Unexpected lessons from the Russobookosphere

  1. If there is one country in the world that garners media coverage bereft of even the most basic journalistic standards, it’s Russia. It’s okay to exaggerate Russian villainy beyond its realistic bounds. You’re more likely to be promoted than punished for it.
  2. When China intercepts a US spy plane in the South China Sea, “international airspace” is the excuse. But when the Russians intercept a US plane off their coast, it’s “chest-thumping aggression”. Don’t get the two mixed up.
  3. Propaganda isn’t the deliberate exclusion of crucial information in an attempt to mislead, the deliberate inclusion of information in an attempt to confuse, or a deliberate attempt not necessarily to mislead, but to put forth a perspective which differs from the mainstream. It’s the dissemination of information that provides any legitimacy to the arguments of the enemy.
  4. Putin sells, but EVIL PUTIN sells even better.
  5. Not knowing that you’re living in an echo chamber totally makes it less of an echo chamber. Just ask the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
  6. If you’ve never actually been to Russia, you can publish reports through the Institute of Modern Russia and appear on CNN and pretend to be a Russia expert. Just ask Michael Weiss!
  7. In case you didn’t know, Putin has weaponized everything. Everyone in the world is a Putin’s Trojan Horse. Who isn’t?
  8. Russia yearns for European disintegration. Europe just needs “American leadership” and everything will be fine.
  9. Putin’s the only person in Russia and is responsible for everything that goes on in it.
  10. Any Russian figure who is against Putin is a democrat and should be lionized. They speak for millions – the liberal masses yearning for freedom. Wait – did I just contradict my #9?
  11. The most important part of a Russia journalist’s work is mastering and parroting a limited set of tropes, like “Putin destroyed democracy”, “There is no media freedom”, “Russian aggression”, “dying bear/rusted tanks”, etc.
  12. The Kremlin is always wrong, and its motives are always nefarious. Is the Ministry of Emergency Situations trying to extinguish wildfires in eastern Russia? It’s suppressing the fires’ freedom of assembly!
  13. “Totalitarian” can be used to describe any government you don’t like. And no one will bother to check whether it’s warranted.
  14. Any book can be “spiced up” by claiming it’s “banned in Russia”.
  15. The Russian people’s knight in shining armor is a billionaire who owns a slick PR machine and lives in emigration self-imposed exile in Switzerland.
  16. Never underestimate the power of “probably”.
  17. Little or no knowledge of Putin is actually a plus when writing about Russia. That way you have no doubts or pangs of conscience when you write nonsense.
  18. Who needs a gun when all you have to do is throw money and accolades at someone?
  19. I’m a communist Russia sympathizer for pointing any of this out.


  1. In my opinion the US are craving for war with Russia, because:
    1. They are dead set on establishing a global hegemony, to which Russia is an obvious obstacle
    2. They think they could win the hot war with Russia
    3. They don’t really know what a REAL war is like, with millions of YOUR people dead half of YOUR country destroyed.


    • Also appears to be missing Putin. Funny, you’d think that would be, like, the second-biggest word after ‘communism’.
      Anyway, I’ll hold on to this chart. It might come in handy later.


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