The overall mass reaction to the 2018 World Cup in Russia can be summed best by the tweet of Reuters correspondent Jack Stubbs "It's a lot nicer than I thought it would be" is the official unofficial slogan of Russia 2018.
The thing is that the bar for Russia as host country is set very low due to years if not decades of clownish exaggerated propaganda against it. The Mainstream Media carelessly projects an image of Russia akin to “North Korea”. This image is one of poverty, shortages and the repression of the masses under a “brutal dictator”.
Basically many (western) people “expected the worst” when they came here and quickly saw upon arrival that they were actually in a place more like the other Korea to the south. But this is more the experience of average football fans, who decided to come for the World Cup. The Mainstream Media on the other hand seems to be desperately grasping at straws to find (or make) some sort of scandal out of the championship. But sadly, Russia is so far too normal and boring to make any good material. So let’s take a look at some “breaking news” from the West about the World Cup 2018.
A good example of this tendency is this very paranoid piece….
In the video they allude to some group of people trying to follow them around Nizhny Novgorod. Perhaps this is true but all they offer is a few seconds of cars standing behind them in traffic, some guys standing around (for anyone who lives in Russia you should know that loitering is the national pastime) and that some local film crew was filming things around them. Since Nizhny Novgorod has local media it would have been nice if they demonstrated that the local camera crew was filming the BBC works and not just something else downtown. Later a woman just holding a cellphone (acting like a local journalist) asked if she could “ask some questions” to the BBC employee(s).
Surprisingly when coming to film about the WORLD CUP OF SOCCER these warriors of press freedom refused to answer questions and chose to talk only to an opposition group who represents a tiny minority of the country’s population.
It is possible that they were followed by local media and that their editing was just garbage failing to prove their point. However, literally anyone in Russia right now can go wherever they want and film things. You, the person reading this, could get a tourist visa, go walk around, film things that make Russia look bad and upload them to Youtube, you could also talk to the members of Navalny’s HQ via Skype from England. There is no POINT in following the BBC. It neither changes nor accomplishes anything. There is no way to control negative information/video from coming out of Russia.
ESPN suprisingly decided to do some “mythbusting” in favor of Russia in their piece…
“Postcards from Russia: Yes we still have beer. “
Apparently there was a rumor that Russia, a country of millions, was experiencing a beer shortage due to the arrival of tens of thousands. This logic didn’t add up and ESPN’s reporter/blogger went around asking all sorts of different people, foreign and local, if they had trouble getting beer at bars and cafes. Most said “no” but one British man said a bar he was at did run out of beer before the end of the night. This seemed to be a very objective collection of main opinions, I wish the BBC could learn from ESPN’s blogs.
Fox News published this article with a very uncharacteristic headline....Female World Cup reporter sexually assaulted during live broadcast.
Usually it is the ultra-lefty SJW types who see a man “stealing a kiss” and running away in a jolly public atmosphere as a form of “sexual assault” (i.e. rape). It is very reasonable to believe that if this had happened outside of Russia, Fox would have either ignored it or come out on the side of the man stealing the kiss as the victim of “today’s political correctness”.Also the man’s clothing and especially his hat did not look particularly Russian, but those sorts of things don’t matter for the opportunity to imply that a woman was publicly raped in Russia came up so Fox ran with the trend. The Daily Show is often considered one of the most effective news sources which is not a news source and they certainly chimed in loudly in terms of Russia…
Russia Uses the World Cup to Score Publicity Points | The Daily Show. The comedy oriented news report tries to relay to the audience that Russia definitely needs a new image but this task is overall impossible because Russia is inherently evil and backwards. The very idea of Putin or Russia being able to do something nice or be perceived as decent is absurd enough for the host to make jokes about. The main point is Russia’s stance on\attitude towards LGBT issues means that Russia is beyond remorse for the Daily Show. However, I do have to agree with host of the program regarding the training of Russian staff to smile for foreigners. Powerful nations bow to no one and if Russia wants to be treated like a world player it should smile when it pleases to. Training Russians to defy their own culture for the benefit of foreigners is submissive and colonial and the Daily Show is right to mock this. Thank you, Daily Show.
In conclusion we have to remember that the above are pieces of media and not the views of average people.
All over Instagram and Facebook there are lots of videos and pictures of people having fun, seeing historical sites in Russia and generally having a good time. If the World Cup accomplished anything politically, it has created tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of people who have seen Russia as it is, outside of the Western Mainstream Media narrative. This isn’t to say that all of these people have fallen in love with the country but they will go back home and tell their friends and family a very different story of what Russia is and possibly reshape its image despite the efforts of the media to keep Russia forever trapped in Cold War stereotypes.