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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Update on David Johnson's Credentials

As La Russophobe's readers know, she is in the process of attempting to find out why David Johnson won't cover Russian racism on his website. When last we wrote, she had discovered that his claim of having been published in the Washington Post was somewhat misleading, a la Mike Averko, since the Post had informed her that his only contribution to that august tribunal was a letter to the editor.

La Russophobe has now heard back from Newsday, another of the claimed outlets for Johnson's wisdom. It turns out he is slightly more significant at Newsday, logical since Newsday is a significantly less significant paper. Newsday writes that like the Post it published a letter to the editor from Johnson in 1998, however nearly two decades ago, on October 29, 1986, he actually did have an op-ed piece in the paper, one called "Soviet Sphere Gets Smaller." The article was co-authored with one Stephen Goose, also of Johnson's CDI organization. The abstract on Newsday's website is:

Soviet global influence peaked in the late 1950s, when they had significant influence in 15 percent of the world's nations. Those nations accounted for 31 percent of the world's population and 9 percent of the world's gross national product. Today, the Soviet Union has significant influence in 11 percent of the world's countries, with 6 percent of the world's population and GNP. (The "loss" of China and Indonesia primarily accounts for this decrease.) In the 1980s not a single new nation has fallen under significant Soviet influence and even in those nations under Soviet sway - like Mozambique, which has increasingly turned to the West for economic assistance - there has been a general pattern of reduced Soviet influence. The impoverished condition of Soviet allies in the Third World creates opportunities for the United States to use its vastly superior economic resources to increase American influence and decrease Soviet influence. A policy of "constructive engagement," including diplomatic recognition and opening of trade, with pro-Soviet countries could work wonders.

The term "constructive engagement" sounds very similar to Martin Luther King's "white moderate" and it is perhaps not suprising that such a policy would lead to the resurgence of neo-Soviet power so soon after Ronald Reagan's "Evil Empire" confrontationalism brought the USSR crumbling down. Meanwhile, nothing on Newsday's relatively obscure pages from Johnson since then. In fact, as far as La Russophobe knows, precious little from Johnson himself appears in his own e-mail letter.

And the New York Times? It still has yet to respond to La Russophobe's inquiry, and she has written its public editor to complain about the delay. The Times has been having plenty of trouble these days: in addition to the stark humiliation of having published Mike Averko several times on its letters page, it has published Jayson Blair and Judy Miller and seen its chief editor get fired as a result, as well as both reporters. So it is perhaps not suprising that unlike the Post and Newsday the Times has yet to deliver the goods.

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