Sunday, March 25, 2012

Swan Lake and NTV.

In the early 90s NTV was one of the most creative independent television stations. In the late 90s Vladimir Putin suppressed the company. It was taken over by those loyal to him. Now its specialty are exposés of anti-Putin opposition. The smear campaign is so underhanded that NTV staff, according to reports from Moscow and chat on Facebook, have become 'unhandshakeable' (нерукопожатными).  

Last Sunday hundreds went to NTV headquarters to protest against the latest programme, The Anatomy of Protest, which claimed that protesters were in the pay of foreign manipulators.

The Washington Post reporter Will Englund was there:  
Occasionally, they would turn to face the TV building and chant, “Shame on NTV.” Then, at a still moment, someone shouted, “Swan Lake!” The Tchaikovsky ballet is indelibly associated by Russians — even those who were mere children at the time — with the failed hard-line Communist coup of 1991, when Soviet television played it over and over as a way of suppressing the news. For many, “Swan Lake” stands for cowardly television and the ultimate failure of those politicians who believe that only they can dictate events.
WP's report links to my article last year on how Swan Lake was the wrong choice to play on TV during the anti-Gorbachev coup (click on the link in the quote above)

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