Kasparov: Boycott NTV

Garry Kasparov. Source: Sobkor.ru

On Thursday, Russia’s federal NTV television channel aired a special titled “Anatomy of a Protest” that accused the Russian opposition of paying people to take part in their protests and other dubious practices. Oppositionists and bloggers have since summarily ripped the production apart, but for the majority of the Russian population that gets its news from state-controlled television, the misinformation has already been spread. In this brief statement, United Civil Front leader Garry Kasparov explains why he won’t be participating on an upcoming NTV program on jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Boycott NTV!
By Garry Kasparov
March 16, 2012

Two days ago, I unexpectedly received an invitation from Anton Khrekov to appear on the program “NTVshniki” to discuss an equally unexpected topic – whether or not it’s time to release Khodorkovsky.

It’s well known that anything discussed on federal television, let alone as toxic a topic for the government as this one, is only aired after being painstakingly censored. It’s also well known that the government is currently trying to create the illusion that there is some amount of public discourse, in an attempt to dampen the intensity of the opposition protests. Nevertheless, having overcome my initial instinctual disgust, I decided all the same to accept the invitation, hoping that at least some of my words in defense of Khodorkovsky and other political prisoners could manage to survive to the program’s montage.

However, yesterday’s display of crude falsities on the program “Anatomy of a Protest” flaunted even the entirely lax standards of tidiness that NTV has taken upon itself. As a result, any decent person can see that cooperation with this channel in any form is simply not possible.