Time, Richard Stengel, and Time for Better Russia Messaging

Time's Richard StengelIt’s interesting to take note of a nearly unanimous vote by the U.S. Senate 8(90-8) to confirm former Time magazine managing editor Richard Stengel as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Wondering which direction American foreign propaganda may be headed, as a progressive I hold out hope. However, if Time’s recent “exclusive” report on a gay bar in Sochi is evidence, Americans can expect to join a rainbow parade or else, just like Russia.

As an editor, but more importantly someone who’s been interested in at least a semblance of fair play and truth, the lead up to Russia’s Sochi Olympics, and the ongoing and relentless mud slinging is far from any sort of sportsmanlike conduct. And, based on what I read in the comments of various media, most Americans are as opposed to Sochi bashing now, as they were to the idea of invading Syria. The two political and strategic movements (Sochi and Syria) being literally one-and-the-same – as US politicians beat the Syria intervention drums until finally Vladimir Putin made idiots of them. Remember?

If you can recall just how determined the US leadership was to intervene, to dive headlong into yet another civil squabble at the behest of Israel (when all was said and done), then watching Time’s boss climb the propaganda ladder, into vested interest driver’s seat, Stengel however, may fit the new position better from a logical perspective, having been so involved with Nelson Mandela on the one hand, and as an athlete on the other.  A basketball player at Princeton during one of their bets b-ball stints, no doubt Richard was indocrinated in sporting a sporting attitude. So, maybe he wont be so inclined to beat the war drums, make more friction, and lend his advice to begin so Russophobic. But then, secretaries do do what they are told. Where your American dream of peace and thriving societies are concerned. let’s hope President Obama’s attitude toward Russia at least, is altered some.

To that note, this announcement comes, interestingly, as Russia’s iron fisted reputation is being garnished with a snowdrift of American medals at Sochi, by fantastic performances, glorious Olympic venues, and the good sports that Americans and all true Olympians are. If you watch BBC coverage of Sochi, you cannot help but take note. As for Putin, even under the onslaught of the most massive smear campaign in modern history, the man just seems to never lose, least of all, his composure. Like, love, hate or deplore Putin and Russia (which are actually one and the same thing) Sochi has so far exceeded all expectations.

Success so far, and not just because terror nor gay beatings in the street did not take place. Time? You let us all down with a report tilted so far away from understanding. I see some success for Putin’s Russia in that mainstream America and the world is not really so far off his mark of conservative values, at least where bias concern toward kids is concerned. And too, overdoing a smear campaign always brings out the silent majority.

Considering all this, instead of a Vladimir Putin homophobic over gay athletes headed to Russia, why not consider and respect a more congenial and fatherly plea:

“Just leave the children alone, please.” – Russian President Vladimir Putin

After all, do we so readily condone selling anything to children. much less so preconditioning toward sex and sexual preference. Watch this video of Putin, and take note of his humility and tenderness toward not only his own stars, but ours as well. I say it’s Time for some understanding and compromise Time.

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