The Russians Flip Barack Obama the Bird

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 27th, 2011

Week in Review

When it comes to insulting world leaders what’s worse?  Someone throwing a shoe at George W. Bush?  Or this (see News woman shows her middle finger to President Obama on live TV posted 11/23/2011 on Your Jewish News)?

In the footage, Tatyana Limanova, an award-winning senior newsreader at the channel, can be seen briskly reading out an item about how Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has just assumed the rotating chairmanship of the Asia Pacific Cooperation organisation.

She is then heard to say that the post “has (previously) been held by Barack Obama” before mechanically and unambiguously raising her left arm and showing the camera her raised middle finger in an offensive gesture that is sometimes known as “flipping the bird.”

The channel, which goes out to 120 million people across Russia, has declined to comment. But sources close to it have tried to defuse the row by claiming that the newsreader had believed she was off camera at the time and merely providing a voice-over for a report. According to the same storyline, the rude gesture was intended for studio technicians who had been trying to put her off her stride.

REN TV has traditionally been perceived as a more liberal channel in a country where TV content is tightly controlled by the state. But it is now controlled by structures owned by a close ally of Vladimir Putin, the prime minister, and has been criticised for allegedly becoming more slavish to the Kremlin.

The scandal comes at a time when US-Russia relations appear to be getting worse after President Obama’s much-heralded attempt to “reset” them.

So much for that “reset.”  She, Putin and Russia made it perfectly clear what they think of President Barack Obama.  Which is probably worse than some lone shoe-thrower throwing a shoe at George W. Bush.  Because this ‘finger’ appears to have the full weight of the state behind it.

Perhaps the next President can ask George W. Bush to go to Russia to fix US-Russian relations.  If he only gets another shoe thrown at him at least it will show a warming trend in US-Russian relations.  Anything would be better than getting the full weight and force of the bird being thrown our way.

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