President Batman

A friend of mine IM’d me an article ostensibly about how Russia is tragically under the (now-former) KGB’s thumb again. Yes, yes, we all know Putin is a dirty bastard who should never be in charge of anything more involved than [insert menial civil-service gig here]. And the more media-savvy (ahem) will figure out that the BBC is making a big deal about this because Putin is holding up some deal a British bigwig cares about. This works because the bigwig in question (or one of his minions) will drop tidbits of information about Putin and Russia to reporters at cocktail parties, reporters fill in a few blanks in the mad-lib stories, and wham! Propaganda in action, baby!

But that’s all old-hat, really. What I want to concentrate on is the fact that the “new Russian military intelligence HQ” has a giant oldskool Batman logo on it’s floor:

Now that’s just awesome.

7 thoughts on “President Batman

  1. Um, a spectacular murder by means of Po-210 might also have something to do with all the attention paid to Russian secret police (even if it turns out that it’s Putin’s rivals that are responsible).

  2. And one of Putin’s rivals just happens to be an exiled billionaire living in London, who bankrolls both the poisoned man and the “friend” who claims the dead guy blamed Putin. Certainly he wouldn’t be planting stories in the British press about how crazy Russia is, or talking up the death into something “spectacular” or anything… 🙂

  3. Yes, because clearly the reason the BBC is intrigued by KGB assassinations in the capital is because of all those cosy corporate ties the dead man has. The BBC might not be the shining paragon of journalistic integrity I wish it were, but it isn’t CNN.

    The Batman thing though. Rock hard. And after the whole Polonium thing, hey, no DC lawsuits!

    – Chris

  4. Yeah, amazing how global public relations machinery grinds to a halt when the BBC shows up, isn’t it. Lucky for you the “First Draft of History” virus hasn’t crossed the Atlantic. 😉

    On a serious note, the dead man was writing hack propaganda while on the payroll one of Russia’s billionaires who got rich by robbing the country blind during the 90s. From what I’ve heard, the books are full of the sort of wild accusations that couldn’t pass a libel case over there, and keep special prosecutors busy investigating Democratic Presidents over here. Believing the billionaire in question is working the media over is not simply my cynicism towards American media run amok overseas: there is still the fact that the deceased was being paid by the billionaire to work the media over when he was murdered.

    Is that the sole reason the BBC is covering the case? Of course not. Is that why it’s being extraordinarily shrill and throwing out the wild sort of fearmongering and mockery that the article I linked to was? I think so, yes.

  5. Hardly. The BBC gets shrill and sensationalist about most anything these days, and it’s often pulling in different directions; site articles have a strong tendency to be pro-free software, for instance, while the embarrassing “tech news” sections they have on News 24 are practically Microsoft adverts half the time.

    The fact is that it’s really quite difficult not to get sensationalist when spies are going around slipping deadly isotopes into people’s Martinis, and in a post-9/11 world where every commercial news channel has lost any sense of integrity whatsoever there’s little holding the BBC to a higher standard other than viewer complaints. That said, if they wheel out any more estranged fathers of dead prostitutes tomorrow they’re getting mailed from work about it.

    – Chris

  6. BBC is actually relatively free. They might focus more on a case because someone in Britain is intressted, but they don’t normaly care much about the views of their politicians.

    BBC World is one of the best news channels there is. But everyone is flawed so we should use several.

    BBC have had a relatively balanced coverage of the Iraq conflict for one. They interview the enemies of the British armed forces and talk with them seriously on TV.

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