New York Times media reporter Ben Smith has the intensely interesting story “How Investigative Journalism Flourished in Hostile Russia.” The crazy brave dissident Alexei Navalny turns up in Smith’s bullet points:
Mr. Navalny’s foundation flew drones over Mr. Putin’s palace, a vast estate on the Black Sea that Mr. Navalny labeled “the World’s Biggest Bribe” in a scathing, mocking nearly two-hour video he released on his return to Russia last month. The video has been viewed more than 100 million times on YouTube.
There’s a tendency in parts of the American media right now to reflexively decry the rise of alternative voices and open platforms on social media, seeing them solely as vectors for misinformation or tools of Donald J. Trump. Russia is a potent reminder of the other side of that story, the power of these new platforms to challenge one of the world’s most corrupt governments. That’s why, for instance, Mr. Navalny was a vocal critic of Twitter’s decision to ban Mr. Trump, calling it an “unacceptable act of censorship.”
It figures that Navalny has been CANCELED by Amnesty International, as Tom Goodenough puts it in his Spectator column. (The Spectator has made Goodenough’s column accessible for us this morning.) The editors of Spiked have declared “Amnesty International: useful idiots for censorship.” Subhead: “It has revoked Alexei Navalny’s status as a ‘prisoner of conscience,’ accusing him of ‘hate speech.’”
Below is the Navalny video that has racked up more than 100 million views. It is hilariously derisive toward Putin. The production values are excellent. Although it is not easy to keep up with them, it has English subtitles. Watching the video, I thought, Mister we could use a man like Alexei Navalny right here right now to do Joe Biden.