Hey, is BuzzFeed’s transition to credentialed news organization giving other purveyors of cute animal pics ideas? We can’t help but wonder, given this New York Times report that GoodNewsAnimal.ru–a kind of Russian CuteOverload–played a pivotal role in the naming and shaming of a Russian official caught wearing a suspiciously expensive watch.
As a bit of context, Russian officials apparently have a bit of a PR problem with regard to watches. Specifically, members of the powerful United Russia Party seem to be terribly fond of Breguets, which can cost north of $100,000 and are a mite pricy for a civil servant.
It was therefore embarrassing when Alexander Volkov, the president of the backwater Russian republic Udmurtia, appeared on a large zoo billboard holding a leopard cub and wearing one of the pricey accessories and, as the Times reports, that’s likely why someone felt it necessary to cover it up with a sticker of a plainer one.
Mr. Volkov’s spokesman attempted to do damage control by insisting that the president had no such watch, but rather that the poster’s designer had added both images–the Breguet and the plainer sticker–as embellishments. But he was no match for GoodNewsAnimal.ru, which had covered the zoo visit extensively with photographs and even a video clearly showing the embarrassing watch.
Dear God, please let this be the way NowThisNews works.