In response to Putin’s (in)famous NYT op-ed, McCain told CNN he’d love to reciprocate on Pravda. He was probably surprised when they agreed to it – but he may not have gotten quite what he expected, according to Pravda.ru’s chief Vadim Gorshenin.
“McCain Looked for a Kremlin Mouthpiece, and was not Mistaken”
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pravda.ru Internet-media holding Vadim Gorshenin on why the American Senator published his article on his site, and not in the “Soviet newspaper.”
On Thursday, the site Pravda.ru published an article by Senator John McCain, in which he replied to Russian President Putin’s publication in The New York Times. Initially, McCain promised to publish an article in Pravda, but he later changed his mind. The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pravda.ru Vadim Gorshenin sat down with an Izvestia correspondent to tell us how it all happened.
Mikhail Rubin: Who suggested you publish McCain’s article, and when?
Vadim Gorshenin: It was a Foreign Policy journalist, he reads us and even writes lots of nasty things about us. When he heard McCain on CNN saying that he wanted to speak out at the Pravda newspaper, he wrote the following to the editor of our English-language version Dmitry Sudakov: “Could you refute the idea that you have no freedom of speech, and publish McCain’s text?” He replied that yes, of course he could. After this, the American journalist contacted McCain’s press secretary, who said that they’d follow through with all this. And it all ended up just as Mikhail Dvorkovich wrote on Twitter – the very fact of publication proves that everything that McCain wrote is a lie. If all the Russian media is controlled by the Kremlin, then how could such an article have appeared on what everyone calls a pro-Kremlin site?
MK: Did they understand, that Pravda.ru and the newspaper Pravda are two different publications?
VG: Yes, of course they understood. There have even been articles in the American MSM that analyzed the nature of the newspaper Pravda today. When this entire scandal flared up and Zyuganov got the impression that McCain was going to write something for his newspaper, McCain’s aides asked us whether we were somehow associated with the newspaper Pravda.
MK: Well, are you?
VG: There is a ten year old court judgment to the effect that we have the same rights to the symbols and the name “Pravda” as the Communist Party newspaper. But the most important thing is that we have an English-language version, which has the second highest visitors’ numbers after Russia Today out of all Russian English-language MSM. Furthermore, our daily traffic is at 200,000, whereas the newspaper Pravda’s circulation is at 100,000 – and it only comes out a few times per week.
MK: And why did the article first appear on the feeds of the world’s news agencies, and only later at your site? They weren’t satisfied by your traffic numbers?
VG: They sent us their article today at 6am. And they gave it to the agencies under an embargo until 8am, in fact McCain’s people didn’t even warn us of this. They believe that Russians get up at 6am and immediately go to work under a barrage of whiplashes. We only managed to finalize everything by 10am.
MK: The Americans weren’t discomfited by the ideological component? You were, after all, Dmitry Medvedev’s confidante in the 2008 elections. And you are a Putin supporter.
VG: Yes, I’m a Putin supporter. But I wasn’t a confidante, I just worked in Medvedev’s HQ in 2008, for which he awarded me something, and in Putin’s HQ in 2012 – he too sent me a thank you letter. But this didn’t give the Americans any unease, to the contrary in fact.
MK: Why? McCain wanted to publish an article on a site that supporters Putin?
VG: McCain still lives in that era. What do they remember about Soviet times? “Pravda” and “Izvestia,” that’s what. In fact Izvestia was less well-known, because it was released for internal consumption, while Pravda was the Kremlin’s mouthpiece. And McCain wanted an article in a newspaper that was a Kremlin mouthpiece. Because Putin had published an article in The New York Times, the newspaper of the Democratic Party – they President now rules the US. McCain wanted the same, and in this sense, he was not mistaken.
Alexander Bocha: Everybody, calm down. McCain is a very old person – he is 77 years old, and he DOESN’T speak for all America!!! Many people in the US appreciate, love, and respect Russia – let’s stop the hysteria and extremism, ladies and gentlemen!
Андрей Карпиловский: While Putin quite accurately threw a philosophical rock at Obama, McCain just emptied a pail of dirt willy-nilly either on Putin, or on Russia, or on himself. And these people want to ban us from fingering our noses? I don’t think they’ll succeed at anything. They work stupidly.
сергей евсеев: What else can you expect from someone who was imprisoned for a year in a hole up to his neck in excrement. Even the article reeks.
Альберт Сыроежкин: McCain is a Cold War dinosaur who has lost his bearings and repeats the ramblings of cheap agitators of CIA-inspired nonsense of the 1960s and 70s.