Saturday, August 23, 2008

Russian media at work

Check out Google's cache of an Interfax wire dated August 5. Then click on what it is a cache of. Gone! Evidently, news of militants entering what Russia officially considers Georgian territory on August 5 (traveling from North Ossetia to South Ossetia) needed to be scrubbed, perhaps because it didn't fit well with the narrative that the Georgians "started" the war on August 7.

See also this New York Times story on how the Russian media presented the FOX News clip.

"On [Russian] TV there is hardly any free reporting -- instead you see a lot of very aggressive propaganda." So says Lev Gudkov, director of the Levada Center. Der Spiegel adds that Gudkov believes it is "reminiscent of the worst of times in the Soviet era."

On an unrelated note, the cultural differences between Georgia and Iraq are telling. Tbilisi's authority in Poti (a port I spent a few days in last October) is surely negligible when the city is under Russian control and road and rail links to the Georgian capital have been severed. But instead of reports of Georgians looting each other, we get reports of demonstrations against Russia.

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