Media Blog

Re: Jonathan Alter on Russians

Greg, Jonathan Alter may think Randy Scheunemann’s not much of an American (has he been reading some Mark Penn memos?), but Alter is so enamored of his pundit status, he’s offered Slobodan Milosevic foreign-policy consulting, for free. On May 3, 1999, Alter told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Hardball how Slobo could have been smarter in timing his ethnic cleansing, and made Clinton and those Americans look really bad:

If Milosevic had really been a PR genius, Chris, what, he would have not ethnic cleansed at the time he did. Imagine if he had just gone down into a fetal position, a kind of crouch, let NATO bomb him. Then he would have been able to go to the world and portray Clinton and NATO as real bad guys. Basically, then they would have had to stop the bombing and at that point, he could have slowly ethnic cleansed. So he was not smart as a PR guy.

Those ethnic cleansers could have be so much more successfully fiendish if they had a slick adviser like Jon Alter advising them. As for the Russians, Alter was so fond of Mikhail Gorbachev, he put him on a par with Abraham Lincoln and FDR. Ending the Cold War? Ronald Reagan had absolutely nothing on Gorby:

He’s only the most important political leader alive in the world today, historically speaking. . . . If you look over the course of our lifetimes, who was the most, well, you go back to Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. . . . If I look back over my lifetime, who is the world leader who changed things the most, and I don’t actually think it is a close call.

That’s Alter on the Imus show on April 27, 2001. So who sounds like they’re getting paid by foreigners?

Tim GrahamTim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center, where he began in 1989, and has served there with the exception of 2001 and 2002, when served ...

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