Whale wars, Putin style

Tim Daniel Contributor
Font Size:

The Russian government recently sent Prime Minister Vladimir Putin off to the Far Eastern coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula to “cultivate the image of a macho leader” (as the Moscow Times puts it). I guess being macho in Russia means shooting whales, because that is precisely what Putin did.
Imagine the cries from Greenpeace! But wait, the Russian prime minister actually “shot” a wandering gray whale (after three attempts) to collect skin samples for science. Imagine the cries from Greenpeace anyway.

This is one of those stories that one used to say, “thank God that wouldn’t happen in America,” except now it does. Well, maybe close — except for the whale-shooting stuff.

The story continues.

Post-whale-harpooning, the Russian camera-donning equivalent of our American useful idiot press flocked to the beach where the Putin-Zodiac-whale-shooting crew had landed. They subsequently prodded him as to the danger of his whale-faring expedition and to his reasoning behind it. “Living in general is dangerous and because I like it. I love the nature,” the seafaring-adventurer responded.

Recent action-adventure super-hits from Vladimir Putin also include, Putin the Wildfire-Fighter, Putin the Bare-Chested Siberian Fisherman, Putin the Icy River Butterfly Stroke Swimmer, Putin the Polar Bear Fighter and last but not least, Putin the Siberian Tiger Fighter (this one actually does make him sound tough).

The Russian press knows full well, per the Moscow Times, that stunts like these are propagated to present the prime minister in a macho, rugged image for mass public consumption, yet they play along with the charades anyway. Sound like the Washington press corps?

Anyone recall the messianic, mass-coronation press spectacle of 2008? Just because we live in America doesn’t mean that “thank God that wouldn’t happen in America” won’t, doesn’t or hasn’t happened here, too. We all live with the consequences of a press that doesn’t fulfill its duty to inform and protect the people from the government.

Tim Daniel is a small business owner and entrepreneur who currently lives in San Diego, California, with his wife and lovely cat. He is editor in chief of the Southern California-based Left Coast Rebel blog, where this article is also posted.