Pros and Kons
You can read about Russia’s resurgence each time Vladimir Putin makes a headline or a Russian billionaire purchases a sports team in the West. In the past year, I have debated the point with anyone who unwittingly mentions the apparent trend in my presence—from basketball fans to Harvard professors. I was most shaken by a discussion with the British journalist Alex Dryden a few months ago while interning for New York City’s National Public Radio station. While Dryden’s pseudo-fictional insights in "Red to Black" merit their own reading (know, at least, that Dryden uses a pseudonym to avoid prosecution by the Russian government), Dryden is just one of the more eloquent voices arguing that Russian authoritarianism never left the Kremlin.
A month ago, donations for Haiti’s earthquake victims passed the half-billion-dollar mark, and many Americans continued that support through the Hope for Haiti telethon and coverage during major sports events featuring players of Haitian background, such as professional basketball games and the Super Bowl. According to a Pew Research Center poll on Feb. 3, two weeks after Cooper’s remark, Americans still followed ongoing efforts in Haiti more than any other news story, with no other issue receiving even half as many viewers. Now, the numbers tell a different story. Events in Haiti are now the fifth-most-followed topic—and even then the coverage is not about reconstruction, but instead about the controversy involving American missionaries.