Jonathan Pie: Putin’s America
Jonathan Pie is a fictitious British news reporter, created and played by British actor and comedian Tom Walker. Pie appears in a series of video clips where he rants about the state of politics in the United Kingdom, presented as if he is a real reporter speaking his personal opinions to camera before or after filming a regular news segment.
The first spoof news report featuring Pie, released just after the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, was responding to mainstream media reports that gave particular weight to Corbyn’s past relationship with Diane Abbott. Walker was soon approached by several media companies, including RT UK, the Russian government-funded television channel, which offered him complete creative control. He worked with RT for several months, before leaving in July 2016, just prior to his appearance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August.
The character received international coverage after the 2016 US election, when his report on Donald Trump‘s victory went viral, becoming a YouTube trending video. PJ Media did not recognise Jonathan Pie as a fictitious character, presenting him instead as a real-life, professional “British lefty reporter”.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (/ˈpuːtɪn/; Russian: Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин, IPA: [vɫɐˈdʲimʲɪr vɫɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvʲɪtɕ ˈputʲɪn] ( listen); born 7 October 1952) is a Russian statesman and former intelligence officer serving as President of Russia since 2012, previously holding the position from 2000 until 2008. He was Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 until the beginning of his first presidency in 2000, and again between presidencies from 2008 until 2012. During his first term as Prime Minister, he served as Acting President of Russia due to the resignation of President Boris Yeltsin. During his second term as Prime Minister, he was the chairman of the ruling United Russia party.
Putin was born in Leningrad in the Soviet Union. He studied law at Leningrad State University, graduating in 1975. Putin was a KGB foreign intelligence officer for 16 years, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before resigning in 1991 to enter politics in Saint Petersburg. He moved to Moscow in 1996 and joined President Boris Yeltsin‘s administration, rising quickly through the ranks and becoming Acting President on 31 December 1999, when Yeltsin resigned. Putin won the 2000 presidential election by a 53% to 30% margin, thus avoiding a runoff with his Communist Party of the Russian Federation opponent, Gennady Zyuganov. He was reelected president in 2004 with 72% of the vote. During his first presidency, the Russian economy grew for eight straight years, and GDP measured in purchasing power increased by 72%. The growth was a result of the 2000s commodities boom, high oil prices, and prudent economic and fiscal policies. Because of constitutionally mandated term limits, Putin was ineligible to run for a third consecutive presidential term in 2008. The 2008 presidential election was won by Dmitry Medvedev, who appointed Putin as Prime Minister, the beginning of what some opponents considered to be a period of “tandemocracy“.