- Posted September 12, 2012 by
Rober Eringer: Angry man's little blog
An obscure American blogger is determined on getting the world’s attention with diatribes against the president of Russia Vladimir Putin. What started as an angry man’s little blog, is turning into the study of how a failed investigator and author became delusional. Fortunately, his “victims” pay no attention.
For those of us who witnessed Vladimir Putin addressing the German Bundestag in 2001, there is no doubt: Putin is an exceptional world leader of historic calibre. When he stood in front of delegates of a united Germany – and many wouldn’t have forgotten his days as a KGB spy in the former East Germany – his sharp analysis of the world post-Berlin wall was only matched by his confidence to switch from Russian to fluent German three minutes into his speech.
No matter where you stand on his leadership, Putin first and foremost commands respect. For 12 years now, he is the leading political force in a country that went from Cold War Superpower to fragmented federation that has seen civil unrest, terrorism and a complicated relationship with democracy. He has played every card his country holds to his greatest strength; world leaders are prepared to drop their objections to his policies in return for Russian investment and energy. And when he does show a moment of compassion – as he has just done with regards to the jailed protest punk group Pussy Riot – the world notices.
Germany may have had an easier relationship with post-wall Russia than the US, because we understand the basic rules of respect, no matter if you agree or disagree with someone’s policies. Russia has under Putin made substantial progress in becoming more westernised, and he has had cordial relationships with our previous chancellor Gerhard Schröder and now also with Angela Merkel. Although one should not treat the whole of the US with a broad brush, as it appears the rudest articles come from a virtually unknown blogger, whose sense of his own status crossed the line into Größenwahn some months ago.
I refer to a Mr Robert Eringer, an elderly and dubious author in Southern California, who is often referred to as “obscure”. Eringer came into writing as a reporter for Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World, the red top newspaper that was shut down following revelations of wide-ranging misconduct. Eringer then went on to what he describes as being a spymaster for the CIA, although there is no evidence that he was anything but the odd helping hand. His contact there, Clair George, later contracted him for private-sector work, which – given his tabloid background – meant blagging information, sabotaging, and sweet-talking former lovers out of selling their stories. Eringer then put two big nails into the coffin of his spy career: he published a book of tittle-tattle from his spy days, which was a flop, and later fell out with the Principality of Monaco, for which he had set up a small-scale intelligence operation.
It seems that after his Monaco days, Eringer turned so bitter and delusional. He started malicious rumours against Prince Albert II, including that his wife tried to run away days before the wedding, as well as other members of the Royal Household. Eringer was successfully sued by Albert in a French court, and ordered to remove offensive material and pay fines. It appears that he has so far not paid up. He continues to blog against Albert, most recently mocking an interview with Piers Morgan as “fluffy PR”. Criticising Morgan for being fluffy is like criticising a leopard for his spots. And in the face of his criticism of Morgan for poor journalistic standards, Eringer made himself guilty of the same charge. He kept referring to the prince as “Fat Al”, one of many testimonies to Eringer’s lack of wit as a writer.
Eringer has for the past months turned his vicious diatribes to Putin. While Albert and his girl troubles may have been the kind of tabloid fodder Eringer is used to from the early days of his career, his obsessive and vicious blog posts (260 in the past three years) against Putin are simply indignant.
The American is hopelessly out of depth as a political commentator; he has no special insight track on Russia; his posts often rehash stories from actual journalists; and his “spymaster” days are laughable compared to Putin’s time with the KGB. But it is not just that Eringer is so out of his depth – he actually seems to see himself as a man who can see Putin eye-to-eye. While Eringer posted about the alleged disappearance of Putin’s wife (because she hasn’t appeared in press pictures recently), Eringer’s own wife has actually left him. Is Eringer hoping for a heart-to-heart with the president of Russia, complaining about womenfolk?
Eringer is man of many failures. If he had ever met Putin – as we in the Bundestag did – he would recognise the president’s might. Instead, his delusional disrespectfulness robs Eringer of the last shred of credibility he might have had.