Irresponsible Putin Rumors
by Stephen Lendman
Putin's public absence in recent days has rumor-mongers going wild. He's ill, say some.
Sensationalist reports suggest a coup not yet revealed. Chances for one are virtually nil.
His 88% approval rating makes him near-invulnerable. Who'd be fool enough to try unseating an icon?
Anyone trying would face a tsunami of popular wrath - maybe a public lynching.
Rumors at times have a way of surfacing when there's nothing better to report.
In Putin's case, media scoundrels seek every opportunity to bash, discredit, criticize or tarnish him with a broad brush.
The New York Times
is no more reputable than Fox News. On March 13, it irresponsibly said "Putin has vanished."
"He abruptly cancelled a trip to Kazakhstan and postponed a treaty signing with representatives from South Ossetia…"
Instead of explaining these things happen all the time, The Times joined the rumor-mongering crowd it said "went into overdrive churning out" all sorts of explanations.
Maybe he's ill with a "devastating" flu strain, it said. Or "(h)e sneaked off" to be with his longtime friend Alina Kabayeva on the birth of her child.
The Times referred to Putin's "love child." Or maybe "(h)e had a stroke. The victim of a palace coup, he was imprisoned within the Kremlin."
"He was dead, age 62." You can't make this stuff up. Putin bashing persists daily - anything to mock a respected leader.
On Thursday, his press secretary Dmitry Peskov dismissed ill-founded rumors. He attributed them to "spring madness."
"No need to worry," he said. "Everything is all right. He has working meetings all the time, only not all of these meetings are public."
He's "absolutely healthy. (H)is handskake is so strong he breaks hands with it."
"As soon as the sun appears in spring, when the smell of spring is in the air, some people suffer from crises."
"Some have hallucinations about the government dissolution (when) some cannot see Putin on television for several days."
"We have a calm attitude to such crises and keep answering all questions in a patient manner."
Current rumors are similar to November 2012 when media reports suggested Putin's deteriorating health.
They were baseless then. They appear no more credible now. In December 2012, Putin addressed false rumors during a press conference.
He said political opponents circulated false reports about his health to discredit his ability to govern.
Something similar is likely now ongoing. Putin will appear in public when it's appropriate to do so.
An unconfirmed Sunday Dozhd news outlet report suggested he's at his Novgorod province Lake Valdai residence.
If so, maybe he just wanted to get away for a few days - while at the same time conducting important business away from Moscow.
US presidents do it all the time. So do other world leaders. George Bush spent about as much time in Texas as Washington.
On Friday, Kremlin sources said Putin has a scheduled Monday, March 16 meeting with Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atamayev in St. Petersburg.
Putin watchers will be on high alert. It bears repeating. His absence from public view doesn't warrant rumor-mongering headlines.
If it was almost anyone but Putin, they'd be none. Whatever he does or doesn't do draws criticism.
Media scoundrels take every opportunity to whack him every way they can. Another reason to avoid them altogether.
A Final Comment
published what it called "5 most ridiculous theories about the whereabouts of Vladimir Putin:"
"He has cancer, no, he hurt his back, no, no, I know, he had a stroke (the flu maybe?)."
"He is witnessing the birth of his love child."
"He was overthrown in a coup."
"He's binge watching House of Cards."
Take your pick or make up your own rumors.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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