Conde Naste buried investigative piece on Putin

NPR has been so spineless recently, it’s refreshing to see something like this from them:

His investigative piece, published in the September American edition of GQ, challenges the official line on a series of bombings that killed hundreds of people in 1999 in Russia. It profiles a former KGB agent who spoke in great detail and on the record, at no small risk to himself. But instead of trumpeting his reporting, GQ’s corporate owners went to extraordinary lengths to try to ensure no Russians will ever see it. […]

On July 23, Jerry S. Birenz, one of the company’s top lawyers, sent an e-mail memo to more than a dozen corporate executives and GQ editors.

“Conde Nast management has decided that the September issue of U.S. GQ magazine containing Scott Anderson’s article ‘Vladimir Putin’s Dark Rise to Power’ should not be distributed in Russia,” Birenz wrote.

He ordered that the article could not be posted to the magazine’s Web site. No copies of the American edition of the magazine could be sent to Russia or shown in any country to Russian government officials, journalists or advertisers. Additionally, the piece could not be published in other Conde Nast magazines abroad, nor publicized in any way.

It wasn’t just that there was no reference to Anderson’s piece on the cover of this month’s GQ, which featured a picture of Michael Jackson, a reference to tennis star Andy Roddick’s wife and a ranking of obnoxious colleges and top drinking cities. At this writing, I cannot find any reference to Anderson’s piece on the Internet.

The idea that information can be sequestered at a time when people can communicate instantly across oceans and continents may seem quaint. But in this instance, Conde Nast sought, against technology, logic and the thrust of its own article, to show deference in the presence of power.

NPR: Why ‘GQ’ Doesn’t Want Russians To Read Its Story


  1. Gents, instead of playing the secrecy card again and again, just look at the country-wide results. Russian economy is growing slowly but steadily, there are drawbacks et al, but, in general these days people live much better than under Boris the Eltsin. Who did bomb the houses in Moscow, how exactly did 9/11 happened – these are generally very sad, unclear and, what is the most important, irrelevant questions. We have to mourn the dead but we cannot prevent them from dying, it all happened years ago. We want revenge, but whom to blame? We think we know the truth but we don’t. Even those, who think they are in charge, are not.
    What is of much greater importance now is to fix the falling economies, improve the social system, help the developing countries, negotiate with the Middle East, etc, etc, etc. Americans are to rebuild the USA economy, Russians are to fix the Russian one. We have so many common problems. All of them have to be solved more than urgently. And the differences between us and them (Russia & USA, Iran and Israel, South & North Korea) are just skin-deep. These are them politicians who clash the folks, so that they can stay in charge and lead the people on the barricades, against the bad guys whom they invented. Divide et impera, things haven’t changed much since the Rome and the Caesar.
    So, lets not divide people with conspiracy theories. Yes, they seem to be juicy, sensational, mind-blowing, deliciously eery, shocking but, most probably, generally, partially or fully wrong, being financed by one of the involved parties. And, in addition they distract folks from current problems that we have to solve together. Or else our kids will mourn the dead.
    You want to crucify Putin, but Russian folks are happy with him. I personally think he is the right guy in the right place at the right time, just as all of us. Does he have ego? Most probably YES. If you would be the president or the prime minister of the largest country in the world with the deadliest nuclear briefcase, what would you do? Whom would you call, ghost busters? In history there were only a few politicians of the caliber of Abraham Lincoln & Mahatma Gandhi. Are you one of them? Then come forth and show us instead of blogging on the Net.

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