One Year Ago — New York Times Hiring Moscow Correspondent [UPDATE — Who got this wonderful job?]

“Nobody reading this could have any doubt about what the editors of the New York Times expect of candidates for this post. Objective, balanced coverage of Russian realities is clearly not a priority. The chosen correspondent is to look at Russia in negative terms, as on the one hand a powerful and dangerous threat, and as on the other hand (somewhat paradoxically) a weak and decaying nation, undermined by a collapsing economy and corrupt government. This is the current ‘story’, and the lucky person who gets the job will be expected to follow it.”

Professor Paul Robinson — University of Ottawa

November 22 2020 — The New York Times has an opening for a new Russia correspondent as Andy Higgins becomes their new Eastern Europe Bureau Chief. The job description makes it very clear what is expected from the successful candidate. Fluency in Russian is not necessary. Negativity is all that is required. The New York Times’s advertisement makes that absolutely clear. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

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“This is a very prestigious job. The list of the former New York Times’s Moscow correspondents includes Walter Duranty — from 1922 to 1936 — who was rightfully described as The greatest liar who ever lived.”

Intel Today (Nov. 22 2020)

UPDATE (November 22 2021) — Anton Troianovski is the Moscow bureau chief for The New York Times.

Anton Troianovski - The New York Times

He arrived in Moscow in January 2018 as bureau chief of The Washington Post. He traveled to three Russian-controlled disputed territories, from Crimea to the Kuril Islands, as he delved into the Kremlin’s geopolitical gamesmanship. He previously spent nine years at The Wall Street Journal, starting with beats covering commercial real estate and telecommunications in New York. He was based in Berlin from 2013 to 2017 and covered two German elections, two Olympic Games, the Ukraine crisis, migration and populist politics in Europe.

Troianovski began his journalism career as a photographer for the Webster-Kirkwood Times in Missouri and the Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis. He was born in Moscow and grew up in Heidelberg, Germany, and in St. Louis. He holds a degree in social studies from Harvard University, where he wrote a senior thesis on the Kremlin’s push for influence in cyberspace. [New York Times]

On January 11 2017, Paul Roderick Gregory — a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Houston and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University — wrote that the Steele Dossier was bogus, a fake, and a scam.

In a recent piece, professor Gregory asks a simple question. [What to make of the intelligence failure over the Steele Dossier?]

“Why was the dossier not investigated quietly by FBI or CIA professionals, who should have swiftly discarded it and directed attention to possible Russian disinformation? I suspect that this did not happen because our intelligence experts were pulling for it to be true.”

Certainly correct… But do not underestimate the role that the media played in this scandal. All that was needed to avoid this mess was a bit of serious thinking.

According to the Steele Dossier, two Kremlin sources had revealed the intelligence plot of the century. And there was not one journalist to say: “Wait, should we think one minute about this?”

The obvious questions should have been:

“Who are these sources? If they are truly Kremlin insiders, why are they talking? What is the message being imparted and for whose benefit?”

Why were those journalists not asking these questions? As the job description for this ‘Moscow Correspondent’ clearly demonstrates, the New York Times does not expect people to think…

Noam Chomsky to BBC-journalist:

“If you believed different you wouldn’t been sitting here.”

Noam Chomsky about the way critical journalists are filtered out of from the mainstream media: “I don’t say you’re self-censoring. I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying. But what I’m saying is that if you believed something different you wouldn’t been sitting where you’re sitting.”


“I’ve been a journalist for about 25 years and I was educated to lie, to betray and not to tell the truth to the public. The truth will come out one day, the truth won’t die.”

Dr. Udo Ulfkotte — German Journalist and Whistleblower

This is a very prestigious job. The list of the former New York Times’s Moscow correspondents includes Walter Duranty (from 1922 to 1936) who was rightfully described as “The greatest liar who ever lived.”

Duranty was eventually punished for his lies. He was awarded the 1932 Pulitzer Prize.

In fairness, many organizations have repeatedly called on the Pulitzer Prize Board to cancel Duranty’s prize and The Times to return it. [1]

Job Description

Vladimir Putin’s Russia remains one of the biggest stories in the world.

It sends out hit squads armed with nerve agents against its enemies, most recently the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. It has its cyber agents sow chaos and disharmony in the West to tarnish its democratic systems, while promoting its faux version of democracy. It has deployed private military contractors around the globe to secretly spread its influence. At home, its hospitals are filling up fast with Covid patients as its president hides out in his villa.

If that sounds like a place you want to cover, then we have good news: We will have an opening for a new correspondent as Andy Higgins takes over as our next Eastern Europe Bureau Chief early next year.

We are eager to hear from those interested in taking on one of the most legendary postings at The Times, a seat occupied by the likes of Bill Keller, Serge Schmemann, Hedrick Smith, Clifford Levy and Ellen Barry. We are looking for someone who will embrace the prospect of traversing 11 time zones to track a populace that is growing increasingly frustrated with an economy dragged down by corruption, cronyism and excessive reliance on natural resources. This posting offers the chance to chronicle the continuing reign of one of the world’s most charismatic leaders, President Vladimir V. Putin. This beat also covers the incredible diversity and variety of the lands of the former Soviet Union. The correspondent can range from Estonia (with its close ties to Scandinavia) to Kyrgyzstan (which has close ties to China).

Not to mention, Putin ushered in changes to the constitution, so he will likely stay in power for many years to come. 

And, of course, we are on the cusp of a new, less Putin-friendly president in the US, which should only raise the temperature between Washington and Moscow. 

“Most people writing for the Times will actually not believe the above nonsense. But the description is not for a position that requires one to weigh and report the facts. It is for a job that requires one to lie. That the Times lists all the recent nonsense about Russia right at the top of the job description makes it clear that only people who support those past lies will be considered adequate to tell future lies about Russia.”

Moon of Alabama

UPDATE (November 23 2020) — How MSM Select Their Foreign Correspondents — Caitlin Johnstone has written a very good piece on this unusually blunt job description.

Does this sound like the sort of job someone with a less than hostile attitude toward the Russian government would apply to?

Someone who voices skepticism about the plot hole-riddled establishment narratives of Russian election meddling and Novichok assassinations?

Someone who, as Moon of Alabama notes, might point out that Putin is in fact at work in the Kremlin right now and not “hiding out” in a “villa”?

Of course not. In order to get a job at the New York Times, you need to demonstrate that you subscribe to the mainstream oligarchic imperialist worldview which forms the entirety of western mass media output.

You need to demonstrate that you have been properly indoctrinated, and that you can be guided into toeing the imperial line with simple attaboys and tisk-tisks from your superiors rather than being explicitly told to knowingly lie.

Because if they did tell you to knowingly lie to the public to advance the interests of the powerful, that would be propaganda. And propaganda is what happens in evil backwards countries like Russia. (…)

This is why you have labels for anyone expressing skepticism of establishment narratives like “conspiracy theorist”, “useful idiot”, “Russian asset” or “Assadist”.

The powerful people who understand that whoever controls the narrative controls the world need labels to separate the faithful from the heathens. It means the same thing as “heretic”.

In Moscow, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova posted a humorous analysis of this event on Facebook.

“Does the newspaper even have the right to risk the life of a correspondent by sending them to work in such inhuman conditions?

American journalists’ lives also matter, even if they work for The New York Times.

The New York Times should limit its operations to the United States. After all, journalists don’t need to be physically present in Russia to spread lies.

The American press has been fighting the ‘monster’ for so long that it did not notice that it became the monster itself.”

Perhaps, this would be a good time to remember Dr Udo Ulfkotte?

“The predominant reason mainstream news reporters say things that aren’t true is because in order to be hired by mainstream news outlets, you need to jack your mind into a power-serving worldview that is not based in truth.”

Caitlin Johnstone


NYT — Russia Correspondent

[1] The Pulitzer board has twice declined to withdraw the award, most recently in November 2003, finding “no clear and convincing evidence of deliberate deception” in the 1931 reporting that won the prize.

The Times explained that it cannot return the prize since it does not have the award in its possession.

[2] The quote from Friedrich W. Nietzsche is: “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”


New York Times Hiring Moscow Correspondent [Job description]

New York Times Hiring Moscow Correspondent [UPDATE — How MSM Select Their Foreign Correspondents]

One Year Ago — New York Times Hiring Moscow Correspondent [UPDATE — Who got this wonderful job?]

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