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A pretty good article, too:


Raucous Russian Paper Closes Amid Kremlin Scrutiny
Expat's Exile Falls As Investors Retreat; Ribald Pranksters

MOSCOW -- An English-language newspaper in Moscow famed for lampooning Russian and Western officialdom has shut down after it fell under the scrutiny of the government for its raucous content.

(...)

It made a name for itself by celebrating the tumult and chaos of Moscow in an era of post-Soviet penury. Its readers were mainly Western businessmen looking for advice on where to find entertainment. The paper's club reviews advised which bars were frequented by violent thugs and which were popular with adventurous Russian women.

But the paper also sparked lively political debate among Russia experts in the West. An early contributor was Eduard Limonov, a radical counter-culture writer whose banned National Bolshevik Party has coalesced into a small but determined Kremlin opponent. His screeds -- complete with spelling and grammatical errors -- appeared twice a month.

The Exile assailed Western academics and journalists, whom it accused in the 1990s of understating the misery caused by the free-market reforms of President Boris Yeltsin. The paper's ribald and sometimes vicious pranks earned it enemies. Mr. Ames and another editor threw a pie made with horse semen into the face of one foreign correspondent for writing what they called a too-rosy account of Russia's transition to capitalism. The paper's articles were soon excluded from a popular Internet-based reading list used by foreign journalists.

That would be Johnson's Russia List. It was lively for a while when the exile's articles blasting the readers of (and contributors to) the list were included in the contents...


Kostantin Bukaryov, one of the founding investors of the Exile, said that profit had gradually declined since the late 1990s, largely because the foreign business community had shrunken in importance. "Before, a lot of the club owners in Russia were foreigners, as well as a large number of the patrons," Mr. Bukaryov said. "Now it's mostly Russians." The paper's financial problems saw Mr. Ames begin working in his spare time for Russian television, and a series of his travel programs appeared on the Kremlin's English-language propaganda channel, Russia Today.

This suggests that the exile may simply have closed down because it was no longer really profitable, and turned a small inspection into a big censorship deal. How lame.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 05:22:04 AM EST
I was actually going to post that and give them kudos for some of the more objective reporting on this, despite myself.  Until I got to the last bit that used the closing of the paper that reported the Putin affair story as evidence of censorship.  The paper which is re-opening and (curiously enough) cited economic hardships for closing, hardships exacerbated by the inquiry.  Sound familiar?  lol.

But thanks for posting the WSJ article.

And yeah - quite lame indeed to blame the eXile's problems on censorship.  Though I don't doubt the power of fear...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 10:59:25 AM EST
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