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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Annals of Screwball Yuri Mamchur: The Lies from Russia Blog just keep Coming, Part II

You may recall that some time ago LR called Russia Blog on the carpet for falsely claiming that Russia had a nominee for best foreign film at this year's Academy Award ceremonies. In fact, it didn't. It nominated a film for a nomination, and it's nominated film was rejected for that quasi-honor.

Now it turns out that Russia Blog attempted to tell this lie to a movie critic for a Seattle alternative newspaper,The Stranger and simultaneously attempted to get the paper to (a) publicize (for free) Russia Blog's possibly unlicensed screening of the film to generate money and (b) run Russia Blog's own review of the film after it screened. Here's what The Stranger's film critic said about the effort:

OK, I have no idea what's going on here. A guy with a Yahoo email address wrote me to say he worked with "a Russia-focused organization" and asked whether I could list a screening of an Oscar-nominated film. Uh, no problem. But then he wanted me to run his review of the film. What?! Oh, and then he told me the film was nominated for a 2007 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film; even operating under the charitable assumption that he meant the 79th Academy Awards (the 2007 nominations won't come out until next year), 9th Company was not in fact nominated, in that or any other category. (It was, however, Russia's submission to the Academy.) The "Russia-focused organization" that this liar works for is an arm of the Discovery Institute (best known for pushing intelligent design and bus rapid transit). The movie, which Variety called "finely made propaganda," is about the Soviet Union's "victorious" war with Afghanistan. I don't have a clue what the Discovery Institute dude means to accomplish by dissembling so blatantly, but I will say that this screening (of an apparently entertaining movie) is a sweet opportunity to get a peek inside the DI's downtown HQ.
So Russia Blog not only repeated its ridiculous lie about 9th Company for self-serving reasons, and not only sought to infiltrate The Stranger with its own crazy "review" of the film, but it revealed that it doesn't even know how to refer to the Academy Awards even though it deems itself fit to write reviews.

Now, Russia Blog is claiming that this statement from The Stranger was an attempt to review the film without actually having seen it, and attacking the writer as being a crazed Russophobe because she (quite rightly) criticizes the Discovery Institute and the ridiculous dishonesty that characterized its approach to her paper. It seems Russia Blog is suffering from dementia: Anyone can see that the above isn't an attempt to review the film, it's an attempt to review Russia Blog's outrageous conduct (in addition to lying about the film's Oscar status, when they first approached the paper, Russia Blog referred to themselves as "a Russia-focused organization" rather than saying who they actually are (are they ashamed?). The Stranger merely refers to a review by Variety which called the film propanganda (how fitting, then, that Russia Blog is so interested in it).

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