Mankind's only alternative 3   DEC.   20  
Mankind's only alternative
Vlad's Daily Gloat - The eXile Blog
MAIN  RUSSIA  WAR NERD   [SIC!]  BAR-DAK  THE VAULT  ABOUT US  RSS
 
 
EXILE BLOGS

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

Press Review March 3, 2003
 
Oligarchs DP Moscow Times
By Mark Ames Browse author Email
 
 

As this issue goes to bed, The Moscow Times announced that a 35% stake in its parent company Independent Media had been passed from one oligarch to the next in a kinky share-swap. Or so it seems, following Tuesday's lead, "Interros Buys Into TMT's Parent," and the even sleazier accompanying editorial, "Oligarchs Come And Go."

The article and editorial work hard, employing tireless repetition and murky logic, to confuse readers into accepting that Independent Media's sellout to oligarch Vladimir Potanin will have no affect on their editorial policy. But there's an underlying panic that can't be masked.

In the second paragraph of the lead article, reporter Andrei Zolotov writes, "[T]he alliance does not pose a direct threat to the editorial integrity of [...] The Moscow Times, which is fully owned by Independent Media, analysts said." Here he used the oldest hack trick in the book, attributing a specious claim (imposed from above) that Potanin won't threaten the Times' editorial to harmless "analysts." Which analysts is he talking about? All analysts, as he implies? Or just the two he coaxed into supporting him? Could he not find one analyst who disagreed with that?

Let's put this into perspective. Vladimir Potanin's name is linked to the destruction of the independence of Izvestia which he purchased in 1997. The crackdown on Izvestia was sparked by investigative articles critical of the oligarchs. Potanin's purchase and subsequent gutting of the staff was considered by most top Russian journalists to be the coup de grace against Russia's brief experiment with a free and independent press.

In the accompanying editorial "Oligarchs Come And Go" the reader is treated to a far cruder dose of the same bullshit. The Times is reduced to argument on the level of the cop on South Park: "There's nothing to see here people, keep moving along." Aware that it is in danger of convincing no one, the editorial rolls out a list of false examples to prove that TMT remained critical of previous oligarch-partner Mikhail Khodorkovsky. But the two critical articles on Khodorkovsky chosen as examples are dated August 25 and December 28, 1998 -- that is, after the financial crisis, when Khodorkovsky's empire, including his 10 percent stake in Independent Media, were in doubt. Proving...that they sure know how to kick an oligarch when he's down, boy!

You won't find that kind of criticism of Khodorkovsky in the Times either before the crisis or a year or so after, when Khodorkovsky's stake was firm.

Just as bizarre is Zolotov's attempt to spin VNU's sale of its 35% in very Sauercentric terms. The deal was a sale of a stake by one party, VNU, to another party, Prof-Media, but by Zolotov's account you'd think Sauer had ingeniously arranged the whole thing simply in order to strengthen The Moscow Times' alleged editorial integrity.

Even by Zolotov's own account, the "Strategic Alliance" deal is one of the least transparent, murkiest deals reported in The Moscow Times in years, a murkiness that runs counter to all The Times has preached. Through the murk we can surmise that Sauer's role was likely that of spoiler at best. VNU wanted to sell its 35% stake in Independent Media. Potanin's Prof-Media wanted to buy it. Rival oligarch Khodorkovsky owned a 10% stake which probably was an obstacle in Potanin's mind. Sauer, who was essentially being passed from one oligarch to another like a Moldovan sex slave, got thrust into the role of middleman and somehow wound up with Khodorkovksy's 10% stake -- which looks more like a tip than anything.

Zolotov's article slyly turns reality on its head through hints and murk, giving the impression that Sauer engineer the whole deal, and that he had bought VNU's 35% stake himself, held on to it for some time, perhaps profiting to the tune of tens of millions when he "sold" it to Prof-Media. Anyone with a little understanding of how deals like this work knows that Sauer's role was more like that of drug mule.


SHARE:  Del.icio.us  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit
Ames
Browse author
Email Mark Ames at editor@exile.ru.
 
 
FROM THE VAULT
Housewife
Field Guide To Moscow: Mayonnaisus Infinitas :

Da Kurds: Boo Hoo Who? : Why Kurdistan is not a nation and never will be
The Okhranik
Field Guide To Moscow: Aequoris Capitus :
Body Outline
My First Russian Corpse : A Bum, A Bill, And A Body
 

 
 
 
LATEST ARTICLES

Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
Editorial
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...

 
 
 

    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442
E-mail: office@exile.ru