Russian Senator to Sputnik: 'West Using Soviet-Style Methods of Media Control'

Commenting on the media landscape in many Western countries today, Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Russian Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee, suggested that Western politicians were trying to deal with alternative sources of information in the worst Soviet-style tradition, far removed from any vaunted principles of freedom or democracy.

Speaking to Radio Sputnik on the sidelines of a forum for Russian-speaking broadcasters, Kosachev said that unfortunately, many Western countries' information policy today is broadly aimed at discrediting Russia and limiting its opportunities in the international arena. 

The senator explained that today, ordinary Western readers, viewers and listeners are bombarded by an information policy developed and implemented by their states. "It is a policy they accuse us of pursuing, but which they themselves implement without any inhibitions. This is a policy of discrediting Russia, a policy of eliminating, or at least restricting Russia's opportunities as a competitor in the international arena," Kosachev noted.

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The senator added that any competition that exists in the formation of narratives about Russia was a lopsided one, "since the lion's share of information about our country is biased, to put it mildly. And if we call things as they really are, this information is often simply false."

At the same time, the senator said that attempts are being made to cut readers, viewers and listeners off from objective information, "of the kind that comes to them from Sputnik, through other authoritative broadcasters operating in Russian and with Russia."

"This is a very unfortunate situation, and it has nothing to do with the freedom of speech or the freedom of information," Kosachev noted.

The senator said that the current drama surrounding Russia in the American media was a perfect example of the kind of gross distortion of reality that's being manufactured.

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"I must confess that just three or four years ago, I thought much better about the United States…[US] politicians and their media," Kosachev said. "I never idealized the country, but it seemed to me that a system of checks and balances, of professionalism, of elementary decency, did exist. I must admit frankly that I was mistaken. What I see today evokes a sense of utmost astonishment – all that's left to do is to shrug one's shoulders."

"The US media is not any sort of fourth estate. They are governed by the first, second and third estates in the interests of these authorities. And US authorities today are openly divided and disjoined; we see what is being done with President Trump, and just how much this manipulation of public consciousness through the media contradicts what Americans themselves and the world as a whole are accustomed to associating with the 'American values' of freedom of speech, democracy, freedom of the press, and so on."

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Kosachev said that today, one of the main objectives of the American establishment seems to be to cut off access to any and all alternative sources of information. "That's why attempts are being made to cut off Sputnik and Russia Today [RT] as alternative resources, so that even those who do try to find them do not have this opportunity."

In the senator's view, US information policy went overboard on censorship some time ago already. 

"All that remains for them to do is resort to the Soviet-style tradition (which we see in the US, and in Ukraine, incidentally) of simply cutting off access to alternative sources of information, and thus preventing people from understanding the essence of what is really going on," Kosachev said.

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