Not surprising: following the passage of the Magnitsky Act — which penalizes Russians who were involved with the brutal torture and murder of a human rights attorney — supporters of Vladimir Putin’s KGB dictatorship criticized Americans for supporting American values in Russia.
But would you be surprised to learn that one of those minions is not just an American citizen, but a professor emeritus at New York University and Princeton?
Professor Stephen F. Cohen — husband of Katrina vanden Heuvel, publisher of ultra-liberal The Nation – has been speaking up for the interests of Putin and Russia’s KGB. Writing at The Nation itself, he called the Magnitsky Act a “sanctimonious blacklist without due process” supported by a “feckless foreign policy elite”. (Do note: the Act was adopted by both houses of Congress in landslide votes with virtually no opposition.) Cohen claimed that Russia is far more democratic that the U.S. because “the Russian media were filled with heated controversy over the adoption ban,” while there was no such controversy over Magnitsky. (Putin’s response to the Act was to ban American adoptions of Russian children.) Cohen called American journalists “cheerleaders for a new cold war.”
This is not new behavior for him — Cohen has been bashing the U.S. media for reporting on Putin’s neo-Soviet crackdown for years now.
Politics truly makes odd bedfellows: Cohen and his wife’s publication are aligned with the likes of Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan on this issue — two of Putin’s strongest supporters in the U.S. But Cohen’s take was truly neo-Soviet: he trashed the Clinton administration for giving birth to the new cold war, and he stated that Obama has “surrounded himself with Russia advisers, including Hillary Clinton, wedded to the twenty-year-long approach” that calls for cold war.
Cohen then directly wrote for the Kremlin itself, on its Voice of Russia website where he maintains a blog and is also routinely the subject of the Kremlin’s “journalism.” Any American parent thinking of sending their children to Princeton or NYU ought to find this worrisome: NYU itself got into the act, publishing his article on its website.
Following the Soviet and Nazi models, the falsehoods in Cohen’s analysis are difficult to document simply because there are so many, and his delivery is so propagandistic and shameless. Cohen does not give one example — not one — of Russian mainstream media (all national TV stations and all major circulation newspapers are Kremlin-controlled) challenging the Kremlin’s adoption ban, as he claims they did. Of course, none of them actually did challenge Putin’s decision to bar American parents from adopting in Russia, and polls show that the Russian people overwhelmingly supported that move.