In John Helmer, Media critique

By John Helmer, published on his website Dances With Bears, June 15, 2015

Cat's PAW award to Financial Times (image on John Helmer website)

Cat’s PAW award to Financial Times (image on John Helmer website)

MOSCOW–In publishing on Russia, there comes a time when a writer, journalist, bank analyst, television presenter, or academic produces something so lacking in truthfulness, so replete with fawning and meretriciousness, that this website must kill and skin another goat; dry out the vellum; and have a fresh scroll inscribed with the Cat’s Paw – that’s the Personal Abasement Award (PAW).

This award is designed to encourage accountability and ethical reporting on Russia. The PAW committee decided to suspend the Cat’s Paw awards when the start of the Ukraine civil war threatened to overwhelm the supply of vellum and the goat population on which it depends. The goats who have earned the Cat’s PAW scroll have also multiplied exponentially.

At the Financial Times’ Moscow Bureau there has been a tradition of viewing Russian business figures as agents of regime change, making them appear the harbingers of democracy, and pitting them against the Kremlin; that is, once Boris Yeltsin’s destruction of the Russian parliament in 1993, and his election steal in 1996, failed to do the Russian reform trick. For FT reporters this has meant advertorial promotion of the oligarchs applying to the City of London to raise debt and equity finance; buying London and country real estate; promoting themselves with British public relations and deterring investigation of their business with British libel law firms.

Read the full article at the weblink above.


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