Monday, December 9, 2013

Vlad "the imperiler" Putin liquidates 72-year-old Russian news agency; installs notorious homophobe, TV host Dmitry Kiselyov, to run replacement

CNN reports that RIA Novosti's replacement will be called Rossiya Segodnya ("Russia Today") and points "toward a tightening of state control" of the country's media.
     The man who will run RIA Novosti's replacement, contro­versial TV host Dmitry Kiselyov, was "recently embroiled in a scandal over antigay remarks" — which was reported by RIA Novosti.
     From Pink News:
     In an interview with  Ekho Moskvy radio station, Dmitriy Kiselyov was asked by a reporter whether he was aware of recent incidents, such as one during which a gay man was raped with a beer bottle and murdered, after admitting he was gay.
     He responded: “Our [Russian] problem with homosexuals is that they behave in a provocative, victim like way. They deliberately provoke situations, so that they become victims. Nobody prevents them from loving each other the way they want to. They are aggressively foisting minority’s values on majority. It is likely that society would counteract this. Naturally, right? In various ways, including brutal ones. Since they are brutally foisting this [on others]. Wanna fight? Get it, then. So what?”

From RIA Novosti's website, which is still up:
     ...News agency RIA Novosti and the state-owned Voice of Russia radio will be scrapped and absorbed into a new media conglomerate called Rossiya Segodnya, according to a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin.
     The move is the latest in a series of shifts in Russia’s news landscape, which appear to point toward a tightening of state control in the already heavily regulated media sector.
     In a separate decree published Monday, the Kremlin appointed Dmitry Kiselyov, a prominent Russian television presenter and media manager recently embroiled in a scandal over anti-gay remarks, to head Rossiya Segodnya.
     Head of the presidential administration Sergei Ivanov said the changes were about saving money and making state media more effective. 
     “Russia has its own independent politics and strongly defends its national interests: it’s difficult to explain this to the world but we can do this, and we must do this,” Ivanov told reporters.
     The direct translation of Rossiya Segodnya is Russia Today, but the new body will apparently be separate from RT, the Kremlin-funded English-language television channel originally known as Russia Today.
     RT head Margarita Simonyan told Russian news website on Monday that she only found out about the decree from news reports.
     The changes, including legislative amendments, must be carried out by the government within three months, according to the Kremlin. Rossiya Segodnya will be located in the current RIA Novosti building in downtown Moscow, the decree said.
     ...Last month Gazprom-Media, which is closely linked to state-run gas giant Gazprom, bought control of Russian media company Profmedia from Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin. In October, Mikhail Lesin, a former Kremlin advisor, was appointed to head Gazprom-Media.

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