'New Yorker' Editor Compares Vladimir Putin to Glenn Beck on 'Andrea Mitchell'

MSNBC is nothing if not consistent. On the July 23 edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports, the NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent invited David Remnick of The New Yorker on to discuss Putin and his propaganda machine.

Much to Mitchell’s delight, the Pulitzer prize winning journalist did so by comparing ruthless authoritarian Vladimir Putin to none other than the popular conservative radio host Glenn Beck. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]

In order for Americans “to imagine what an all-embracing ramification” a state-controlled media is, Remnick told Mitchell to “imagine a certain kind of president appointing Glenn Beck to every -- every network and every television channel that anybody possibly would watch” The author of The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama was sure to note that in his hypothetical scenario, the conservative would be “putting out a kind of a paranoia propaganda line that is repeated every night.”

“If you were to watch Russian television tonight,” Remnick continued, “you would be hearing all kinds of things that you and I consider crazy. But this is the mental universe that is being created by an all-embracing Putinism.”

Suffice it to say, for her part, Mitchell failed to challenge or chide Remnick for comparing the libertarian-conservative Beck to an authoritarian ex-KGB officer who invaded a sovereign neighboring country and is financially and materially supported the Ukrainian rebels who most likely shot down a civilian jetliner last week.

Remnick used the same material the night before on Late Night With Seth Meyers, although in that scenario, Beck was “appointed by George Bush” to control the media.

See transcript below:

MSNBC
Andrea Mitchell Reports
July 23, 2014
12:47 p.m. Eastern
2 minutes and 34 seconds


DAVID REMNICK: Well, any number of cases can be reopened, having to do with murder journalists, any number of things. This is just one fragment, one piece in a larger picture of what I hope -- what I hope, is not going to become a Cold War 2.0. I really, we should remember when the rhetoric comes from John McCain or Lindsey Graham that this is a new Cold War, we should remember what the Cold War was, with proxy wars all over the globe that went on for half a century. We hope that this is an ugly chapter in a drama, a post-soviet drama that will ratchet down. But it's up to Vladimir Putin to calm it down. You mentioned the media. I think it's hard for an American to imagine what an all-embracing ramification this is.

ANDREA MITCHELL: It's the big lie.

REMNICK: Imagine a certain kind of president appointing Glenn Beck to every -- every network and every television channel that anybody possibly would watch, and putting out a kind of a paranoia propaganda line that is repeated every night. If you were to watch Russian television tonight, the main television stations, you would hearing that the Ukrainians, in conjunction with the United States, is responsible, quite possibly, for shooting down that airliner. You would be hearing all kinds of things that you and I consider crazy. But this is the mental universe that is being created by an all-embracing Putinism.

MITCHELL: David Remnick from The New Yorker thank you very much. Great to be with you.
 

Laura Flint
Laura Flint is a 2014 summer intern for the MRC's News Analysis Division.