Oliver Stone Undresses Putin, Shows the Man Behind the Legend: US media snarls, frowns and yawns.

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About the Author
 Robert Parry is an American investigative journalist best known for his role in covering the Iran-Contra affair for the Associated Press and Newsweek, including breaking the Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare and the CIA and Contras cocaine trafficking in the US scandal in 1985. He was awarded the George Polk Award for National Reporting in 1984 and the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence by Harvard’s Nieman Foundation in 2015. He has been the editor of Consortiumnews since 1995. 

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Typically these days, American TV news personalities use interviews with a demonized foreign leader, like Putin, to demonstrate their own “toughness” on air, hurling insulting questions at the target and pretending that this preening behavior proves their courage. In reality, it is bad journalism for a wide variety of reasons: The interview subject will normally retreat into canned talking points, so nothing is really learned; the TV viewer will get to see some theatrics but no insights into what makes the foreign leader tick; and – most importantly – chances of going to war with the despised leader’s country increase.



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3 thoughts on “Oliver Stone Undresses Putin, Shows the Man Behind the Legend: US media snarls, frowns and yawns.

  1. Dear Robert Parry,
    your assesment of this documentary is exactly as I have watched this. Your words represent my thoughts exactly. I am living in Europe and I am trying to make sense of what is being said by both Russia and the US. We are always fed info from the US side. I am very happy that Mr Stone showed us that there is another side to the ‘beast’ Putin that is always presented to us in the western press.
    Best regards,

  2. I believe Stone said ‘peace and consciousness’ not peace and ‘cautiousness’. Otherwise, having watched other interviews and forums with Putin, it is clear to this observer that he is both spiritually and intellectually superior to anything the West has produced, probably EVER.

    One article by an American on the website Russia Behind the Headlines, noted that she had met Putin long before he became President, and was the only Russian bureaucrat she met who didn’t demand a bribe.

    Hillary Clinton by contrast, the darling of the DNC and deluded Left, overlooked the fact that Putin’s brother died in Leningrad due to Hitler, and then has the audacity to compare him to Hitler, after, in another reprehensible display, she gloated over the illegal immoral and brutal murder of Gaddafi.

    As Gandhi replied to the question about his opinion of Western Civilization (of the obviously Anglo variety occupying India), “it would be a good thing”.

  3. This is a review connecting 3 men I much admire: Editor-Journalist Robert Parry, whom I had the pleasure/honor to meet a couple of weeks ago; Oliver Stone, met on the same occasion–a hero of mine since “Platoon”–some 40 years ago; and Vladimir Putin, whom I’d like to meet sometime within the next 25 years, buy him a beer or Vodka, and say “Spasibo!” for restoring Russia after America’s disastrous attempt to “regime-change” that 1000-year old nation with the wobbly, clownish Boris Yeltsin. It’s a first-rate review, but I do have some quibbles:

    First, the title is misleading. I’m not sure if that’s Robert Parry’s work or the GP’s creative “poetic license,” but, in fact, there was nothing I saw in those 4+ hours of interviews that suggested anything like an “undressing.” That word, of course, suggests “unmasking” (a popular word now!) and that suggests a shifty character with something to hide whom some clever journalist will use the scalpels of wit and verbiage to reveal. (Now, of course, everyone interprets drama differently…, and this was “drama”–two very smart men grappling with the biggest questions of war and peace, democracy and authoritarianism, Statecraft and Deep State. )

    After watching the first 3 parts on Showtime, I wrote: “Stone is natural, informal, and very sharp. Putin, the child of factory workers, is similar. Very good rapport between them, especially over time. Very good to get the “other side”–of Ukraine crisis, Chechnya, NATO expansionism, lies from B. Clinton, Bush, Obama, etc. Yet, Putin, always diplomatic, referring to Russia’s “partners”–US, Europe, etc. One understands his Judo training in balancing one’s foes’ aggression, counter-measuring it. 4th part will focus on “hacking.” Must see.”

    So, my second “quibble” is this” I did not see anything like Stone “getting the better of” Putin in those first 3 parts!
    I did see mutual respect and serious probing of the essential problems facing humanity now. Also, I noted, importantly, that Putin twice referred to the short-sightedness of certain Western leaders who fail to look ahead at the world’s needs 25-50 years from now! Contrariwise, Putin’s far-sightedness much impressed me!

    Stone is most “trying” in the 4th and last part. Putin never loses his cool, but he does look somewhat irked with Stone. But, clearly, he’s not going to reveal state-secrets, dirty laundry or methodologies. He can’t be lured; he’s nobody’s fool! At any rate, in the last 5 minutes or so, when they’re “winding up,” they exchange compliments, congrats, even hugs (!), and Putin says that Stone is a fortunate man because he is able to do his work as an artist-journalist, be taken seriously. (I thought of Proverbs: “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.”)

    These interviews were a far cry from what passes for journalism in US.2017! Frankly, I think the coup against Trump is mostly about T’s campaign comments about getting along with Russia being a “good thing.” With “getting along,” Deep State and the M.I.C would lose their main bugbear, and raison d’etre.

    Americans have very little sense of history–their own or others! I grew up thinking we were a democracy, but I haven’t thought so for about 1/2 a century. Stone is a hero because he has done so much to “fill in the gaps”–enlightening, like Howard Zinn used to do, confronting, challenging, and, because he is an “artist” (and a “moral artist” at that!), revealing us to ourselves.

    Much thanks, of course, to Robert Parry and the Greanville Post for bringing it all together here!

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