On the Hits and Misses of Oliver Stone's recent Showtime film that compiles his interviews with President Putin over a two-year period.
Dear Mr. Stone: I have just finished watching all four episodes of The Putin Interviews. May I give you my critique? Overall, I felt that the series is Very Good but felt just short of Great. I will explain below what I feel could have made it Great. First, I want to tell you what I really loved about it.
1. You have an easy style. I felt as if Mr. Putin was at ease with you, and you with him. You have a warm command of the English language and can transmit your ideas into language in a very personable way -- an art that is missing among so many American media people these days. I felt that you drew out a candid side of Putin, well, that is, as far as a man of his intellectual prowess and disciplined self-control will allow.
2. Best moment of the show: Sitting next to Vlad and watching Dr. Strangelove! Oh my goodness, most people would not even dream of adding such a thing to their bucket list.
3. I loved the walking tour of the President's offices and the general background of the Kremlin architecture and decor. I pay attention to the daily, tweeted photos from the Kremlin's official account. I have seen those desks and tables a million times in the photos. But now I have them all within a mental frame, thanks to your film. Question: I was burning to know why Vlad had a pair of scissors and multi-colored construction paper in the middle of his desk, did you happen to ask him, off-camera?
Where It Fell Short
Mr. Stone, I hated that so much time was wasted talking about the contrived "Russia hacked the election" meme. Hillary might not know why she lost the election, but the rest of the nation does. When my father would get on a roll with his bad jokes, Mom would tell us kids: "Don't encourage him." Well, you too need to stop encouraging the MSM to keep breathing life into a dead meme.
You also wasted time re-hashing Crimea. "Read My Lips," Vlad said, "the Crimeans ASKED, BEGGED, AND VOTED to rejoin Russia." Good grief, when McCain's and Nuland's beloved neo-Nazi Svoboda party took illegal control of Ukraine, their first move was to try and make it illegal to speak Russian [James: Kiev partisans will point out the law introduced almost immediately after the coup in the Verkhovna Rada failed, but the damage was done -- the coup plotters essential message to pro-Russian Donbass of 'drop dead' was received loud and clear, with the Russian spring uprising the result]. Geez, half the people in Ukraine ARE Russian! Mr. Putin has exercised considerable restraint towards Ukraine.
What I Would Have Asked Putin
Mr. Stone, I have been following the development of BRICS, the "Silk Road Project," and the EEU (European Economic Union) for a half-decade now. I can't have a conversation with my neighbors and friends about all of that here in America because not one of them has heard anything about it! You had a great opportunity to ask Mr. Putin to school us on the Sino-Russian version of a multi-polar world without war, but you totally blew it. I don't think you ever asked Vlad about China, did you?
Speaking of China, another related topic that you absolutely should have asked was the China-Russia schedule for De-Dollarization. There's something like 50,000 tonnes of gold between the two of them with statements being made all the time by both country's economic leaders about how the AIIB nations are groomed now to abandon the PetroDollar -- and yet you asked nothing! [An aside from James the Russian Analyst: Putin did brag mid-way through the first episode about Russia not only owing less than 12% of its GDP in total debt, and Moscow paying off all USSR and ex-Soviet republic debts owed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) -- including over $20 billion of the Soviet debt portion owed by Ukraine, prior to the Maidan coup and Donbass conflict began in 2014 -- JWS]
Putin even prompted you to ask him. In the scene where you saw all the newspapers and books piled up on Putin's desk, you looked directly at a book on that very subject
. The author is Nikolai Starikov and the title is "Natsionalizatsiya rublya - put k svobode Rossii" (Nationalization of the ruble - the path to freedom of Russia). The book has a bright yellow cover. Vlad had that book placed directly under your own book! And you stared directly at it BUT YOU MISSED YOUR CUE! Oh I wanted to cry; that made me hurt so much! You're killin' me, Mr. Stone, killin' me. [James: We concur with Deb that it's extremely unlikely a careful man like Putin would just happen to leave that book lying around on the table for the Showtime cameras/producers eyes without intending it as a message to Washington re: the dollar. RogueMoney readers can visit Nikolai Starikov's Russian-language website here, and read his writings translated into English at The Vineyard of the Saker]
However, in spite of the missed opportunities, I feel that the series was a success and I have already recommended the Showtime link to my friends. I might even post this message in my own blog. I really hope you get to re-visit the Kremlin for a follow-up. Or maybe Beijing, The Forbidden City? I would pay fake American monopoly money to see a walking tour of the Shanghai Gold Exchange. But let's ask some questions next time on topics that actually matter, OK?
My contact information with link to my Karatbars portal are found at my billboard page of SlayTheBankster.com. Listen to my radio show, Bee In Eden, on Youtube via my show blog at SedonaDeb.wordpress.com.