Russian journalists are “bemused, frustrated, or disappointed” by the exhaustive Trump-Russian coverage in the US press saying that their American counterparts “have lowered their standards,” the New Yorker reported Thursday.
The author of the report, Joshua Yaffa, surveyed more than half a dozen Russian journalists asking their opinions on the U.S. media’s coverage of Vladamir Putin, and Russian meddling in the U.S. election. Prominent Russian journalist, Elena Chernenko, described the Washington Post and New York Times as the “moral compass and model” she once strived for. Now Chernenko laments American journalists that have “lowered their standards when reporting on Russia” lacking “incontrovertible evidence,” saying the U.S. media is engaging in “unbelievable hysteria” as though they “ha[ve] lost their heads.”
Chernenko compared the U.S. media’s coverage of the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s activities in Washington to her own state media regarding interactions of former U.S. Ambassador, Michael McFual, who served from 2012 to 2014 saying “The state media would take every one of his unfortunate statements and blow it up to an unimaginable degree.”
Author and Russian Journalist, Mikhail Zygar, commented that American news outlets inflate Putin’s competency saying it has “made him look smarter than he is.” Zyger said that Putin has not orchestrated what the U.S. media conveys as a “master plan,” to influence the elections, but in reality, Putin’s administration is in “chaos” referencing the “total disorder” of Russia’s military campaign in Syria.
Many of the Russian journalists admitted that Putin actually likes the attention, no matter how “unfairly critical,” because of his portrayal as a “Bond like villain” that CNN’s Fareed Zakaria calls “the most powerful man in the world.” A Russian journalist reports that the Kremlin cannot help but be pleased with all of the investigations in the U.S. media and Congress into Russian interference, “they like this very much, and they don’t try to it hide in private conversations.”
Yaffa, “again and again” in his conversations with Russian Journalists, heard that the U.S. media’s reportage of possible Russia ties of Trump associates, “can veer toward trafficking in the conspiracy theories” that defines much of Russia’s coverage of the United States.