Disappearing Dissent on Russian TV

Reports Clifford J. Levy in today’s New York Times, there’s very little throwing down of gauntlets these days on Throw Down the Gauntlet and other political talk shows on Russian TV (“all the major national and regional networks are now owned by the government or its allies).” Further:

Senior government officials deny the existence of a stop list, saying that people hostile to the Kremlin do not appear on TV simply because their views are not newsworthy.

In interviews, journalists said that they did not believe the Kremlin kept an official master stop list but that the networks kept their own, and that they all operated under an informal stop list— an understanding of the Kremlin’s likes and dislikes.

An accompanying article consists of comments, translated from a Russian language blog run by the Times, from Russians reacting to Levy’s piece. Says “Marginov”:

I have long been irritated by the fact that the West harshly criticizes Russia, while easily forgiving itself. Censorship, or rather, self-censorship, is everywhere.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.