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Mickey Mouse Beats Putin and New Ukrainian President Zelensky

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A Russian media outlet asked me what Americans think about the new Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. I haven't seen any reliable polling yet. However, I offered them search results from Google Trends.

They show how interested Americans are in searching online about Zelensky. The search covered the two months from March 21. It reveals that relatively few people in the US are searching the name "Zelensky."

So then I did a comparative search on "Zelensky" and "Putin" out of curiosity. It shows quite a lot more interest in Putin.

The graph presents only relative trends, not the actual number of searches.

From Google Trends
From Google Trends
(Image by William Dunkerley)
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To give perspective to the Zelensky-Putin trends I added to the comparative search the cartoon character "Mickey Mouse."

From Google Trends
From Google Trends
(Image by William Dunkerley)
  Details   DMCA

The results indicate that Americans are far more active searching for information about Mickey than for Zelensky and Putin put together.

In terms of media coverage, some outlets refer to Zelensky in a way that looks pejorative to me. With several variants they refer to him as the "comedian president."

Certainly there is news value in the fact that he comes with a background as a comedic actor. But "comedian president" is a demeaning term. It suggests he is not a serious leader. Referring to him as a former comedian would have been more appropriate.

Here are some examples:

"Ukraine's Comedian President Takes Office" --NPR

"Volodymyr Zelensky: Comedian-President Calls Snap Election" --BBC

"Ukraine's TV Star President Dissolves Parliament" --USA Today

"Ukraine's Comedian-Turned-President Dissolves Parliament" --LA Times

"Ukraine's New Comedian President Calls for Dismissal of Rudy Giuliani-Linked Prosecutor" --Newsweek

"Comedian Inaugurated as Ukraine's New President" --Time magazine

The news outlets are casting him as a fool before he even gets started in his presidency. That was foolish journalism on their part. Perhaps we should refer to them as former news outlets!

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William Dunkerley is author of the books "Ukraine in the Crosshairs," "The Phony Litvinenko Murder, "Litvinenko Murder Case Solved," and "Medvedev's Media Affairs," published by Omnicom Press. Mr. Dunkerley also has authored several monographs (more...)

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