If all you know about Vladimir Putin is what you learned from Bob Costas during NBC’s Olympic coverage Thursday night, you might be excused for thinking the Russian autocrat is a great peacemaker on the world stage.
Costas ran a video montage to bring viewers up to speed on the Russian president as the Olympic Winter Games began in Sochi, Russia. For a minute, NBC looked an awful lot like a Russian propaganda network — at least in how it portrayed Putin as a leader in the international arena.
“Just in the past year, Putin brokered a deal to allow Syria to avoid a U.S. military strike by giving up its chemical weapons,” Costas intoned over pictures of Putin wheeling and dealing on the world stage. “And helped bring Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear intentions.”
Except, Putin is one of the chief backers of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s regime and the deal he helped broker with the U.S. isn’t fully being implemented. Syria has repeatedly missed deadlines in turning over its chemical weapons stockpile.