Russia moving towards...Putinism?
Now, it looks like Russia may be on its way back to Communism, and, at the same time, we may be facing a new menace presented by the current dictator who could soon be taking over, that being - Putinism. From the Washington Post (via Guns and Butter Blog):
MOSCOW, July 6 -- Russian regulators have forced more than 60 radio stations to stop broadcasting news reports produced by Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, according to radio managers and Russian officials.Yep, the Cold War is upon us once again. That's the sad reality, that, while some ideologies can be deposed of, they can also make a most unwelcome comeback. And this time, it's in the form of Vladimir Putin. Alas, it appears that he is indeed a neo-Commie, which explains also his support for the Hamas.
The regulators cited license violations and unauthorized changes in programming format. But senior executives at the U.S.-government-funded broadcast services and at the stations blame the Kremlin for the crackdown, which has knocked the reports off stations from St. Petersburg in western Russia to Vladivostok in the Far East.
"We focus primarily on domestic developments, and those are exactly the things the Kremlin has problems with," said Jeffrey N. Trimble, acting president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty -- commonly known as Radio Liberty. "This really hurts our ability to reach today's decision-makers."
The two services' straight-up reporting, often by journalists on the ground in Russian communities, has at times challenged the political establishment here. In a country where the news media increasingly avoid controversial subjects, millions of Russians had made the broadcasts a listening staple.
U.S. diplomats, managers at the two news services and their board of governors have held repeated discussions with Russian officials in recent months seeking a compromise, to no avail. "We've tried to be collegial, tried to work within the system, but this is a most unfortunate development," said Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, chairman of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees both services.
Later this month, the leaders of the Group of Eight leading industrialized countries will gather for a summit hosted by Russia in St. Petersburg. The meeting has prompted increased scrutiny here and abroad of the Kremlin's steps to consolidate power since the late 1990s.
Control of the mass media, particularly news and debate on national television channels, is a critical part of the Kremlin's management of political discourse in advance of parliamentary elections in 2007 and presidential elections in 2008.
After Vladimir Putin became president in 2000, the country's major TV channels, the most important media because of their reach, were quickly brought under state control or shut down. State-controlled or state-friendly businesses have been buying up newspapers and radio stations. Outside Moscow and St. Petersburg, media outlets routinely come under the sway of local governors, most of whom are loyal to the Kremlin.
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