HomeArticleDon’t Laugh : It’s Giving Putin What He Wants

Don’t Laugh : It’s Giving Putin What He Wants

The BBC has published an article titled “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon” about the Kremlin’s latest addition to its horrifying deadly hybrid warfare arsenal: comedy.

The article is authored by Olga Robinson, whom the BBC, unhindered by any trace of self-awareness, has titled “Senior Journalist (Disinformation)”. Robinson demonstrates the qualifications and acumen which earned her that title by warning the BBC’s audience that the Kremlin has been using humor to dismiss and ridicule accusations that have been leveled against it by western governments, a “form of trolling” that she reports is designed to “deliberately lower the level of discussion”.

“Russia’s move towards using humour to influence its campaigns is a relatively recent phenomenon,” Robinson explains, without speculating as to why Russians might have suddenly begun laughing at their western accusers. She gives no consideration to the possibility that the tightly knit alliance of western nations who suddenly began hysterically shrieking about Russia two years ago have simply gotten much more ridiculous and easier to make fun of during that time.

Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the emergence of a demented media environment wherein everything around the world from French protests to American culture wars to British discontent with the European Union gets blamed on Russia without any facts or evidence. Wherein BBC reporters now correct guests and caution them against voicing skepticism of anti-Russia narratives because the UK is in “an information war” with that nation. Wherein the same cable news Russiagate pundit can claim that both Rex Tillerson’s hiring and his later firing were the result of a Russian conspiracy to benefit the Kremlin. Wherein mainstream outlets can circulate blatantly false information about Julian Assange and unnamed “Russians” and then blame the falseness of that reporting on Russian disinformation. Wherein Pokemon Go, cutesy Facebook memes and $4,700 in Google ads are sincerely cited as methods by which Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion presidential campaign was outdone. Wherein conspiracy theories that Putin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government have been blaring on mainstream headline news for two years with absolutely nothing to show for it to this day.

Nope, the only possibility is that the Kremlin suddenly figured out that humor is a thing.

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself. The hypocrisy is so cartoonish, the emotions are so breathlessly over-the-top, the stories so riddled with plot holes and the agendas underlying them so glaringly obvious that they translate very easily into laughs. I myself recently authored a satire piece that a lot of people loved and which got picked up by numerous alternative media outlets, and all I did was write down all the various escalations this administration has made against Russia as though they were commands being given to Trump by Putin. It was extremely easy to write, and it was pretty damn funny if I do say so myself. And it didn’t take any Kremlin rubles or dezinformatsiya from St Petersburg to figure out how to write it.

“Ben Nimmo, an Atlantic Council researcher on Russian disinformation, told the BBC that attempts to create funny memes were part of the strategy as ‘disinformation for the information age’,” the article warns. Nimmo, ironically, is himself intimately involved with the British domestic disinformation firm Integrity Initiative, whose shady government-sponsored psyops against the Labour Party have sparked a national scandal that is likely far from reaching peak intensity.

“Most comedy programmes on Russian state television these days are anodyne affairs which either do not touch on political topics, or direct humour at the Kremlin’s perceived enemies abroad,” Robinson writes, which I found funny since I’d just recently read an excellent essay by Michael Tracey titled “Why has late night swapped laughs for lusting after Mueller?”

“If the late night ‘comedy’ of the Trump era has something resembling a ‘message,’ it’s that large segments of the nation’s liberal TV viewership are nervously tracking every Russia development with a passion that cannot be conducive to mental health – or for that matter, political efficacy,” Tracey writes, documenting numerous examples of the ways late night comedy now has audiences cheering for a US intelligence insider and Bush appointee instead of challenging power-serving media orthodoxies as programs like The Daily Show once did.

If you wanted the opposite of “anodyne affairs”, it would be comedians ridiculing the way all the establishment talking heads are manipulating their audiences into supporting the US intelligence community and FBI insiders. It would be excoriating the media environment in which unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are subject to less scrutiny and criticism than a man trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies. It certainly wouldn’t be the cast of Saturday Night Live singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to a framed portrait of Robert Mueller wearing a Santa hat. It doesn’t get much more anodyne than that.

Russia makes fun of western establishment narratives about it because those narratives are so incredibly easy to make fun of that they are essentially asking for it, and the nerdy way empire loyalists are suddenly crying victim about it is itself more comedy. When Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr began insinuating that RT covering standard newsworthy people like Julian Assange and Nigel Farage was a conspiracy to “boost” those people for the advancement of Russian agendas instead of a news outlet doing the thing that news reporting is, RT rightly made fun of her for it. Cadwalladr reacted to RT’s mockery with a claim that she was a victim of “attacks”, instead of the recipient of perfectly justified ridicule for circulating an intensely moronic conspiracy theory.

Ah well. People are nuts and we’re hurtling toward a direct confrontation with a nuclear superpower. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh. As Wavy Gravy said, “Keep your sense of humor, my friend; if you don’t have a sense of humor it just isn’t funny anymore.”


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Latest comments

  • Even more disturbing: Russia has now weaponized telling the truth!

  • @ Caitlin
    Clearly you have fallen for this subtle Russian disinformation. It is being directed by a brilliant young Russian officer–Lieutenant Kizhe (Пору́чик Киже́)–though I believe he has been promoted for his deserving work. Some brave Russian dissidents have leaked some background information on him. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieutenant_Kij%C3%A9 for some information on him.

    BTW, Putin has a good if rather dry sense of humour but he can be quite funny from what I have seen.

  • Sorry, this is a late post but very worth of a quick view if interested in censorship by Google.

    “Of the 13 web sites on the list, the World Socialist Web Site has been the most heavily affected. Its traffic from Google searches has fallen by two thirds.”

    “The new statistics demonstrate that the WSWS is a central TARGET of Google’s censorship campaign”


  • My support goes with Russia!
    I do NOT support Yankee scum bags, nor their supporters. That includes the corrupt criminal Australian government, ALL of them are arrogant deceitful traitors!

  • “US Demands Europe to Join Its War Against Russia”


  • I’m not the one without a sense of humor. It’s all the real-life people who actually believe al the ‘Russia did it’ nonsense. Mostly people who claim to be liberal, but respond to queries in Establishment Democrat talking points.

  • I don’t know why anyone even watches tv or news shows anymore. I guess they are hoping for directions in a directionless reality.

    • Addiction. Thoughtlessness. Caring is knowing. Not caring is what those who know only what corporate owned media cranks out.

  • The insanity of empire globalism charges on through the looking glass.

  • Julian Assange spilt the beans on this long ago: “Russian actions on its own doorstep in Eastern Europe do not in fact threaten the United States or any actual vital interest. Nor does Moscow threaten the U.S. through its intervention on behalf of the Syrian government in the Middle East. That Russia is described incessantly as a threat in those areas is largely a contrivance arranged by the media, the Democratic and Republican National Committees and by the White House…

    There is, however, another country that has interfered in U.S. elections, has endangered Americans living or working overseas and has corrupted America’s legislative and executive branches. It has exploited that corruption to initiate legislation favorable to itself, has promoted unnecessary and unwinnable wars and has stolen American technology and military secrets. Its ready access to the mainstream media to spread its own propaganda provides it with cover for its actions and it accomplishes all that and more through the agency of a powerful and well-funded domestic lobby that oddly is not subject to the accountability afforded by the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) of 1938 even though it manifestly works on behalf of a foreign government. That country is, of course, Israel.” https://www.awdnews.com/society/assange-forget-russia,the-real-threat-to-america-comes-from-israel-and-the-israel-lobby

    That the real threat to America is not even allowed to be discussed in either the mainstream liberal or the alt right media tells you everything you need to know about the amazing power of one particular unelected and unaccountable lobby in the U.S.

    • Correct about Israeli influence in the US but I would also add UK and Saudi Arabia. How can the US be a sovereign state whose foreign policy is under the control of three vermin? What is the point of voting in the US since the result is always the same: nothing in US demented foreign policy changes.

    • Dr Freeman, good take.

  • I think that it is EXTREMELY important to carefully keep in mind the legal underpinnings and ther official, stated purpose of the full-blown, on-going economic experiment in which we now live. The western MSM is a vital tool in maintaining the experiment.

    Fortunately, for most incredibly long, jargon-filled legislation, the first parts of those “acts” are amazingly simple, so here we go with the simple part, with my capitalization of the words that I think are important.

    First a link to “TARP”: h………ttps://www.congress.gov/110/plaws/publ343/PLAW-110publ343.pdf


    “An Act

    To provide authority for the Federal Government to purchase and insure certain types of troubled assets for the purposes of providing stability to and preventing disruption in the economy and financial system and protecting taxpayers, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, to provide individual income tax relief, and for other purposes.”

    122 STAT. 3766
    PUBLIC LAW 110–343—OCT. 3, 2008


    The purposes of this Act are—
    (1) to immediately provide authority and facilities that
    the SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY can use TO RESOTRE LIQUIDITY AND STABILITY to the financial system of the United States; and
    (2) to ensure that such authority and such facilities are
    used in a manner that—

    I find several details in the above abstract of our unprecedented, on-going experiment quite interesting.

    First and foremost, what exactly IS “the economy and financial system”? Shouldn’t “we, the people” know WHAT “the secretary of the treasury” is about to prevent from becoming, presumably, unstable?

    Luckily, we have the wonderful internet to help us figure out what was being “stabilized” (AKA “bailed out” or “rescued”). Just go back in time and listen to the wonderful on-camera words of W the Great and, more importantly, off-camera — “if money isn’t loosened up, this sucker could go down.” (What does “loosened up” mean, George — printed out of thin air?)

    What “sucker” was the Great Bush talking about? Again, just exactly WHAT WAS the economic and “financial system” that was becoming destabilized had, therefore, had to be “stabilized” (“subsidized” would have been much more accurate) at a cost to future taxpayers of at the very least $700 billion dollars (which turned out to be several trillion “dollars”, and counting)?

    I have the answer.

    What was being stabilized/bailed-out/ rescued was an economic system in which the vast majority of wealth and capital equipment is owned or controlled by a microscopic percentage of the population for their own astronimical profit. That microscopic percentage was about to take an astronomical LOSS on much of their investments and their political slaves had to do “whatever it took” to prevent that from happening. Of course Bush (as well as the teleprompter-virtuoso that marched exactly in his footsteps to finally sink the Elite’s bi-partisan putt in the empty holes in the heads in Congress) could not state that poltically-unpalatable truth — essentially, that future taxpayers had to be literally robbed blind to keep the Elite the Elite.

    Second, notice the goals mentioned in 2 A, B, C and D. Which of those goals do you think have been met since TARP became the law of the world? In particular, does anyone think that section 2D — “provides public accountability for the exercise of such authority” — is being met? Is this “accountability” (whatever the hell that means) being kept a big secret for our own good and, if so, why? Can’t we handle the truth, or might the public knowing the truth bring this experimental sucker down?

    NON-US citizens should take particular note of 2 C — “maximizes overall ‘returns’ to the taxpayers of the United States”. Sounds an awful lot like “America First” to me. Any of you “foreigners” have any objection to that wording? To wit, we have Section 112:


    The Secretary shall coordinate, as appropriate, with foreign financial authorities and central banks TO WORK TOWARD THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SIMILAR PROGRAMS BY SUCH AUTHORITIES AND CENTRAL BANKS. To the extent that such foreign financial authorities or banks hold troubled assets as a result of extending financing to financial institutions that have failed or defaulted on such financing, such troubled assets qualify for purchase under section 101.”

    Just exactly how much of this unprecedented, completely-experimental “coordination” between “foreign financial authorities and central banks” is taking place this very day? What exactly IS a “financial authority”?

    Yes, folks, we now live in a truly experimental economic/financial/POLITICAL system. Unfortunately, it is one that also requires 2B — presumably perpetual “economic growth” — AND, never-mentioned-anywhere, perpetual war. Very unfortunately for all human beings, we live on a planet that ALREADY has 7.5 BILLION people and SEVERAL (and increasing) highly industrialized, nuclear-powered nations. Humanity will not be able to keep on future-taxpayer-funded life-support a “system” in which a microscopic percentage of the population owns the vast majority of wealth and capital equipment that will, by its fatally-flawed design, REQUIRE perpetual growth in the human population as well as perpetual war which will certainly become waged with nuclear weapons.

  • I love watching the narrative lose control. It’s hilarious watching them struggle through this one trick pony act. The truth is funny, my dad always said.

  • Caitlin, both you & your hubby are manna from heaven. Your posts are magnificent! Keep them coming!

  • The line between satire and reality no longer exists in the West. The easiest job in the world right now is being a writer for The Onion. Simply cut and paste virtually any news report.

  • As a Russian speaker I watched an episode of that “humor” by “KVN” (mentioned in the article) – a show I’ve watched since the 90s at least (it was always packed with political humor):
    Here is a show with Putin attending as part of the audience (mentioned in the BBC article / photo): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehAu7NRmcuA
    This show was very much satirical of Putin having too much power.
    If you don’t speak Russian, just watch the minute 2:30 and up – where the “prime minister of Russia” gives up the leading seat on a bicycle to “Putin”. Or later on minute 4:45 where “Putin” says “We’d do anything for this comedy show”, and then the actors ask about including the comedy show into the public school program. The “Prime Minister (Medvedev)” says “Of course” and calls a number to make it happen, and there is no response…

    There are multiple ways in this KVN show episode (probably the most popular comedy TV show in the former Soviet Union) where they criticized Putin for being a dictator (and made it funny, of course).

    It seems that Putin does not mind the jokes, and is certainly not instilling much censorship over humor!

    • A wise ruler welcomes humorous criticism from any source. Far better to notice people smiling at one’s inconsistency or dishonesty than to repress criticism and wait until it comes to outright violence.

  • Thanks Caitlin, right on target as usual.
    Integrity Initiative bought the Guardian just after the editor disgraced himself in public by smashing the discs and records of all their journalist info. They had just published Edward Snowden and the UK MI6 was fuming. That is the only explanation I have for the miraculous plunge in its integrity and its current lap dog performance.

    Integrity Initiative is looking a lot like used toilet paper these days.

    Will someone please publish the names of the Guardian Trust.

  • The Day After Nuclear Weapons Drop movie
    Nuclear Weapons are a very Bad Idea for all life

  • Watched the video…how is it that EVERY commentator, no matter which “news” agency they serve suddenly comes up with the same descriptor, in this case “Bombshell”??? Oh – speaking of which, Vlad (The Impaler) rasPutin is preparing to release yet another horrific weapon against an unsuspecting, innocent, and totally unprepared America.
    Dear people, please brace yourselves for a nightmarish photograph: The Russian Bombshell.

  • The only person who deserves to be laughed at more (a lot more) is that asshole Trump.

  • Do readers and viewers of the BBC actually believe the bullshit that the BBC now markets? I don’t know, but I hope not.
    Of course the BBC publishes “truth” occasionally — solar and lunar eclipse predictions, tomorrow’s snow storm, number of votes in the Parliament, etc., but absolutely anything it publishes with respect to Russia or, for that matter, just about anything “political” must be taken with a huge grain of salt. Most of the time Russian articles report the exact opposite of reality.
    In the long run, the BBC, NTY, Guardian, WaPo, Globe and Mail, Global News, etc. are committing slow suicide. However, the govenemnts in the UK, US and Canada will keep them on life support with “anti-propaganda” bail outs. Those govenments now regard these propaganda outlets as TBTF.
    What amazes me is how the western MSM of today have become like the Russian news sites of the cold war when it comes to reporting the truth. And it’s getting worse by the day!

  • Always, look at the accusations…they tell so much about the accuser. If ever you wanted a flow chart of how Deep State propagandists work, you need only look at what they accuse Russia of doing. Mocking detractors…add that to the playbook, along with “sowing discord”, weaponizing children’s games like Pokemon Go, or something so innocent as a Facebook puppy page. These have all been accusations against the evil propagandists of Russia. Only people who do these things could think of these things.

  • If Putin frowned a lot it would be a Kremlin psyop. TPTB are showing just how evil and nuts they are.

    Highly recommend spending 3 minutes watching the IMPEACHED?! video Caitlin has included in this article. Talk about all MSM being on the same page! Hilarious and SO revealing.

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