What is it about Political Thugs and Animals?

Is the press required to report on everything a political leader does?  Is there something of extra special news worthiness about a political thug like Putin playing with a lil’ tiger cub?  (Associated Press, emphasis mine):

As president and now prime minister, Putin is known for his tough talk and macho image. But children and animals seem to bring out a softer side.

Holy shit, really?

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