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Russian Journalists Explain How Covering President Trump Will Be Like Covering Putin

Russian Journalists Explain How Covering President Trump Will Be Like Covering Putin

President-elect Donald Trump held his first press conference this week, and he took the occasion to spell out his top priorities once he takes office. Those priorities include building a border wall with Mexico and repealing and replacing Obamacare. He also indicated that he now believes Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

However, the biggest theme of the event was Trump blasting the intelligence community and the media for a dossier of documents that surfaced this week. The documents contain unsubstantiated evidence that Russia has compromising information on Trump.

Trump’s standoffish attitude toward the media has struck a familiar chord among Russian journalists, who have pointed out the similarities between Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Fake News

Earlier this week, CNN reported the existence of the dossier and that a two-page summary of the documents was included in the batch of classified materials presented to both Trump and President Barack Obama last week. Despite the fact that CNN did not include any details on the unsubstantiated contents of the dossier, Trump specifically targeted CNN at the press conference.

“I am not going to give you a question,” Trump said to CNN reporter Jon Acosta. “You are fake news.”

Trump later tweeted, “CNN is in total meltdown with their FAKE NEWS because their ratings are tanking since election and their credibility will soon be gone!”

Following Trump’s press conference, Russian journalist Alexey Kovalev published a story on Medium warning American journalists of what they can expect from “an authoritarian leader with a massive ego.”

Trump & Putin

Kovalev recognized many similarities between Trump’s behavior toward the press this week and Putin’s behavior in the 12 years he has been in charge in Russia.

“He always comes with a bag of meaningless factoids (Putin likes to drown questions he doesn’t like in dull, unverifiable stats, figures and percentages), platitudes, false moral equivalences and straight, undiluted bulls**t,” Kovalev writes.

Kovalev says Putin often mocks members of the press that attempt to challenge him and gives preferential treatment to members that report favorably about his policies.

Kovalev warns American journalists to be on the lookout for choreographed questions at future Trump press conferences.

“There will be people from publications that exist for no other reason than heaping fawning praise on him and attacking his enemies,” Kovalev said of Putin’s press conferences.

Kovalev wasn’t the only Russian journalist who picked up on the similarities between Trump’s attitude toward the media and Putin’s.

“In Russia, the independent media has gradually eroded under a president who seems to share Donald Trump’s disdain for disruptive journalism,” The Moscow Times’ Kevin Rothrock wrote this week.

Kovalev cautions American journalists to be on the lookout for other familiar Putin tactics in the future.

“Given that Putin is probably a role model for Trump, it’s no surprise that he’s apparently taking a page from Putin’s playbook.”


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Posted-In: Alexey Kovalev Donald Trump RussiaPolitics Opinion Media General Best of Benzinga