19 Aug From the “It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time” Department
Here’s a footnote from the Economist to the recent posts on the scramble for the Arctic:
…Russia’s ability to shoot itself in the foot remains both spectacular and entertaining. To illustrate the daring descent to the Arctic seabed last week, Rossiya TV, one of the many docile pro-Kremlin channels, carried what seemed to be authentic footage of miniature submarines in the sea depths. But a 13-year-old boy in Finland noticed an uncanny resemblance between stills of the footage reprinted in a newspaper and scenes from a DVD in his collection: “Titanic”. Only days earlier, another Russian TV news programme had faked a picture of the London Times, making out that a rare pro-Russian comment piece was not buried inside the paper, but splashed on the front. Ascribing demonic genius to the Kremlin’s spin doctors and geopoliticians is tempting. But only when they deal with their own side’s incompetence will they be really scary.