Final Word from Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Vladimir Posner, who was the chief media propagandist in the U.S. for the Soviet Union in the 1980s, says that there are almost no independent journalists in Russia today. There are instead "soldiers of the ideological front," similar to the way it was before. He mainly has in mind those who work for the state media and for the oligarchs, but he of course doesn't consider himself to be one of them, although his show is aired in prime time on state-owned Channel One. (He's allowed to be mildly critical of Vladimir Putin.) The ongoing battle for control of Czech public media is only partly about ideology. Some of the soldiers on both sides of the barricade have their convictions or their political marching orders, but some are also out to defend specific commercial interests, either of the patron saints of the stations or of the station's employees and contractors themselves. Worst of all is when soldiers of the ideological front are expediently hiding behind exalted values as a ruse to defend less-than-noble commercial interests. This is the "socially extremely dangerous situation" that a concerned Czech PM should address. [ Czech Republic Pozner United States of American USSR Czech Television Radio Andrej Babiš open letter ]

Glossary of difficult words

Posner - also written Pozner;

marching orders - orders to begin a march or other troop movement; orders to start out, move on, proceed, etc.;

to be out to do something - to be intent on doing something;

patron saint - the protecting or guiding saint of a person or place;

expediently - conveniently and practically, although possibly improperly or immorally;

exalted - of a noble, elevated, or lofty nature;

ruse - an action intended to deceive someone; a trick.

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