimir Putin than with analyzing the performance of athletes and teams. Even previously non-political magazines like ESPN started coming out with vehemently anti-Putin articles. As if on cue from the White House, the American media started an anti-Russian campaign the sheer malevolence of which was only rivaled by the orgy of Serbophobia in the 1990s.
A perfect example of this ugliness was the brief yet poisonous exchange between New Yorker magazine editor David Remnick and Vladimir Pozner before the opening ceremonies. The former, a liberal NYC Jew who won a Pulitzer for a predictably anti-Russian book on the last years of the Soviet Union was also the commentator for the ceremonies. Showered by gushing praise by those ubiqutious idiots of American media—Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera, Remnick's remarks could be summarized as following: Russia is a sinister, menacing, bellicose country ruled by a dangerous, bellicose, evil autocrat. The only positive thing Remnick said about Russia was a brief remark about the beauty of St. Petersburg—ironically, the most Western and non-Russian city in Russia.
Vladimir Pozner is an even shabbier character than Remnick. Born in Paris to a French mother and a nominally Jewish father who was a Soviet spy in America, the serpentine, oily Pozner grew up in NYC and still speaks with a soft, hissing American accent. Well-known to Americans for his collaboration with the equally unpleasant Phil Donohue, Pozner for decades was the main Soviet propagandist in America, smoothly making up excuses for various Soviet crimes and misdeeds. After the perestroika, the spy's son deftly rebranded himself into a Western-style liberal. Vociferously atheist and Christophobic, the nominally Catholic Pozner agitates for euthanasia, homosexual marriage, and the secularization of Russian society. Appearing with Remnick clad in a ridiculous ensemble of a raspberry-colored blazer and bright red socks, Pozner rambled on about how tough it is to be a homosexual in Russia.
But it's the neocons, with their misplaced ethnic baggage, that take the cake for their hateful remarks about Putin and Russia. National Review's Greg Pollowitz scolded Bob Costas for not being anti-Putin enough and the inaptly named American Thinker's resident Russophobe Kim Zigfeld howled that Russia is an "Impoverished, Benighted Quagmire". During the Serbophobic campaign of the 1990s, the neocons also far surpassed the liberal mainstream with the ugliness of their remarks. The despicable Bill "Crush Serb skulls" Kristol comes to mind.
Eugene Girin is a New York-based attorney and commentator.