Russian TV Rubs Out Putin Foes

Rumored 'stop list' keeps pesky gov't opponents off the airwaves
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 3, 2008 9:17 AM CDT
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a meeting in Moscow Tuesday, May 27. Since he campaigned, opponents of the government have been rare on Russian TV.   (AP Photo/Alexander Nemenov, Pool)
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(Newser) – Russian TV stations have just the solution for pesky opposition commentary—they simply keep it off the airways, even digitally erasing one anti-Putin analyst, the New York Times reports. Putin’s opponents are included in what some call a “stop list” of figures banned from television coverage. It’s “an excellent way to stifle dissent,” said the erased analyst.

“We do not have freedom of the press when it comes to the television networks,” said a talk show host. Opponents who once filled the airwaves have stopped appearing since this year’s presidential campaigns. Government officials say that’s because they have nothing relevant to say, and deny such a list exists. But journalists say it’s an unofficial catalogue driven by TV networks who don’t want to risk opposing the Kremlin.