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Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: I watched Russian TV

Mar 1, 2022, 12:57 PM | Updated: 12:58 pm
Russian TV seems to be all but ignoring the country's invasion into Ukraine on its TV....
FILE - Russia's President Vladimir Putin appears on a television screen at the stock market in Frankfurt, Germany, Feb. 25, 2022. Russia is revving up its sophisticated propaganda machine as its military advances in neighboring Ukraine. Analysts who monitor propaganda and disinformation say they've seen a sharp increase in online activity linked to the Russian state in recent weeks. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)
(AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — Most Russians get their news from state-run TV — 70% of them say it’s their primary source of information. And I wondered what they could possibly be seeing on Russian TV, as most of the world turns its back on the country.

The ruble has collapsed. Interest rates have doubled to 20%.

Imagine a hard-working Vladimir Q. Public and his patriotic wife, Olga, are planning to buy a new house in the Moscow burbs and all of sudden — boom — the mortgage rate is 21% today.

And talk about inflation — all of sudden everything imported costs 50% more. The stock market can’t open. The economy is in free fall.

So with this reality hitting 145 million Russians hard, what is state-run TV saying to these beleaguered people?

For a clue, I went to their English-speaking TV station on the web. Where they’re getting stuff like this:

 

Not a war, not an invasion — a special military operation. Not a word about the economic meltdown that affects every single citizen.

Their website is full of news I’m going to call “poor, poor Russia” stories. Russian vodka pulled from United States store shelves. Hackers strike against Russian websites. SWIFT prepares to disconnect Russia.

All true.

But it’s a cynical attempt to play the victim card, ignoring who created this horror in the first place.

An hour of Russian TV, and today I’m deeply and profoundly appreciative that the US constitution guarantees freedom of the press.

Listen to Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News every weekday from 3 to 7 p.m. for more of his “My Minute of News.” And check out the podcast below.

 

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Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: I watched Russian TV