Vanity Fair profiles The eXile: "Gutsy...visceral...serious journalism...abusive, defamatory...poignant...paranoid...and right!"
MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
exiledonline.com
Yasha Levine

You probably didn’t know that CNN censored Putin for being just too darn sensible. Yep, it’s true. About two weeks ago, Putin gave the network an exclusive 30-minute interview. And you know what happened? Nothing. It was never allowed to air. CNN doesn’t know it yet, but that decision might have cost them their Russian broadcasting rights.

On August 29, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with senior political correspondent Matthew Chance for a CNN exclusive interview. “This was unprecedented access to Russia’s powerful prime minister, the former KGB spy now increasingly at odds with Washington,” an overly dramatic voice-over introduced the segment as Chance and Putin enjoyed pre-game banter and a walk through the courtyard of Putin’s palatial Sochi residence. Once seated, Chance didn’t waste any time with his provocative questions:

(more…)

Posted: September 10th, 2008

They drove like people to whom the motorcar was new. They drove as they walked; and a stream of Tehran traffic, jumpy with individual stops and swerves, with no clear lanes, was like a jostling pavement crowd.

—V.S. Naipaul

Naipaul wrote these lines about Iranian drivers in revolution-gripped Tehran in the late 70s. But he might as well have been writing about Russian drivers today. The drive as they walk; on the sidewalk, through red lights, bumping into pedestrians. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. See, while America’s auto sales have gone into a nosedive, Russia just surpassed Germany to become the largest automobile market in Europe this year. Russians bought as many cars in the first six months of 2008 as they did in the entire last year, 1.65 million to be exact. The luxury category has posted the biggest growth, adding hundreds of thousands of uber-expesive automobiles to Russia’s decrepit roads. (more…)

Posted: August 28th, 2008

Russia got into the social networking game a little late. The industry still isn’t very hi-tech and doesn’t have all those dorky Facebook plugins that people in the West are used to. But Russia’s got a natural resource that Facebook’s dumpy audience can never provide: people (as in chicks) that you actually want to get to know (as in biblically).

Take a look at our cultural exhibit. It shows how the girls on Russia’s premier social networking site, Odnoklassniki, compare to their American counterparts. (more…)

Posted: August 19th, 2008

Today, August 14, Dmitri Medvedev celebrates 100th day as President of the Russian Federation. What conclusions can be made about the new president? Well, not many. Other than the fact that Medvedev is trying really, really hard to be the best protege he can be. Sure, he’s a little shorter, a little meeker and much less manlier than his mentor, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t trying his best. (more…)

Posted: August 14th, 2008

I woke up to discover a weird link to a Digg post sent over by a friend of mine. It was a poll conducted on CNN’s website asking readers:

Do you think Russians actions in Georgia are justified?
1) Yes — it’s peacekeeping
2) No — it’s an invasion

Surprisingly, 92% of readers thought that the Russians were justified. Taking into account CNN’s boneheaded and overwhelmingly pro-Georgian coverage, the poll didn’t make any sense. Were sheepish CNN viewers actually using their brain? It didn’t seem likely. Well, the poll no longer appears on the site. It was taken down after charges of manipulation started surfacing. Apparently, Russian bloggers circulated the poll and called on Russians to let their voice be heard. And if there’s one thing CNN doesn’t like doing, it’s hearing what those damn Russkies have to say.  CNN had no idea that this seemingly innocuous poll would demonstrate the huge rift in opinion between the West and Russia and underline the importance that information warfare has played in this conflict, not to mention show whom CNN was really rooting for. (more…)

Posted: August 13th, 2008

On August 30, on the same day that President Medvedev announced his support of small business, an insane story appeared on Russia’s evening TV news about a corporate takeover raid in the city of Tula, just south of Moscow. Russian television was ablaze with amazing footage of a gangland battle scene straight outta the 90s—as if the 90s never ended.

A battle for ownership of a local cable TV station called Altair led to an armed daylight attack on the company’s offices. The raiders brought in two busloads of armed goons—some decked out in full OMON battle gear and toting AKs, handguns, and tear gas; others dressed in jumpsuits and carrying bats, 2X4s, wire cutters, and pellet guns—and the two goon platoons launched a full-on assault on the building. (more…)

Posted: August 6th, 2008

You know how Russia’s threatening to start sending nuke-carrying, long-range bombers to Cuba? Well, meet the Few, the Proud, and the Wasted of Russia’s VDV, the country’s elite Airborne Troops. Look at these faces long and hard, folks. And then look at them again. Chances are they’ll be parachuting into your backyard, striking camp and taking liberties with your young daughter. (more…)

Posted: August 4th, 2008