The video: Chalk up another manly wilderness media moment for Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Riding in the bow of a small motorboat off Russia's far eastern coast this Wednesday, Putin fired four darts from a crossbow at a gray whale as part of an effort to collect skin samples for scientific research. "I hit it at the fourth try!" he exclaimed.
The reaction: Having recently appeared in front of cameras beside a polar bear, a Siberian tiger, a leopard, and now a whale, Putin is emerging as "the Steve Irwin of world leaders," says Joshua Keating at Foreign Policy. The stunts are supposed to show the Russian public that Putin is more equipped than President Dmitry Medvedev to "look after Russia, its people and environment," says David Nowak in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. If so, writes Brett Smiley on MTV.com, it's not working; he's "trying too hard to be a badass." Watch Putin in action here:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare
- If Democrats abandon immigration reform after Tuesday's likely loss, they will turn 2016 into a debacle
- What if Leo Strauss was right?
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
- How to live a long life, according to science
- The 7 best Halloween-themed editorial cartoons
Subscribe to the Week