Conde Nast Discovers That The Streisand Effect Reaches Russia Too

from the did-they-not-realize-this? dept

A bunch of folks have been submitting this positively bizarre story of how publishing giant Conde Nast (who publishes, among other things, GQ, Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and Wired) basically tried to completely bury an investigative piece recently published in GQ about Vladimir Putin. Conde Nast basically tried to do everything possible to make sure that the article was not seen in Russia. Beyond the obvious things of not publishing it in Russian editions, it didn't put the article online and basically buried it within the US GQ issue it was published in. It's not mentioned on the cover at all.

Now, there have been plenty of reports about how journalists who have been critical of Putin have an odd history of dying young -- but it's not clear if the goal here was to protect the reporter (who's pissed off that this whole thing happened, and doesn't want CN protecting him). The bigger issue have been that the company feared how its Russian magazines would be treated following the profile. But, if that's the case, why do the report at all?

In the meantime, of course, with NPR breaking the story of how much trouble Conde Nast went to hide the article, they've pretty much guaranteed that the article gets just that much more attention in Russia.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Rena Mooney, Sep 9th, 2009 @ 8:03pm

    Maybe they were worried about the collateral damage. The reporter was likely too obvious of a target to be killed, but what about his Russian sources for the article? You're probably right, and Conde Nast's actions were all about money and protecting their multinational corporate interests, but maybe there was a valid reason for deciding to bury the story.

     

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  2.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Sep 9th, 2009 @ 8:14pm

    Re:

    maybe you don't understand what Mike is saying: if it has been out anywhere, even obscured, it will still be found and shared, and even more so.

    This is like hiding blood in an ocean - sharks will find it.

     

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  3.  
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    Chargone (profile), Sep 9th, 2009 @ 8:47pm

    maybe the point is to make it More obvious while appearing to be trying to 'play nice'?

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    random, Sep 9th, 2009 @ 9:45pm

    re: Chargone

    Interesting viewpoint. I know that I want to see this article now simply because there is a buzz around it.

    Even bad publicity can be spun the right way. the steisand effect combined with the internal memo could end up helping their American sales in the end.

    Are there any people who have read the article and have some insight into how the russian public will react?

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    ReallyEvilCanine, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 12:53am

    You clearly don't understand Russia

    Condé Nast doesn't give two shits about what we in the West think about their policies for Russian publications. Even Solzhenitsyn knew there were worse things than the gulags and Siberian labour camps. First there's an "audit", then there's an "inspection" which invades the homes and families (including two generations of extension) of anyone remotely involved, then come the gov't-puppet media tabloid-style "stories", and this can carry on for years. If those involved (whose lives and those of their families have already been ruined) haven't capitulated, that's when the real fun starts with criminal and/or civil prosecution. Think of Putin as a slower, more thorough and equally effective version of Stalin.

    By doing their best to bury this both in the Russian magazine and company-wide as regards Russia (including allowing themselves to be publicly martyred in the West), Condé Nast is protecting themselves, their Russian employees and their reporters, and for that deserve credit.

    The word you're looking for is Realpolitik, Mike.

     

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  6.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 1:35am

    Re: You clearly don't understand Russia

    By doing their best to bury this both in the Russian magazine and company-wide as regards Russia (including allowing themselves to be publicly martyred in the West), Condé Nast is protecting themselves, their Russian employees and their reporters, and for that deserve credit.

    Then why commission the article in the first place? They don't deserve credit at all.

     

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  7.  
    icon
    Blatant Coward (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 1:37am

    Re: Re:

    Shark one: Yes, definitely human blood, type O RH factor positive.
    Shark two: Blood in the water. *puts on sunglasses* I see.

    *OH YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhh*

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 2:04am

    Re: Re: You clearly don't understand Russia

    >Then why commission the article in the first place?
    >They don't deserve credit at all.

    Editor: This is a great story lets run with it. It's all set to go.

    Corporate Management: Do you know what sort of life expectancy Putin's enemies have? Pay the man and make it disappear.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Sheinen, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 3:40am

    Shark 3:I cant...I know it's here somewhere, I just can't find it! Oh, wait - it's under that rock! Who puts blood under a rock? I mean, it took an extra couple of seconds to spot it, but it wasn't exactly in a frigging safe? Wow - boy am I gonna eat the person who comes back to collect this!

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    AM, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 12:53pm

    Gawker crowd-translated the article to Russian

    On 4 Sep Gawker http://gawker.com/5352827/ invited its readers to submit/correct transaltions, part of which had been shoddily done by Google Tranlate. As the post says, it took just over 24 hours to complete it. You must mention this as an update to your readers.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Michael Kirkland, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 8:23am

    Probably of more interest to people here is that they own Ars Technica.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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