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Not a free press 

The Financial Times has a good analysis of Putin’s position following the Russian parliamentary elections. But the most interesting part is a bar chart not available on the FT website (surely the world’s worst major news website).

It shows media mentions on primetime television news in Russia over the last month. Putin had something like 225 positive mentions, his United Russia party 160 positive mentions and the federal government around 90 positive mentions. All the other political parties notched under 25 mentions, except for the KPRF, the communists, which recorded 90 negative mentions.

Gore and Dean  

The best analysis I’ve read of Al Gore’s endorsement of Howard Dean is Josh Marshall’s. “The first serious impression that a lot of Democrats will get of Dean will be that Al Gore is supporting him. And that seems like an awfully big deal, especially since it plays favorably to Dean’s chief perceived weaknesses — namely, that he’s a weak general election candidate.”

Dan Gillmor also has some important observations on the Gore-Dean connection. Here’s the critical point for me about the Dean campaign: “They’ve tapped — but crucially not tried to control — the growing ability of people at the edges of things to express themselves, collaborate and ultimately help drive a larger movement.”

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