Matt Taibbi, who reports on Wall Street for the Rolling Stone, once lived in Moscow and wrote for an uninhibited English-language magazine called The eXile. A reader asked him for a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the USA and Russia, and the chart abovew is what he came up with.
He also had this to say.
Back when I lived in Russia, I knew lots of reporters who really did risk their lives and had enemies who really did violently attempt to silence them.
I had one Russian reporter friend who wrote something about a bank connected to one of Yeltsin’s advisers, and two days later a thug in a ski mask literally jumped through his bedroom window and bopped him over the head with a crowbar.
I vaguely knew people like Anna Politkovskaya and Yuri Sheckochikhin, famed reporters who were literally murdered because of their work.
Even I had to skip Moscow once, after a certain mob-connected pimp had a bit of a sense of humor failure about a thing we’d published in the eXile.
But in America, nobody needs to silence journalists, particularly if you’re talking about just one journalist, and more particularly if it’s just one print journalist.
Ignoring such people is easier and way more effective. You just let the reporter throw whatever hissy-fit he/she has decided to throw, and five seconds later the main audience will be back porn-surfing and watching football and “Wives With Knives” and so on.
The notion of the dangerous dissident who so threatens the corrupt state that he or she must be physically eliminated is unfortunately an old-fashioned fantasy that no longer fits our sophisticated dystopia. Or anyway, even if such a person did exist, it would be someone with better sources than me.