Man, I thought this was the onion at first. The funny thing is, while I'm sure the reporters and the more intelligent members of the general public in Russia know that this is false, they probably have so little understanding of who Imus is that this at least seems plausible. Also, if I were a Russian, I may be inclined to believe the government capable of some less than honest behavior.
The propaganda's always greener on the other side.
Believe it or not, a non-partisan, objective, well-informed person clever enough to read between the lines could, with remarkable ease, match ridiculous stories in the Anglo-American media, tit-for-tat, with those in foreign countries.
As a famous MIT linguist whose I Doth Not Mention wrote just a couple of weeks ago: "This 'debate' is a typical illustration of a primary principle of sophisticated propaganda. In crude and brutal societies, the Party Line is publicly proclaimed and must be obeyed -- or else. What you actually believe is your own business and of far less concern. In societies where the state has lost the capacity to control by force, the Party Line is simply presupposed; then, vigorous debate is encouraged within the limits imposed by unstated doctrinal orthodoxy. The cruder of the two systems leads, naturally enough, to disbelief; the sophisticated variant gives an impression of openness and freedom, and so far more effectively serves to instill the Party Line. It becomes beyond question, beyond thought itself, like the air we breathe."
Does that comment fall within the lines of "unstated doctrinal orthodoxy" or does such a thing only apply to the peons?