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Putin Elegantly Schools Clueless Opposition Journalist on Free Speech (Video)

The President explains why a 5th Column ‘opposition’ broadcaster’s positions are counterfactual and serve American propaganda purposes

In this video recorded several years ago, the gentleman on the right is easily recognizable. The hairy guy on the left is Alexei Venedictov, editor of Echo of Moscow, a nationally broadcast ‘opposition’ radio network.

The President patiently explains to the Editor why the position promoted by the radio regarding the US anti ballistic missile shield namely, that it presents no danger to Russia, is in contradiction with well established facts. All the editor could muster was to get offended.

<figcaption>Is this guy for real?</figcaption>
Is this guy for real?

Watching this video reminded me of my own early column in the Moscow Times called ‘Fiddling While Russia Burns’:

“I experienced [...] anxiety at my dacha on Saturday while listening to Echo of Moscow radio’s continuous coverage of the unsanctioned demonstration held on Moscow’s Triumfalnaya Ploshchad. The protest was organized by the Strategy 31 opposition movement, intended to draw attention to Article 31 of the Constitution that guarantees freedom of assembly.

Echo of Moscow kept its listeners on the edge of their seats from well before the demonstration started to well after it was over. Based on Echo’s dramatic coverage, I imagined a massive political crisis was unfolding in the capital. But as it turned out, only 200 protesters and 300 journalists took part.

While the broadcaster was ruminating about the sorry state of the Constitution and its crumbling democracy, state-controlled television had devoted their air time to covering the state of emergency gripping the country — a heat wave and brush fires that took 30 lives and burned hundreds of homes to the ground.

Somehow, it was a relief knowing that there are forces of nature far more dangerous than President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.”

Let me leave these episodes that happened well before the Bolotnaya protests in Moscow and well before Maidan in Kiev with just one comment - the hairy guy is still in charge of Echo of Moscow radio and it hasn’t changed since Putin drew their attention to an openly pro-US stand in their coverage.

What a sorry state for press freedom in Russia!

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