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#19 - JRL 7004
From: "Mark Rodeffer" <markrodeffer@hotmail.com>
Subject: Stories About Russian Christmas on Dec. 25 Abound
Date: Fri, 03 Jan 2003

In his attack on Anne Applebaums Santas Russia, an article appearing in the Dec. 25 edition of the Washington Post about Russians celebrating Christmas on Dec. 25, Isaac Tarasulo claims that the Post piece was the only one published on this subject in the whole world.

The claim that Mr. Tarasulo, or anyone else, knows the subject of every single newspaper article in the world is on its face ridiculous. Are we to believe that Isaac Tarasulo perused thousands of newspapers in hundreds of languages in search of an article about Russians celebrating Christmas on Dec. 25 and came up empty? Even if he had confined his search to the English language, he would have discovered more than one article.

Australias The Age published an article on Dec. 25, 2002 titled A Russian family enjoys a double helping by Carol Nader. The story chronicled an orthodox family that celebrates Christmas on Dec. 25 as well as Jan. 7.

Perhaps realizing that his claim that no newspaper in the world wrote about Russians celebrating Christmas on Dec. 25 was a bit of a stretch, Mr. Tarasulo offered a second postulate, asserting: Not one Russian newspaper or television station even mentioned anything about celebrating Christmas in Russia on December 25, 2002.

Wrong again. While expanded to include television but narrowed to only Russia, Mr. Tarasulos second declaration is as outlandish as it is untrue. Anna Malpas wrote in the Vladivostok News that many churches and organizations in Vladivostok will celebrate Western Christmas on December 25 in her Dec. 24 article, Western Christmas in Vladivostok.

Both articles appeared in the Dec. 25 edition of Russia Report (www.russiareport.ru), a daily news briefing on Russia which I edit. Finding the articles which Mr. Tarasulo says exist nowhere in the world was not particularly difficult. I recommend that in the future, Mr. Tarasulo do a little research before making such sweeping (and incorrect) claims.

Mark H. Rodeffer
Editor, Russia Report

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