Commentary

Russian TV News Covers Food Fests, Not Massive Protests

Start worrying when you begin to see lots of music and food festivals on your local and national TV newscast.

Apparently, that’s what many pro-Russian state TV networks did when it came to those recent massive demonstrations, where a thousand or more protestors hit the streets.

Russian riot police violently suppressed pro-democracy demonstrations across Moscow, detaining around 1,000 people. This had some pro-Kremlin state news channels featuring a different top news item — a city-sponsored barbecue festival near the Moscow River.

Supposedly, Russian government officials were so concerned that they started another music/food festival so TV news networks could air fresh video content.

You can only get so much insight into music/food festival reruns. Russian TV viewers need a fresh perspective.

There isn’t much of a concern in this country for video experiences like that — even as many call Fox News Channel a “state-run” network. I don’t believe it. I haven’t seen any live airings of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival or the Burning Man event.

Yet we still have President Trump throwing around the idea of so-called fake news. We probably need to see actual evidence. Tucker Carlson says the whole white supremacist thing is a hoax. Evidence? No doubt Carlson, an experienced journalist, has it. He is just holding out for a big reveal moment.

We can imagine social-media concerns abound in Russia — just like in the U.S. Protest video clips did land on some sites, showing protesters being hauled away. But much of this was quashed.

Back in the U.S., President Trump now wants the Federal Communications Commission to monitor social media. Is this for so-called “fake news,” “Russian-manipulated news” or just stuff he doesn’t like? He didn’t specify.

A draft executive order from the White House could put the FCC in charge of shaping how Facebook, Twitter and other large tech companies curate what appears on their websites, according to CNN.

During a recent speech, Trump vowed to "explore all regulatory and legislative solutions to protect free speech."

Phew! No worries. But if I see too many bratwursts cooking on a grill over the next several months with Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” playing in the background, I may start to get worried. Or hungry.

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