Another Original LR Translation: Good Morning, Vladimir Vladimiriovich! -- by our Original Translator
Good Morning, Vladimir Vladimirovich!
March 28, 2008
[TN: Russians don’t say “Mr. Putin.” Instead, they refer to a person by his full first and middle name when they want to show respect. “Vladimir Vladimirovich” is the full first and middle name of Russian “president” Vladmir Putin, and also of Vladimir Pozner, TV talk-show host, pictured below]
Vladimir Pozner has disclosed to the world a terrible secret: on March 27, during a roundtable discussion on “moral and ethical issues in Russian television, and possible amendments to the Law on Mass Media”, he announced that there is no freedom of speech in the Russian mass media. The distinguished television alum further insisted that “our Law on Mass Media is failing in the most important respect: I can confirm that in our television programming, and not only our television programming, there is no freedom of speech.” For example, according to Pozner, during recent parliamentary and presidential elections “there were subjects that were completely off-limits: things that could not be talked about, things that could not be shown, people who could not be invited to speak on air.” Pozner supported the president of the National Association of Television Broadcasters (NAT) Eduard Sagalaev, who said in particular, “In television we have very little of the truth and a great deal of vulgarity.” “In
Sagalaev’s final phrase was especially pathetic - one had to think, What’s not to know? Just tell the truth, get rid of the vulgarities - and you’ll have free speech. These aren’t some kind of mythical figures, crankishly going on and on, these are you yourselves - Vladimir Pozner is one of the leading television journalists in the country. One should note that this is not the first time that Pozner has made such pronouncements. Once, after a viewing of the George Clooney film “Good Night and Good Luck”, he also bemoaned the cheapness and groveling nature of our television. Even on his Echo of
Truthfully, this is reminiscent of nothing so much as an alcoholic going on and on about the evils of drink.
Igor Yakovlenko, Russian Journalists
The fact that Pozner is not doing anything in his own broadcasts to improve freedom of speech is due to the fact that Pozner is not the owner of the station where he works. The owner is the Kremlin, as is the case with all our other nationwide television stations as well - all are completely controlled by the government. Hence, Pozner is forced to play by the rules dictated to him by the owner - the Kremlin. If Pozner doesn’t abide by these rules, he will quickly disappear from the air, and he knows it perfectly well. Now a different question: Can one remain a journalist, while working on nationwide television? The answer most probably is “No”. Pozner tries, and sometimes succeeds. But lately, not much.