Jets! Possibly Also Sharks!

FILE: August 7, 2008: A Russian officer takes a picture of a Tu-95 bomber at a military airbase in Engels, roughly 559 miles south of Moscow. (REUTERS) Via Fox News.

Gonna give everyone the opportunity to contrast this picture with this headline “Air Force confirms Russian jets circled US territory of Guam.”

43 comments on this post.
  1. J. Otto Pohl:

    Engels formerly Pokrovsk was the capital of the Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic from 1924-1941. It is just about the only city to retain its original German name in the territory. Even Marxstadt became just Marx.

  2. ploeg:

    Certainly they are leveraging their stock photos to the full to show a prop plane in a story about jets. We’re lucky that they didn’t embed some footage from Tora! Tora! Tora!.

  3. Peter Hovde:

    The props are just for show.

  4. Major Kong:

    I actually had a chance to crawl inside a TU-95 a few years back. They brought a couple to Barksdale AFB as part of an exchange.

  5. Pinko Punko:

    Russian air things are all the same. They should have just showed more meteor pics.

  6. joejoejoe:

    Not sure why but this post made me play Pink Floyd’s Not Now John.

    Got to bring the Russian Bear to his knees.
    Well, maybe not the Russian Bear
    Maybe the Swedes.


  7. Major Kong:

    Those TU-95s are surprisingly fast, despite being turboprops. Top speed is pretty close to what a jet with the same wing sweep would achieve.

    They’re also unbelievably loud. Both outside and inside (from what I’m told).

  8. commie atheist:

    To war! To war! The country’s going to go to war!

  9. N__B:

    When you’re Fox News
    You’re Fox News all the way
    From your day’s first ad hom
    To you airing Inhofe.
    When you’re Fox News
    And a Russki plane lands
    You shout from the trees
    Mars’s demands

  10. oldster:

    but is it as sweet as Tupolev honey?

  11. newsouthzach:

    It’s worse than that, of course. The story, like the photo, is about turboprop aircraft. Only the headline is about “jets.”

  12. efgoldman:

    Farley just wanted an excuse to use that title for a post.

  13. Keaaukane:

    Come on, it’s Fox. They got the right plane and the right country of origin. Even with the inaccurate headline, they still get a gold star sticker. Baby steps.

  14. the lingonberry jam:


  15. joejoejoe:

    Your conclusions are all wrong Ryan Seacrest. Halsey acted stupidly.

  16. cpinva:

    plus, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles! nothing says Dr. Strangelove more than nuclear-tipped cruise missiles baby!

  17. oldster:

    Also, could I complain to the management here?

    You made me click on a Faux News link, without telling me it was a Faux News link.

    There oughta be a law!

    And when I got there, I saw that this is the top “trending story!”

    It’s almost like you could use the “trending story” in order to analyze your readers’ demographics.

    If they get excited when there’s a new cream for hemorrhoids, a new cache of unreleased Lawrence Welk tapes, or a new threat of Soviet brinksmanship, you must be dealing with the Faux News demographic.

    Even as we speak they are leaning back in their Lazy-Boys, brandishing their canes at an uncertain sky, and howling “curse you, Kruschev!”

  18. efgoldman:

    ….a new cache of unreleased Lawrence Welk tapes…you must be dealing with the Faux News demographic.

    Around these parts, Lawrence Welk plays on the local PBS affiliate, on Saturday evenings at seven.

  19. CaitieCat:

    Ilyushins are there
    With weapons all selected
    And Tupolev air
    Their bombsights all connected
    They’ve been inSPECTed!

  20. Warren Terra:

    There is so much wrong with this story I hardly know where to start:
    1) “jets”, obviously.
    2) Guam is 2500 kilometers from anywhere. It’s 4000 kilometers from Sakhalin, the nearest Russian territory (and north of Guam, the direction the planes supposedly left towards); twice that for a round trip, obviously, discounting weather and mishap. That’s within the range of the TU95 (which Google tells me is 12500 km), but hardly within casual range, and at 600 km/hour it’s a bit of a jaunt. They could do it, of course, but only to make a point – and they’d likely advertise the point.
    3) “nuclear-tipped cruise missiles” my left testicle. Even if they were to embark on this weird stunt, no way they’d send nukes along for 12 hours and 8000 miles outside of Russian territory, one birdstrike away from losing them, just for kicks. And what would be the point of sending a bomber carrying nuclear-tipped cruise missiles to circle Guam, even had there been heightened tensions? To bring them within range of Sidney, or something? Has Russia forgotten it has ICBMs?
    4) The source is given as the “Washington Free Beacon”, which I’ve never heard of and which the (Fox News) story asserts is a “newspaper”. Wikipedia describes it instead as “an American web site that publishes associated content from a U.S. conservative perspective … founded in February 2012 by Matthew Continetti”. If you can’t believe warmongering and exaggerated claims from an obscure website helmed by Bill Kristol’s son-in-law, what can you believe?

  21. heckblazer:

    The Washington Free Beacon is for people who think the Washington Times is a bit too liberal.

  22. heckblazer:

    IIRC their propeller blade tips travel at supersonic speeds, and is tied with the XF-84H “Thunderscreach” for loudest aircraft ever. The latter could be heard 25 miles away, and the shockwaves from the propeller could knock a man over, and that was while it was idling.

  23. i.boskone:

    It is indeed strange that everything in the body of the report is – ehrm – accurate: Stock photo of a Tu-95, Tu-95 mentioned in the article, correctly identified as Russian, etc. If they wanted to be consistently alarmist (eg “the Russian bombers were equipped with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles” – how could they tell? Did Superman accompany those F-15s and use his X-ray vision?), ‘bomber‘ would have been a cromulently scary word to use in the headline.

  24. i.boskone:

    + 600 km/hr

  25. Major Kong:

    The Russians have always been very worried about their nuclear command and control.

    They never kept nuclear armed bombers on alert like we did.

    About once a year they’d pull a weapon out of storage, practice loading it on the plane, and then put it back in storage.

  26. Bill K:

    With the very high bypass turbo fan engines of today which derive a lot of their thrust from the fan (GE GEnx bypass is 9.5/1) there is a bluring of the differences between turbo fan and turboprops, and turboprops do have a bit of direct jet thrust as well. I have a lot of dealings with engineers at GE Aviation, P&W, and Rolls-Royse and we just call them generically jet engines.

  27. Mike G:

    It’s Fox News. We’re lucky they didn’t call it an “Airbus 767 jumbo jet”

  28. James E. Powell:

    And the phrase “a U.S. conservative perspective” is a euphemism for “an unhinged lunatic’s imagination.”

  29. bad Jim:

    The BBC has this story too, except that it’s from 2007.

  30. herr doktor bimler:

    Not sure why, but this story — following so soon after the papal resignation — made me play old Elton John singles.

  31. herr doktor bimler:

    The original story seems to be from a Guam source:

    The Washington Beacon blogger picked it up, appended the claim that the Air Force press release was told exclusively to him, and inserted the bit about nuclear-tipped cruise missiles because the original words “The official said it’s impossible to determine whether the Russian bombers carried any nuclear weapons” were insufficiently inflammatory.

  32. cpinva:

    this gets even better:

    according to this “story”, unnamed “defense dept. officials” claimed the bomber probably had nukes on board. how they would know that is not explained (X-Ray vision maybe?). give this another week to perc, and we’ll have the tea party sequal to 7 Days in May.

  33. cpinva:

    ok, clearly i am “link” challenged, but go ahead and click it anyway. geez!

  34. gorillagogo:

    Saw the headline and my first thought was that Winnipeg doesn’t play San Jose this season.

  35. John:

    Not too liberal, but too fair-minded. “Do unto others…” is their horrifying slogan, showing their mockery of the golden rule – they will do unto others all the horrible things that the liberals in their imagination have done to them.

  36. i.boskone:

    Thinking a bit more, this mission wouldn’t require an epic 8000 km non-stop round trip. They could stop off at Cam Rahn Bay in Vietnam, a place I recall Tu-95s using as a base back in the days of the USSR.

  37. Warren Terra:

    Conceivable, but I suspect modern Vietnam doesn’t host Russian nukes (I rather doubt Vietnam ever hosted Soviet nukes), and it’s not North of Guam, which us supposedly the direction the plane(s) left towards.

    Plus: it’s also 4000 km from Guam to Vietnam – a bit more, actually, to Hanoi (maybe a bit less to the place you name), so it’s still an 8000 km round trip, and longer if you avoid the airspace of the Philippines.

  38. Warren Terra:

    My god, it’s full of delights:
    1) It claims “Russian strategic bombers are not known to have conducted such operations in the past into the south Pacific from bomber bases in the Russian Far East”, which Herr Doktor Bimler has already shown to be wrong.
    2) The very same phrase is continued thusly: “the Russian Far East, which is thousands of miles away and over water.” What a revelation! The Marianas islands are separated from other land masses by water! And they’re remote!
    3) It quotes John Bolton. He’s disappointed with Obama’s foreign policy. Also, no member of the Obama foreign policy team has sported nearly so fantastic a mustache as his.
    4) It reveals that “the bombers tracked over Guam were likely equipped with six Kh-55 or Kh-55SM cruise missiles that can hit targets up to 1,800 miles away. What’s within that range, you might ask? Well, Papua New Guinea is. And Darwin, Australia, population 130,000 or so. Everyplace else is farther than 1800 miles from Guam or can be reached without getting anywhere near Guam.
    5) “This week’s bomber flights are a sign the Russians are targeting the island as well, one defense official said.” As well as what is left unsaid, not to mention for what purpose they’d dream of targeting the Marianas.
    6) Etcetera.

  39. joe from Lowell:

    Headlines are generally written by an editor, not the reporter who writes the story.

  40. laslo:

    Same here in fly-over country. My deceased grandmother would be so happy. She loved to cut a rug.

  41. The Dark Avenger:

    Same here in the Central Valley of California, the Fresno-Bakersfield based PBS station makes LW a 7:00 PM Saturday night treat.

  42. herr doktor bimler:

    which Herr Doktor Bimler has already shown to be wrong

    Credit belongs to bad Jim.

  43. herr doktor bimler:

    The original story (contains facts & accuracy) explains that the bombers “took off from northeastern Russia and headed south on a long-range flight that required “multiple refueling.”

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