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Medvedev as the Friendly TV Salesman

Giles Whittell at the Times says “Dmitri Medvedev is no stooge, as everyone seems to think.” Is that really what everyone thinks? Not from what I have been reading. I’ve always had the impression that Medvedev has a very positive, well guarded, and expertly crafted public reputation, even among the normally hostile Western press. I don’t think that anyone reading all the positive news coverage following his political debut, as it were, way back when during the World Economic Forum at Davos, would ever think him to be just a “stooge.” Take a look at Medvedev’s terrific English skills, which most certainly aren’t shown on Russian TV. The most typical descriptions I recall reading in the popular press include words like “soft-spoken”, “intelligent”, “polite”, “deferential”, “modest” – and plenty of other disarming qualities that seem sure to please even the coldest critics. But perhaps Giles Whittell is just putting forth this false negative as a rhetorical device to deliver one of the better lines I’ve seen during this dead news week: “Dmitri Medvedev looks like someone who might sell you a flat-screen TV in John Lewis.” That’s about the most interesting contribution from the article…