Super-Double-High Standards

Newscasters around the world are facing a new challenge: reporting the news about the United States with a straight face. Take the unfolding impeachment comedy in the United States which is part of the daily fare on Russian television, which I monitor for this and that. Here, after years of reporting on the “Russian meddling” narrative, it has gradually turned into the stuff of comedy—a sort of Commedia dell’Arte. In a typical skit, “our man in Washington” Donny begs Putin to bring him in from the cold, but Putin tells him, “Hang in there, Donny, we need to line up Tulsi for the presidency first.” The beauty of this comedic paradigm is that the Americans do all the script-writing; the Russians, along with much of the rest of the world, can just sit back and laugh.

The real story behind the fake “Russian meddling” narrative has by now shifted to the Obama administration’s illegal spying on the Trump campaign, justified using concocted evidence, but this is too subtle for most of the audience. It also begs the questions, When did American officials stop lying and doing illegal things, and, When will anything be done about it? And since the answers to these questions seem to be, Never, and, Never, it’s just more of the same tawdry nonsense and therefore not too amusing. More importantly, far more amusing developments are now afoot…

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