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Reporter: Media Plays Into Russia’s Hands With Coverage of Putin

“This is perfect. This is what Putin wants us talking about: Russia,” The Atlantic’s Julia Ioffe said on Friday.

The Atlantic‘s Julia Ioffe was critical of the media for playing into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hands, with all its coverage of him, during a panel discussion on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday.

MSNBC ran tape of Putin lecturing the United States on climate change at a forum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“This guy is trolling. It is absolutely unbelievable. He’s now lecturing us on climate change, and Vladimir Putin, when he speaks, the whole world stops,” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough noted, after the clip of Putin played.

Ioffe commented: “This is perfect. I remember watching the debates during the election season, and questions kept coming back to Russia, to Putin. It was perfect for him. This is what he wants. This is – he wants us to talk about him.”

Ioffe noted the hypocrisy of Putin lecturing the United States on climate change, pointing out that Russia wants climate change to happen because, if the polar ice caps in the Arctic melt, it will allow Russia to drill for oil in the ocean without assistance from American companies.

“If the Earth warms, and the Arctic becomes more accessible, it’s great for Russia, and they’re open about it,” Ioffe told the panel.

Scarborough asked Ioffe if the media is exaggerating the power and the reach of Russia.

“Absolutely. We’re playing Vladimir Putin’s game, talking about him right now. You having me on to talk about Vladimir Putin and what he thinks and what he wants, this is, this is perfect for him. This is a win,” Ioffe responded.