When Bush confronted his Russian counterpart about the freedom of the press in Russia, Putin shot back with an attack of his own: "We didn't criticize you when you fired those reporters at CBS."
It's not clear how well Putin understands the controversy that led to the dismissal of four CBS journalists over the discredited report on Bush's National Guard service. Yet it's all too clear how Putin sees the relationship between Bush and the American media—just like his own.
and from Time
But when Bush talked about the Kremlin's crackdown on the media and explained that democracies require a free press, the Russian leader gave a rebuttal that left the President [perplexed]. If the press was so free in the U.S., Putin asked, then why had those reporters at CBS lost their jobs? Bush was openmouthed. "Putin thought we'd fired Dan Rather," says a senior Administration official. "It was like something out of 1984."
The Russians did not let the matter drop. Later, during the leaders' joint press conference, one of the questioners Putin called on asked Bush about the very same firings, a coincidence the White House assumed had been orchestrated.
First of all, I substituted "perplexed" for "nonplussed" because the word "nonplussed" sucks. Second of all, the movie 1984 was about a future where love is outlawed... so... What the hell kind of quote is that?
...I think they're just fucking with people at over at Time.
Anyway, both articles take the view that the Russians are confused about how things work in America. Whereas I think they've got a pretty good handle on what's been going on since bush came to power. Free speech doesn't exist for liberals in this country.
Lets face it. The RNC forced CBS to fire Dan Rather. It's as simple as that. Falsified documents were just the excuse, and lets be clear there too. CBS still cannot determine if those documents are fakes.
So maybe it's a matter of degrees. Our government won't drag you into street at gun point for something you've said. We've become to civilized for that.
...but feel free to ask Phil Donahue, Bill Maher, Dan Rather, Danny Glover, The Dixie Chicks, Linda Ronstadt, or Ward Churchill if speech in America is free. Feel free to ask Joe Wilson. Feel free to ask Valerie Plame.