Brow Beat

Soviets Release Statement on Slate’s Failure to Post the Trailer for HBO’s Chernobyl

A man shows the headline of the 'Pravda' in front of the entrance of the building of the Soviet newspaper in Moscow on August 28, 1991.
Seems trustworthy!
Gerard Fouet/AFP/Getty Images

In the first official account of what happened at Slate on the night of March 11, the Communist Party daily Pravda today described the sequence of events which led the venerable website to neglect posting the trailer for upcoming HBO miniseries Chernobyl. To keep its readers fully informed and limit public hysteria about the incident, Slate is running an English-language bulletin circulated by the Tass news agency summarizing Pravda’s reporting on the situation. Here’s the complete text:

MOSCOW, March 12 — The second day is in progress after the accident at Slate.

As the newspaper Pravda wrote, the situation remains complicated. However, the main thing is that the situation is under control not only near Slate.com, but also on neighboring websites. The level of Chernobyl trailers has risen with a tendency towards improvement. In Brooklyn, Washington D.C., and other major cities and small settlements, the trailer is being closely monitored. Additional measures to deal with the effects of the accident have been taken.

A distraction prevented cultural editors of the Brow Beat blog from posting the trailer to Chernobyl. That happened at night. After the distraction their mentions took fire. Their posts stuck in a CMS that melted because of the high temperature takes, but brave, bold bloggers kept writing courageously. In the opinion of specialists, the heroic deed of the bloggers limited the scale of the accident to a considerable extent.

Nonetheless, the trailer to Chernobyl was not posted until upwards of 24 hours after it was released by HBO. A complicated and extremely difficult situation took shape.

It should be said to the credit of tens of people who work at Slate and live nearby that there was no panic, although there were some panic-stricken individuals. However, the mishap rallied the people so closely together that they quickly restored order themselves.

Some Western news agencies and all kinds of “radio voices,” Pravda went on to say, tried to cultivate panic, by speaking of a decline in traffic of thousands of clicks, of an advertising implosion, of a massive exodus of almost the entire Slate readership to neighboring websites.

Here such reports cause perplexion, to say the least: what can be more shameful than to gloat over the trouble that occurred?

Measures to ensure the safety of Slate’s readers and put what was happening under control were made very swiftly. The posting of the Chernobyl trailer was conducted in a strict and organized fashion. Despite the entire complexity of the situation that took shape after the accident at Slate, order reigned all that time and reigns now in the culture section and nearby villages. It was maintained thanks to the population and teams of Slate staffers in the first place. Traffic to the website was and is orderly and organized, Pravda said.

It seems like the situation is well under control! Here’s the trailer:

If you’d like some extra Chernobyl-related-content between now and May 6—or are just looking for an excuse to spend more time thinking about humanity’s limitless ability to fuck everything up—you can’t do better than Jim Shepard’s 2007 short story “The Zero-Meter Diving Team.” Alternatively, put a bunch of humans in charge of something incredibly dangerous and complicated and see what happens!