It’s been a rough year for the New York Daily News. The man the paper mercilessly mocked on its front page is now officially President-elect; many of the staffers who helped with the mocking are gone via layoff or buyout; and a Pravda columnist is today wondering if one of the paper’s columnists ‘really thinks his readers are that stupid [that] they believe the crap he writes?’
The Pravda takedown, written by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, is long and scathing. The journalist, who oversees the Portuguese version of Pravda, takes great issue with this week’s Daily News opinion piece by Gersh Kuntzman suggesting that the Russian ambassador assassinated Dec. 19 in Ankara,Turkey had it coming:
For a start, how dare Kuntzman insinuate that a murder is deserved, then how dare he compare Russia to Nazi Germany. I suppose for Kuntzman and the rag he writes for, the twenty-six million souls that the USSR lost fighting against Nazi Germany freeing the world of and protecting the world from fascism does not count. By his own token, if Kuntzman was gunned down tomorrow by someone who had lost a relative in an attack by a U.S. war plane, his own newspaper could write a piece saying the killing was justified because the USA has perpetrated war crimes across the globe. That wiped the smile off his snout, did it not?
Bancroft-Hinchey goes on to challenge Kuntzman to prove Putin’s war crimes in Syria and suggests his fellow columnist needs to apologize to the Russian leader. At one point, Bancroft-Hinchey reels off three extended paragraphs of questions for Kuntzman, the Daily News and the paper’s readers. Here’s just part of one of the paragraphs:
Did Vladimir Putin or Russia carry out a twin atomic terrorist attack against Japan? After the Japanese had offered the same terms of surrender which were then approved days after Nagasaki? Did Vladimir Putin or Russia carry out massacres in Vietnam? Did Vladimir Putin or Russia strafe kids with napalm? Did Vladimir Putin or Russia invade dozens of states and drop hundreds of thousands of bombs on people? Did Vladimir Putin cavort with Albanian terrorists perpetrating massacres against Serbian civilians and security forces in Kosovo? Did Vladimir Putin invade Iraq illegally, committing breaches of the Geneva Conventions?
Also taking issue with Kuntzman’s reporting: Bryan MacDonald, an Irish journalist based in Russia. His take in Zimbabwe’s The Herald is a bit more measured:
While Kuntzman might be entitled to a small dose of forgiveness because Russia is not his regular beat, and he’s probably swallowed an immense amount of “fake news” and propaganda about the country, [Brian] Whitmore has no such leeway. A guy who worked in Moscow ought to know better. And Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which employs him, needs to take a long hard look at his status.