Leninĺs Law Applied to Dozhd TV
Published: January 5, 2014 (Issue # 1796)
Theásensation was online coverage about events that took place 70 years ago: Theásiege ofáLeningrad during World War II. Dozhd TV asked their viewers toáanswer aáquestion: ôShould Leningrad have surrendered toáthe Nazis toásave thousands ofálives?ö Theásurvey was not even over before all hell broke loose. Through Twitter, Culture MinisteráVladimir Medinskyáwrote, ôThey are not human,ö referring toáthe Dozhd journalists who thought up theápoll.
Theáincident was discussed byáthe St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, where theáinfamous opponent ofáliberalism andátolerance, deputy Vitaly Milonov, demonstrated his ownáintolerance. ôI am astonished that 54 percent ofáthe cretins who watch Dozhd TV said, ĹYes, Leningrad should have surrendered.ĺ Aápack ofáhyenas!ö Milonov said.
Authorities admitted that Dozhd TV did not break any laws byárunning aácontroversial poll onáthe Leningrad blockade. But atáthe same time, they argue theástation violated moral andáethical laws.
Atáthe initiative ofáthe Legislative Assembly, theáSt. Petersburg prosecutorĺs office began toáinvestigate whether theátelevision station had demonstrated ôextremism,ö aácrime that is punishable byáa five-year jail term. Inálight ofáthis serious threat, Dozhd TV managers sent out memos toáthe staff onáhow toábehave during aásearch.
Theásiege ofáLeningrad is certainly one ofáthe most painful events ofáWorld War IIáŚ andáone with many unanswered questions toábe sure. More civilians died during theásiegeáŚ atáleast 630,000áŚ than British andáFrench soldiers together died over theáentire course ofáthe war. Historians have also tried toáunderstand why food supply lines toáthe city were organized so poorly, especially inácomparison with theáblockade ofáWest Berlin fromá1948 toá1949. Theáhistory ofáthe siege cannot be told without theástories ofáheroism byáthe cityĺs defendersáŚ or without horrible stories ofávile human behavior, like theásumptuous feasts enjoyed byácity party leadership.
Despite all ofáthe noise around theáDozhd TV scandal, none ofáthis is news. Even grade school textbooks ask children toádiscuss almost theáexact same question posed byáDozhd TV. SatiristáViktor Shenderovicháwas right when he said ináan interview onáEkho Moskvy: ôThe survey was just aápretext, ofácourse. It was just aádespicable pretext,ö noting that theáreal reason foráthe scandal lies ináDozhd TVĺs independent editorial policy.
Dozhd TV is unique ináRussia. It is not broadcast over theáair but is only available onáthe Internet or via satellite or cable providers. It is unique ináanother way. It is theáonly television station ináRussia today without censorship andáwithout aáblacklist ofápeople who cannot be invited intoáthe studio. There are no forbidden topics either. Theástation gives much airtime toáRussiaĺs human rights violations, provides balanced reporting onáprotests ináKiev andáhas not been afraid toáreport onácorruption atáthe highest echelons ofápower.
Pages: