In Russia, Fake News Is the Norm
War Is Boring

President-elect Donald Trump delegitimized the press routinely in comments and statements from the campaign trail, so people turned to other sources for news and information. It’s a media landscape eerily like the one Russians have lived with for years.

No, sorry but no. Immediately after the collapse of the USSR, you were hit with countless options showing pirated, badly dubbed moves, cartoons, as well as all sorts of random international talk shows, also badly dubbed. At some point, I kind of lost track of when, the channels became a lot more professional and organized. They went legit, and were producing their own stuff and much of the landscape was owned by oligarchs who used the talk shows they produced, newspapers, and the traditional nightly newscasts to push their agendas, turning their fresh cash into political power.

When Putin started throwing the oligarchs who defied him and refused to get in line in jail for “tax evasion” and “corruption” one by one, everyone calmed down and eagerly started selling their channels to his cronies who consolidated the media landscape into what you see today. Meanwhile, all those on Putin’s hit list either went to kiss the ring and grew quiet, to just bugged out to Europe or the U.S. to maintain at least some semblance of autonomy. People din’t flock to Channel One and RT because Putin said a few “Bad! Sad! Biased!” on Twitter, they had no other choice.

In the U.S. the media landscape still includes plenty of dissenting voices not being eliminated with, pardon the phrase, trumped up charges, their media empires disemboweled, and absorbed into the inner workings of the state. If anything, the government isn’t even allowed to run a TV channel broadcast in the U.S., pretty sure it’s against some sort of a law. So until we have USA Broadcast One and CNN, MSNBC, and others start being folded into it, the media landscape is very much unlike that of Russia.

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