Hotmail  |  Gmail  |  Yahoo  |  Justice Mail
powered by Google

Add JFNC Google Bar Button to your Browser Google Bar Group  
Welcome To Justice For North Caucasus Group

Log in to your account at Justice For North Caucasus eMail system.

Request your eMail address

eMaill a Friend About This Site.

Google Translation



Moscow Times: Knife, Munich, Putin On State TV

posted by FerrasB on September, 2008 as FREEDOM & FEAR

Knife, Munich, Putin on State TV

15 September 2008By Natalya Krainova / Staff WriterSo rare is it to hear anything but fawning praise for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on national television that the mere mention of his name in a less-than-flattering context can put television hosts and producers on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

Such was the case on a recent evening on state-owned Rossia television, one of the Kremlin's more servile media outlets.

In a live broadcast of the show "Phenomenon," which features magicians and mind-readers, Alexander Char, a self-proclaimed telepath, swore that he could plant the plot of a detective story in the minds of audience members merely by looking them in the eye.

The story, Char said in the Sept. 5 broadcast, had already been put on paper and locked in a safe, and now he would telepathically relay to three spectators three key details of the crime: the murder weapon, the place of the crime and the name of the perpetrator.

The first two participants answered "knife" and "Munich," respectively, responses that Char's assistant dutifully wrote down on what appeared to be a dry-erase board.

Char then asked a third spectator to name the perpetrator. "Tell me the name of a famous person not in the auditorium," he said.

After a long deliberation, the young man answered, "Putin," prompting a burst of laughter and applause from the audience.

Char gave his assistant the go-ahead to write down the response, resulting in a curious combination of words staring out at viewers: "Knife. Munich. Putin."

It was only a matter of seconds before the host, Denis Semenikhin, rushed in from offstage, his earpiece visible, informing the startled telepath that he was being told the use of the prime minister's name was unacceptable. "This is simply inappropriate," Semenikhin said.

Confusion reigned for several seconds while the host, the psychic and the assistant tried to figure out what to do. Attempts to erase Putin from the board proved futile, and the eventual solution only seemed to make things more awkward.

Putin's first name was acceptable, they agreed, and was subsequently written at the bottom of the list, which now read: "Knife. Munich. Putin. Vladimir." When Char read the list aloud, he omitted the third line.

It was a bizarre few minutes that a Rossia spokesperson on Friday described as "an accident."

"No one is fully safeguarded from such incidents. ... There have not been any consequences," the spokesperson said on customary condition of anonymity, declining further comment.

A video of the episode has made its way onto the Internet, where many have suggested that the entire incident was planned. Putin, after all, completely brought television to heel during his eight years in office.

National television channels, once bristling with criticism of the government and one another, are now more likely to show fawning reports of Putin saving a camera crew from a tiger than give the slightest hint that his persona or policies are anything less than infallible.

Viktor Shenderovich, former screenwriter for the political puppet show "Kukly" on NTV, said Putin has "created an atmosphere of fear in the country."

"Fear is something irrational, and the irrational played the leading role" in the incident, said Shenderovich, whose show openly mocked Putin before being axed when NTV fell under state control in Putin's first term.

As testimony to the existence of free media, the government has pointed to the television coverage of the January 2005 protests over the monetization of Soviet-era benefits, which threatened to topple the Cabinet.

Television journalist Maxim Shevchenko, a vocal supporter of Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev, said the reaction by the show's host and producers was natural because Russians are loath to lampoon their leaders.

"This is not Oprah, where they freely parody the [U.S.] president," said Shevchenko, host of the political talk show "Sudite Sami" on state-run Channel One television. "Russians have a different mentality."

Sergei Dorenko, once the country's most famous television personality, said the leader of the country is a "tsar" and a "sacred figure" in Russia. "To mention him in an ironic context is to desecrate him, [and this] fills Russians with consternation," Dorenko said.

Dorenko, a former anchor on ORT, the predecessor to Channel One, has said he lost his show on the channel after he aired an emotionally charged report about the sinking of the Kursk nuclear submarine in 2000 -- Putin's first major crisis as president.

After hosting a radio show on liberal-leaning Ekho Moskvy radio, Dorenko recently took a job as editor-in-chief at the Kremlin-friendly Russian News Service.

Semenikhin, the host of the show, may have been frightened by Putin's reputation as a touchy and vindictive person, said Alexei Mukhin, an analyst with the Center for Political Technologies.

"The host understands that Putin takes such things seriously, and he wanted to avoid an unpleasant conversation with his editor," Mukhin said.

There was one other glaring reference in the combination of words that began the frantic series of developments, Mukhin said.

At a security conference in February 2007, Putin gave a hawkish address that became one of the more memorable speeches of his eight years in office.

The site of the speech, which was filled with sharp criticism comparing U.S. foreign policy with that of Nazi Germany? Munich.

 comments (0)

1 - 1 of 1



Search Message Boards

JFNC Message Boards


 april 2014

 february 2014

 may 2011

 september 2010

 april 2010

 december 2009

 june 2009

 april 2009

 march 2009

 february 2009

 january 2009

 december 2008

 november 2008

 october 2008

 september 2008

 august 2008

 july 2008

 june 2008

 may 2008

 april 2008

 march 2008

 february 2008

 january 2008

 december 2007

 november 2007

 october 2007

 september 2007

 august 2007

 july 2007

 june 2007

 may 2007

 april 2007

 march 2007

 february 2007

 january 2007

 december 2006

 november 2006

 october 2006

 september 2006

 august 2006

 july 2006

 june 2006

 may 2006

 april 2006

 march 2006

 february 2006

 january 2006

 december 2005

 november 2005

 october 2005

 september 2005

 august 2005

 july 2005

 june 2005

 may 2005

 april 2005

 march 2005

 january 2005

 november 2000

 october 2000

 september 2000

 august 2000

 july 2000

 june 2000

 may 2000

 april 2000

 march 2000

 february 2000

 january 2000

Acknowledgement: All available information and documents in "Justice For North Caucasus Group" is provided for the "fair use". There should be no intention for ill-usage of any sort of any published item for commercial purposes and in any way or form. JFNC is a nonprofit group and has no intentions for the distribution of information for commercial or advantageous gain. At the same time consideration is ascertained that all different visions, beliefs, presentations and opinions will be presented to visitors and readers of all message boards of this site. Providing, furnishing, posting and publishing the information of all sources is considered a right to freedom of opinion, speech, expression, and information while at the same time does not necessarily reflect, represent, constitute, or comprise the stand or the opinion of this group. If you have any concerns contact us directly at:

Page Last Updated: {Site best Viewed in MS-IE 1024x768 or Greater}Copyright © 2005-2009 by Justice For North Caucasus ®