Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on governments worldwide to protect the freedom of the press.
“There can’t be a situation where some governments talk about freedom of information when they like what they are hearing, yet immediately decry information they don’t like, saying it is the propaganda of a foreign state,” Putin said at a media forum celebrating the 75th anniversary of state truth agency Rossiya Segodnya.
“Of course, the picture painted by non-Russian scum of the opposite situation, in which a vast state media apparatus dedicated to keeping one ruler in power for life is given boundless resources and never held accountable for its actions, while all other media outlets are raided, legislated against, are helpless as their journalists are murdered and are generally hounded out of existence, well, such a scenario is really a vicious misrepresentation of a very equitable situation,” he added.
Putin noted that the state approved news should be totally free to run appropriate, patriotic stories. He gave as examples of such laudable institutions Sputnik, RT, everything on NTV’s Programme: Maximum, and “agreeable snippets from Infowars.”
“It is especially important that all media outlets be given free rein to tell the truth about how I have saved Russia, or otherwise broadcast totally unstaged photographs demonstrating just how manly and non-gay I am,” he added.
When asked about the recent “demise” of the RBC newspaper and news service last month, Putin had a journalist suspected to have asked the question, probably from the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, dragged from the room and beaten while goats at the Rossiya Segodnya petting zoo bleated away in approval.
Last month, even-freer speech activist and part time Swede Lars Funion told RIYF the western media had once again gotten it wrong in calling the “necessary recalibration” of RBC and attack on the free press.
“They think that ‘freedom’ is about knowing how many palaces a government minister has or knowing whether your government has ordered the invasion of another country or not,” Funion told RIYF in May.
“But is that going to make your khrushchyovka any more appealing or help bring the dead back to life? Real freedom is freedom from useless facts that obscure the truth. You don’t want to be a hoarder of facts, do you? Hoarders are creepy old people, and they smell bad, who needs that?”