Evangelos Marinakis could, in many ways, be considered Greece’s Rolo Tamasi, the guy who gets away with it. Throughout his career, Marinakis has been hit time and time again with allegations of bribery, extortion, and violence, yet has never faced justice.
Despite Marinakis’ high public profile and the general interest that alleged match fixing should stimulate, the Greek press and public have been markedly passive. However, recent developments have led the eye of the international media to finally turn towards the Olympiakos oligarch’s shady activities.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has become an unlikely hero for American conservatives. The recently adopted law prohibiting ‘gay propaganda’ and Russia’s diplomatic role in the Syria crisis, have attracted glowing praise from the far-right and, more worringly, among establishment Republicans. To a lesser extent, on the left as well, Putin has won some reluctant friends following his decision to grant refuge to whistle-blower Edward Snowden and his covert anti-fracking crusade in Europe.
The ex-KGB officer has proven apt at skillfully manipulating Western opinion on both sides of the aisle, while simultaneously nurturing anti-Americanism at home and cementing his hold on the country. In an article entitled Putin’s well-oiled PR machine, Caroline Holmund sheds light on Putin’s Western-oriented media outlet ‘RT’:
‘Question more’ is the omnipresent slogan of RT’s English site, perfectly directing its content to a large swathe of online denizens unwilling to swallow the conventional wisdom broadcast by ‘mainstream’ Western media outlets. Hit conspiracy films, such as the ‘Zeitgeist’ series, have keenly displayed the lack of trust in official news sources on both sides of the Atlantic…it is unclear to what extent a news outlet such as RT can cover up the chasm that exists between the values of many liberal Western readers and United Russia partisans.
It is hopefully redundant on my part to remind readers that Russia ranks 148th out of 179 countries in the 2013 World Press Freedom Index, below countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
But, it is not only Putin’s cunning political calculations that have allowed him to so often find a receptive audience in the US. In many cases, it is an uneasy and unspoken fleeting alliance of interests forged between Putin and US politicians and pundits constantly vying for a strategic advantage. While playing into Putin's games may prove advantageous for short-sighted politicians, in the long-run, it is undermining the West's position vis-à-vis an increasingly belligerent Russia.