Kremlin Appoints Gay-Bashing Anchor to Lead Its Media Empire

The government of Russian President Vladimir Putin has disbanded long-running state news agency RIA Novosti and reorganized it under a new, even more propagandistic operation — a sign, critics fear, of Putin's deepening authoritarianism

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Mikhail Metzel / Ria Novosti / Kreml / EPA

President Putin at Moscow State University on Dec. 3, 2013

The Kremlin has chosen its messenger. Dmitri Kiselyov, the Russian news anchor known for his on-air tirades against Americans and homosexuals, was appointed on Monday to lead a new state-run media conglomerate, Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today). Even among the cynical ranks of Russia’s journalists, the news came as a shock. But it was not so much the fear of censorship that bothered them — the airwaves in Russia are already tightly controlled by the state. It was rather the standard-bearer President Vladimir Putin chose, one whose venom toward the West and its values would make all but the fiercest Cold Warriors recoil.

In April last year, Kiselyov stated on national television that homosexuals killed in automobile accidents should have their “hearts buried in the ground or burned” to prevent their transplantation into another human body. Though rights groups pointed out that this remark constituted hate speech under Russian law, Kiselyov was not reprimanded. In fact he was promoted a few months later to become the anchor of Russia’s premier news program, Vesti Nedeli, a platform he has used to deliver weekly diatribes against Russia’s enemies, both real and imagined.

In June, he accused the U.S. of forming an alliance with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups in order to “spread chaos” and achieve “world domination,” while European societies, he said, are succumbing to a “cult of homosexuality” and a “betrayal of Christianity.” The only one who can beat back these threats to civilization, he argued, is President Vladimir Putin, whom Kiselyov holds up as a national savior. “From among his peers in the 20th century, Putin the politician is comparable in the scope of his efforts only to Stalin,” the anchor said last year. He meant this as a compliment.

In his new role, Kiselyov will answer directly to Putin in guiding Russian propaganda at home and abroad. His mission, he said, would not involve the objective presentation of the news — a practice he recently condemned as being “absolutely unwanted” — but the “revival of a fair attitude toward Russia as an important country with good intentions.”

That was roughly the same goal assigned to the Kremlin’s foreign-language news channel, RT, when it was launched in 2005. Since then, the channel has become an international vehicle for admiring coverage of the Kremlin that also airs some of Russia’s favorite conspiracy theories, like the recent RT report arguing a link between American security services and the bombing at the Boston Marathon. But RT’s coverage, which the Russian government has spent billions of dollars beaming into the homes of more than 600 million people in 100 countries, apparently did not go far enough. Its editor in chief, Margarita Simonyan, said she was stunned on Monday to hear the news of the Kremlin’s latest media venture.

Even RIA Novosti, the state-run news agency being liquidated to make room for the new conglomerate, could not hold its tongue in reporting the news on Monday morning. “The move is the latest in a series of shifts in Russia’s news landscape, which appear to point toward a tightening of state control in the already heavily regulated media sector,” the agency wrote.

Fighting back tears on Monday during a meeting with her employees, the longest-serving editor in the history of RIA Novosti, Svetlana Mironyuk, paid homage to her predecessors — “some of whom were executed, some of whom imprisoned” — during the frequent purges of journalists in the Soviet Union. “I’m sorry to all of those whom I could not protect,” she said, according to a video of the meeting leaked online. “It’s truly painful for me that this history has to end with me.”

And even though she was no stranger to propaganda and no friend to freedom of the press, Mironyuk’s ouster horrified the dwindling ranks of Russia’s independent journalists. On Monday, they rushed to defend her for at least avoiding dogmatism, if not fighting censorship. Under Kiselyov, they realized, things are about to get worse.

26 comments
Wiggymaster
Wiggymaster

Welcome back, Cold War.  We hardly had time to miss you.

Jay_Adams
Jay_Adams

I think in the article - half of truth, half of lies or propaganda.
Surely he not spoke this or some points were cut out of context.
I think he is normal man and this appointment is good appointment.

Imho, in Russian media has more pluralism opinions vs western media.

HelenSmith
HelenSmith

“Even among the cynical ranks of Russia’s journalists, the news came as a shock”.

Not true. The truth would be “among some Russian journalists”. You see what is good for a westener isn’t good for a Russian and vice versa.

“The airwaves in Russia are already tightly controlled by the state” I wouldn’t say so. They are tightly controlled by the liberal wing of the government and this is what frustrates the Russians. Russians are fed up with liberals, liberal culture and liberal media. They even don’t object to censorship because they are tired of westernization and liberal vulgarity on TV. They want more pro-Russian information on TV. More of Russian culture, not western.

“should have their “hearts buried in the ground or burned” I guess he didn’t mean it. It was a bad joke. He meant that gays can’t be donors in US and other western states.

accused the U.S. of forming an alliance with al-Qaeda … achieve “world domination,” while European societies, he said, are succumbing to a “cult of homosexuality” Can you object to that? I totally agree.

“The only one who can beat back these threats to civilization, he argued, is President Vladimir Putin, whom Kiselyov holds up as a national savior”. Is it an accurate citation? I doubt it.

“From among his peers in the 20th century, Putin the politician is comparable in the scope of his efforts only to Stalin,” the anchor said last year. He meant this as a compliment.

Well, he is right as regards the scope. Neither Hrushchov, nor Gorbachov, nor Yeltsin can’t be compared to Putin as historic figures. The problem is that the author evaluates Putin from the western point of view. Remember what I said in the beginning? What is good for a westener isn’t good for a Russian and vice versa. Stalin is viewed in modern Russia as a controversial figure, a tyrant, but a tyrant who introduced order, industrialized the country and won the war. The same with Putin.

“Under Kiselyov, they realized, things are about to get worse”. Well, Russians don’t think so. On the contrary, they rejoice at this appointment. May be after this Russian media will become more pro-Russian.

superconsumerone
superconsumerone

This is bad journalism. Its very bias, the sentences are frazed to highlight one point of you, the sources don't give a full scope of the situation and double standerds in relation to another country. I can't believe this is time magazine.

ZRod
ZRod

I do wish the US and EU would publicly offer asylum to LGBT individuals in Russia and other oppressive societies.

Yes, under US law they would be able to apply for citizenship ship based on asylum and UN charter also deplores these oppressive acts. Someone needs to take a stand though.

These oppressive countries are far behind economically and technologically for a reason, usually because tech makes control harder for authoritarian "leaders." The only tech they have is what little tech they stole or bought from Western nations which they deplore. Odd.

nadyasuleman
nadyasuleman

thomas monson president and modern day prophet of the mormon church is a serial pedophiel

nadyasuleman
nadyasuleman

for 2 million in cash i will kill putin dead

militanttradcat
militanttradcat

You are born a man or a woman…No one is born with a homosexual gene any more than one is born with a murder gene.Both souls pervert themselves to their destructive condition. First they pervert their minds and then their hearts and then their actions.No man, no judge, no nation will be allowed to pervert the Natural Laws of God-!!The Divine justice will come for them with the serious punishment of damnation unless they amend their lives.

Marriage is and has always been [by nature] between a man and a woman.An SS marriage is a guilty conscience out to assuage itself with a civil license to commit SODOMY-!!We all know the story of Sodom and Gomorrah...two cities today buried beneath the deadest sea on planet Earth.God will NOT be mocked-!!!!!!!!!

richardjpapp
richardjpapp

It's about time a person in a high government position said something that's on the minds of all decent righteous people.

Too bad he's not an American. 

BeBe
BeBe

this kind of garbage is just the reason we need institutions like the American Family Happily Institute, promoting the ideas that a) sexuality is healthy, normal, wholesome and Very important part of life, and b) everyone should love and make a family they are most happily with and within, and even c) that actually bisexuality is the morally and ethically and aesthetically and philosophically Superior position/orientation to be! and that it's of course very fine and nice and not a problem if someone can Only be homosexual or heterosexual, but that if they Can learn how to explore their most likely innate at least partial bisexuality, they'll probably not only have more FUN but be Healthier and bring more GOOD to the world for it! if you agree you should check out their Happily Plan. http://AFHI.us


venger
venger

Putin needs to consolidate his grip on news so that he can continue to strip Russia of any semblance of democracy. He, like other criminals, prefers to work in the shadows.

JimFisher1
JimFisher1

It's Ceevodnya--the Cyrillic g in this case is pronounced like a v. Very astute reporting. 

MarkTesla
MarkTesla

@HelenSmith are you crazy? Russians don't rejoice at this appointment. Most don't care, and the ones who do, are appalled. 

donvon1204
donvon1204

Sounds like the Russian gov't has their 'reputation.com' guys surfing the web for them... I smell a Russian gov't worker at work here.  Otherwise, you are one seriously unbalanced idiot.

KarenBrodsky
KarenBrodsky

@nadyasuleman ...yeah ...I am so sure.  like nobody has ever tried before????? please......BTW...if you kill somebody they usually end up dead.........

but why not send this to Putin he could probably use a good laugh>>>>.

bawgs
bawgs

If we can't mock God, can we at least mock you? First, you really shouldn't believe everything you read. Second, what exactly are your credentials for determining whether someone is born gay or not? And, if God is so mad about homosexuality, what is he waiting for? Shouldn't he be burying cities and whatnot? Quit trying to spread your hate just because you don't understand what motivates others.

callen34
callen34

@militanttradcat Putin is a master at creating loyalty through populist hate, just like Hitler did by hating Jews. Only weak-minded people like you serve Putin's purposes. 

ZRod
ZRod

By nature? You do know that, per a old 2006 report, 1500 animals, both instinctual and intellectual, have been actively observed engaging in homosexual acts. People like you tend to not believe science but, "the good thing about science is that it is true weather you believe in it or not."

Also, homosexuality is believed by science to be something you are born with. The US and EU do not run off the laws of any gods.

ZRod
ZRod

Which is?

KarenBrodsky
KarenBrodsky

@venger

ummmmmm....the shadows?? Putin is in the news every single day since he cut off the balls of Obama....

the American govt is trying to make putin the worst man in the entire world because of how ridiculous he made Obama look..

NecAr85
NecAr85

@donvon1204 Only your opinion is true, the other can not have it? Otherwise, they immediately become either idiots or the security forces?

KarenBrodsky
KarenBrodsky

@callen34@militanttradcat ...weak minded??/ you compare the murderer of 6 million jews to Putin???  what 6 million did he kill?? in fact who has he killed??? you diminish what Hitler did when you make such a ridiculous comparison.....so every single person in Russia is weak minded????  oh wait... I know rigged elections.......