Real Time With Bill Maher: Kasparov On Democracy

(guest blogged by Bill W.)

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Here's Bill Maher's interview with Garry Kasparov to discuss his latest book " How Life Imitates Chess: Making the Right Moves, from the Board to the Boardroom ." Kasparov is currently challenging President Putin in Russia ( Here's the original link via the way back machine) and has assumed great risk in doing so, as Former KGB general Oleg Kalugin said about Putin "

Putin? Well, I was always outspoken about him. I know this man's background better than many others. I do not talk in details—people who knew them are all dead now because they were vocal, they were open. I am quiet. There is only one man who is vocal, and he may be in trouble: [former] world chess champion [Garry] Kasparov. He has been very outspoken in his attacks on Putin, and I believe that he is probably next on the list.

Kasparov speaks some about it in this exchange:

Bill Maher: Do you think your fame protects you? Do you think you are such an icon in Russia because of your past chess history that Putin would not kill you?
Garry Kasparov: No I don't think my name affords me an ultimate protection but unlike many other activists in Russia I can rely on my name and my fame, but still I take some measures to minimize the risk.I have bodyguards in Russia, I do not fly Aeroflot, (laughter) I do not consume any food or liquid in places that I'm not fully aware of, but again it's just minimizing the risk. I know that it may not offer me any ultimate protection if the worst comes to worst.

Maher: But when you look at what's going on in Russia, Putin has a very high approval rating. I mean there is something in the ...

Kasparov: How do you know? (laughter) I mean are you sure? Are you relying on the polling results of the police state? I think that with the same type of media and pervasive security force, I believe Bush and Cheney could enjoy the same approval rating here. (applause)

Maher: Checkmate to me.


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The entire interview was really great. Do check it out.

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