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Posts Tagged ‘Vladimir Putin’

PETITION: Putin, Take Our Alaska, Please.

Alaska-secede-back-to-Russia

Hey kids. U.S. History could get all jacked up!

Have you ever been on an Alaskan cruise? The vistas alone are worth the price of admission. Add to that the weather, the memories, and the food, and you have a marvelous getaway that you will remember forever. At least I did.

Yet, while reflecting upon my journeys of yesteryear, I read this straight from WhiteHouse.gov:

Groups Siberian russians crossed the Isthmus (now the Bering Strait) 16-10 thousand years ago. Russian began to settle on the Arctic coast, Aleuts inhabited the Aleutian Archipelago.

First visited Alaska August 21, 1732, members of the team boat “St. Gabriel »under the surveyor Gvozdev and assistant navigator I. Fedorov during the expedition Shestakov and DI Pavlutski 1729-1735 years

Vote for secession of Alaska from the United States and joining Russia.

Oh, it’s real. Find out how just how real after the jump…

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Battle Rages Between Russia and Euromaidan on Social Media

On Friday Russian “president” Vladimir Putin proved that his big-deal New York Times op-ed scolding President Obama on Syria and arguing that all countries should go through the United Nations before declaring war should have included an “except when I do it” disclaimer.

As the conflict on the ground intensifies, with Russian troops closing the nation’s airports and effectively seizing the Crimean peninsula, a proxy communications battle between the pro-Europe Ukranian protestors and the Kremlin has begun.

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Chobani Brings Russian ‘Yogurt Standoff’ to a Peaceful End

cups-pyramid-with-new

We kinda feel for Chobani. The “Greek” yogurt company only wanted to amplify the good will earned by its sponsorship of American Olympians and this cool follow-up to its Super Bowl spot by sending product samples to U.S. athletes in Sochi…but Putin’s “regulators” were like, “Nyet” due to arcane “customs rules”, something something.

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Sochi Pre-Games Are an Olympic-Sized #PRFail

Yesterday our own Shawn Paul Wood asked whether the Sochi Winter Games should win a medal for “Worst Olympics PR ever”, and this morning NPR’s Brian Lehrer asked whether the city is even ready for the 2014 games.

Now we have answers: “probably” and “hell, no.”

The journalists have just begun to arrive to cover the games, and their horror stories (with pictures) are already viral, so we’ll share some:

So…stick to the important stuff.

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Will Sochi Winter Olympics Win the ‘Worst PR Ever’ Medal?

Sochi 2014 Company OlympicsNow, before you answer that close-to-rhetorical question, this doesn’t involve Munich or Atlanta. That’s too easy and something that doesn’t involve jokey-jokes.

Back to the show: think about any Olympics (that doesn’t involve human tragedy). Summer or Winter. Name the Olympic Games that has been a bigger punching bag.

Berlin, 1936, was hosted by a sardonic, mustachioed fellow who wanted “his Olympics” to move forward under an Aryan mindset. And then Jesse Owens stuck a bat right up his behind. (Go ‘Merica!)

Mexico City, 1968, featured an iconic picture with Tommie Smith and John Carlos with the black-gloved ‘Power to the People’ salute following their first- and third-place win in the 200m dash respectively. Right on.

Moscow, 1980, the U.S. team weren’t allowed to go because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Wait, what? Seems we would like a do-over compared to public sentiment about that #$%& country, but anywho.

And then, there’s Sochi. President Putin, please take the stand as we rattle off your many terrible PR achievements…

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Stoli Goes All Out to Solidify LGBT Cred for Sochi Games

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Unfortunately, most of the news about the Sochi Winter Games concerns either Vladimir Putin‘s insane security state or his decision to pass homophobic laws and tell gay athletes/visitors that they can “feel calm and at ease” as long as they “leave the children alone.”

When Dan Savage and others first called upon Westerners to boycott Russian vodka, Stolichnaya was understandably the first brand that came to mind. Stoli responded with pro-gay Facebook campaigns and interviews in which spokespeople reminded protesters that the product is actually filtered and processed in Latvia, because big difference.

Now the brand has taken the “we’re not Russian or anti-gay” campaign a bit further as the boycott continues courtesy of one House, M.D.

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Obama Administration Goes Gay for the Sochi Olympics

#notimpressed

This is his best McKayla Maroney

Yesterday we were fascinated by a column that longtime punchline Pat Buchanan wrote for Town Hall in which he asked fellow “paleoconservatives” whether self-elected pseudo-Communist op-ed writer (and #1 Boyz II Men fan) Vladimir Putin was “one of us” because of how much he dislikes the gays. Some people…

Anyway, Pat’s personal version of the anti-Christ decided to take a somewhat bold stance yesterday by announcing that no members of the Obama or Biden families will be attending the winter games in Sochi. While some may claim it’s an attempt to avoid yet another of the VP’s famous gaffes, it reads a lot like a statement of solidarity with the LGBT community.

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John McCain Also Fails to Achieve ‘PR Coup’ with Anti-Putin Op-Ed

And stay off my lawn! Newly inaugurated Iranian president Hassan Rouhani isn’t the only politician who tried and failed to achieve a PR win by following Vladimir Putin’s controversial op-ed placement strategy.

Arizona Senator John McCain also saw Putin’s score as a call to action, but in the process he unintentionally provided us with another case demonstrating the value of a well-crafted PR strategy. McCain wanted to place his “Russians Deserve Better Than Putin” article in Pravda, the official state publication of the Communist Party, but instead it ended up on Pravda.ru, a site that “is not connected to Pravda newspaper”. While the site “covers everything from politics to fashion and celebrities”, its editors were even less receptive to McCain’s message. They quickly ran follow-ups calling his piece an “insolent and arrogant rant” written from “the microscopic viewpoint of a mouse”—which is very similar to the way McCain’s congressional colleagues responded to the Putin article.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Needs Some PR Assistance

Vladimir Putin‘s recent New York Times op-ed on Syria may have prompted some serious ethical debates, but it also led to a chorus of “Me too! Me too!” among other politicians looking to distribute their own foreign policy statements. Unfortunately for these followers, they now serve as case studies demonstrating why Putin pays top dollar for Ketchum‘s PR services.

The new, supposedly moderate Iranian president Hassan Rouhani placed an op-ed in The Washington Post urging the United States to pursue “constructive engagement” with his country while condemning the chemical weapons attacks that Iran supposedly helped happen—and he did it without PR assistance. His foreign minister also posted a Rosh Hashanah message earlier this month with the apparent goal of appeasing the Jewish community that predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad worked so hard to alienate by denying that the Holocaust ever happened.

This is progress, right? Not really.

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Russian Propaganda Rags Still Land in U.S. Papers

The debate over the debate about Ketchum‘s placement of an aggressive Vladimir Putin New York Times op-ed continues this week, but there’s another side of the Putin’s PR offensive that we hadn’t heard of: it’s called Russia Beyond the Headlines, and it’s an English language propaganda rag that regular appears as a paid advertorial section inside American newspapers like the NYT and the Washington Post. Here’s what chess champion and democracy activist Gary Kasparov had to say about the latest edition:

He’s not big on subtlety, and neither is Beyond the Headlines. It’s a branch of Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Russia’s official state publication, and it brings a mix of politics, op-eds and cultural reporting—all with a heavy pro-Putin slant—to foreign newspapers around the world under the tagline “Our News. Your Language.”

Here are our favorite recent headlines at a glance:

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