Special Extra — Russia Today Censors Reporter for Not Towing the Kremlin Line, he Resigns in Protest

Our regular commenter “Elmer” tips us that the German website Sueddeutsche.de reports as follows (staff translation, corrections welcome):

The Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper has reported an interesting case involving the news channel Russia Today (RT). Its correspondent in Tbilisi, the Briton William Dunbar, mentioned last Saturday in a live broadcast that Russian aircraft were outside of South Ossetia and involved in an attack on the town of Gori, noting that Russian bombs had hit civilian houses.  As a result, RT ceased live satellite broadcasts and the 25-year-old Dunbar resigned in protest, telling the newspaper: “The facts did not fit with what Russia Today wanted to broadcast.”

Commenter “Simona” helped correct our translation and points us to Media Network, which quotes Dunbar saying: “I felt that I had no choice but to resign.” He said that he was reporting the facts, but that “the real facts of the matter didn’t conform to what they were trying to report, and therefore they wouldn’t let me report it.”

Russia Today, for those who do not already know, is a Kremlin-sponsored propaganda tool which uses Westerners, like the malignant Peter Lavelle, to undermine Western resolve against Russian aggression. We have repeatedly exposed Russia Today and Lavelle for being the frauds they are.  A German blogger calls it “self torture” to watch RT’s shamelessly dishonest propaganda displays unfold, which is understandable given that Germany is so close to neo-Soviet Russia.  Just imagine that Russian domestic TV, also state-owned and operated, is even more strictly controlled, and it is not hard to understand how Russians can be so mind-bogglingly ignorant of basic facts and therefore so blindly supportive of their rulers.

It is time for the West to stand up and stamp out Russia Today’s outrageous, manipulative lies.  Have the Russian media reported the basic fact that Russian forces bombed civilian targets in Gori?  Are the Russian people totally oblivous of this fact? Are they making judgments about their government’s actions in the dark?  If so, does Russia Today really believe it can perpetuate the same climate in the West, with a classically neo-Soviet campaign of disinformation?

It must be stopped.

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14 responses to “Special Extra — Russia Today Censors Reporter for Not Towing the Kremlin Line, he Resigns in Protest

  1. “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” -Harry S. Truman, 33rd US president (1884-1972)

  2. “…As a result, RT has ceased live satellite broadcasts and fired the 25-year-old Dunbar, who told the newspaper: “The facts did not fit with what Russia Today wanted to broadcast…” Poor guy, he thought Russia Today is real media such as BBC or something like this. He was able to ask Russian journalists, they would explain him, that Russia Today is the part of propaganda system, as well as state-owned Russian TV channels but only oriented for foreign audience.

  3. Well, this is something to discuss at the Slavsoc etc., places at the universities in the West, if ‘they use foreigners to spread their Russian muck around for them. At 25, this lucky chap got fired by the Kremlin mobsters, at least, his career of a pro-russky propagandist did not last long, good for him!
    How did he get involved in the first place? The professors should tell the young ones more about the real politics at the universities. There are far more excitable types and day dreamers, on average, hanging around the Russian and Slavonic studies than at other departments. Knowledge is power, that’s it, – by 25, he learned something new and important about the Russian approach to the facts, – if the facts do not fit the picture, don’t mention the facts, don’t spoil the good picture! Haven’t they told them about the Russian ‘unpredictable past’? They make it as they go. Easy.

  4. Same goes for the Radio ‘Liberty’ or ‘Svoboda’, a nasty KGB toad, a former speach writer of Gorbachev, runs it, from a place of a former getto in Prague. ‘Arbeit Machts Frei’ – remember, what the Nazis had for a slogan over the gates of their camps? Some ‘Svoboda’, indeed. Why do they bother to brainwash anyone still? A cat (in fact, a whole lot of some very fat cats) is out of the bag, with loads of money – all running fast towards Swiss and English banks, nobody cares about anything anymore, – it is only a matter of time, the demolition guys are working hard, – facts, who cares about the facts? The foreign boys are paid to provide a cover-up, just in case.

  5. The article dosen’t say:
    “As a result, RT has ceased live satellite broadcasts and fired the 25-year-old Dunbar, who told the newspaper: “The facts did not fit with what Russia Today wanted to broadcast.”

    But:
    “As a result, RT has ceased live satellite broadcasts. The 25-year-old Dunbar, who in the meantime resigned, told to the newspaper: “The facts did not fit with what Russia Today wanted to broadcast.”

    It doesn’t change that much, but….
    Anyway, here you find a confirmation:
    http://blogs.rnw.nl/medianetwork/russia-today-correspondent-quits-over-censorship-of-his-report-from-georgia

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: Thanks! Post has been updated. We like “resigned in protest” much better, as it implies the reporter will now speak out publicly about this outrage. And we have specific reasons for believing he will do so.

  6. A further correction:

    “…that Russian aircraft were outside of South Ossetia and involved in an attack on the town of Gori.”

    This should rather be something like:

    “…that Russian aircraft had also attacked the city of Gori, outside of South Ossetia.”

    According to the report, Dunbar did not suggest it was happening as he spoke, but that it had happened.

  7. Two more cues of journalists’s harassment:
    http://grani.ru/Politics/World/Europe/Georgia/m.141093.html
    07.09.2008 14:57

    http://www.gazeta.ru/news/lenta/2008/09/08/n_1267968.shtml
    08.09.2008 19:28

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: Thanks! Maybe you’d like to translate them for publication on the blog?

  8. Watch the movie V for Vendetta. A great example of where this road will lead.
    (down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.) good quote.

  9. http://www.gazeta.ru/news/lenta/2008/09/08/n_1267968.shtml
    08.09.2008 19:28
    Russian soldiers detained Polish crew near Gori
    A patrol of the Russian and Ingushetian military detained members of a Polish public television crew with their Georgian guide near Karaleti village, which lies between the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali and the Georgian city of Gori, said on Monday the Polish Television. All the crew’s equipment was confiscated, including cameras and mobile phones. The detainees were driven off to an undisclosed destination, said the report.
    The website of the Polish television also reports that the local authorities are considering the journalists as “prisoners of war”. //Ria Novosti

    http://grani.ru/Politics/World/Europe/Georgia/m.141093.html
    07.09.2008 14:57

    Russian soldiers detained Georgian journalists
    Russian soldiers in the village of Tsaishi detained Giga Kilasonia, a cameraman of the Obshchestvenny Veshchatel television, and Rustavi-2 television reporter Emma Gogokia, who were trying to film illegal Russian military checkpoints in Tsaishi, gazeta.ru reports, citing its Tbilisi correspondent.
    According to the report “While the journalists were filming, three armoured personnel carriers arrived, and the Russian soldiers ordered them to stop filming. They took away the keys of the cameraman’s car, and tried to force the journalists into one of the armoured personnel carriers. When the journalists refused, the soldiers roughed them up. Forty minutes later, representatives of the UN arrived and the journalists were released after their intervention.”

    ************
    Beg your pardon for my poor English.
    I’m Italian.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: Thanks! We’ll publish your translations as a blog post on Friday. Your English is great! But don’t worry, we’ll edit.

  10. It is very hard to be a honest and professional journalist in Russia. If you criticize kremlin, you just get a bullet in your had or a nice dose of polonium and you are history. I admire all the journalists, who aren’t scared to fight for what they believe.

    Russia ranks SECOND (only after Iraq) in journalist deaths worldwide!!!!!!!

    2008

    Ilyas Shurpayev, Dagestani journalist responsible for news coverage of Northern Caucasus on Channel One, was strangled with a belt in Moscow.[7]
    Gaji Abashilov, chief of Dagestan outlet of VGTRK, shot in his car.
    Magomed Yevloyev, owner of Ingushetiya.ru, _shot in police custody_[11][12][13].
    Abdulla Alishayev, Dagestani journalist fatally wounded by unknown assailants.[14]
    [edit]2007

    Konstantin Brovko, journalist of TV company “Gubernia” (Russian: “Губерния”), killed in Khabarovsk
    Ivan Safronov, Military columninst of newspaper “Kommersant”. Died in Moscow on March 2 – cause of death disputed.[15]
    [edit]2006

    Vadim Kuznetsov, editor-in-chief of journal “World and home. Saint Petersburg”, killed in Saint Petersburg
    Vaghif Kochetkov, newspaper Trud (Labor), killed in Tula;
    Ilya Zimin, he worked for NTV Russia television channel, killed in Moscow by an acquaintance;
    Vyacheslav Akatov, special reporter, “Business Moscow” TV show, killed in Moscow Region;
    Anton Kretenchuk, cameraman, 38th TV Channel, killed in Rostov-on-Don;
    Yevgeny Gerasimenko, newspaper “Saratovsky Rasklad”, Saratov;
    Vlad Kidanov, freelance journalist, Cheboksary;
    Alexander Petrov, editor-in-chief, “Right for Choice” magazine, killed near Omsk – in Altai Republic;
    Vyacheslav Plotnikov, reporter, 41st TV Channel, Voronezh;
    Anna Politkovskaya, observer, newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Moscow, shot in her apartment building’s elevator;Politkovskaya, 48, known for her criticism of the Kremlin’s policy in Chechnya, had written a book on the widespread abuse of local civilians by federal troops in the North Caucasus republic
    Anatoly Voronin, business chief of ITAR-TASS; Moscow, stabbed to death in his home
    [edit]2005

    Pavel Makeyev, reporter for TNT-Pulse Company, Rostov-on-Don;
    *Magomedzaghid Variso*v, Makhachkala;
    Alexander Pitersky, Baltika Radio reporter, Saint Petersburg;
    Vladimir Pashutin, newspaper Smolensky Literator, Smolensk;
    Tamirlan Kazikhanov, press service head, Anti-Terrorist Center of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs’s Main Department for the Southern Federal District, Nalchik;
    Kira Lezhneva, reporter, newspaper “Kamensky Worker”, Sverdlovsk Region.[20]
    [edit]2004

    Yefim Sukhanov, ATK-Media, Archangelsk;
    Farit Urazbayev, cameraman, Vladivostok TV/Radio Company, city of Vladivostok;
    Adlan Khassanov, Reuters reporter, killed in Grozny;
    Shangysh Mondush, correspondent for newspaper Khemchiktin Syldyzy, Tuva Republic;
    Paul Klebnikov, editor of Russian version of Forbes magazine, Moscow;
    Payl Peloyan, editor of Armyansky Pereulok magazine, Moscow;
    Zoya Ivanova, BGTRK broadcaster, Republic of Buryatia;
    Vladimir Pritchin, editor-in-chief of North Baikal TV/Radio Company, Republic of Buryatia;
    Ian Travinsky, Saint Petersburg, killed in Irkutsk;[21]
    [edit]2003

    Aleksei Sidorov, Tolyatinskoye Obozreniye, October 9, 2003, Togliatti. He was the second editor-in-chief of local newspaper, “Tolyatinskoye Obozreniye” to be shot to death. His predecessor, Valery Ivanov, was shot in April 2002. The newspaper was known for reporting on organized crime and corruption in the industrial city of Togliatti. [8]
    Yuri Shchekochikhin, Novaya Gazeta, July 3, 2003, Moscow. Deputy editor of the Novaya Gazeta, he died just a few days before his scheduled trip to USA to discuss the results of his journalist investigation with FBI officials. He investigated “Three Whales Corruption Scandal” that involved high-ranking FSB officials. Shchekochikhin died from an “acute allergic reaction” to a substance that was presumably identified as thallium. [9]
    Dmitry Shvets, TV-21 Northwestern Broadcasting, April 18, 2003, Murmansk. He was deputy director of the independent television station TV-21 Northwestern Broadcasting. He was shot dead outside his station offices. Shvets’ colleagues said their station had received multiple threats for its reporting on influential local politicians. [10]
    [edit]2002

    Natalia Skryl, the Nashe Vremya newspaper, Taganrog town;
    Konstantin Pogodin, the Novoye Delo newspaper, Nizhni Novgorod city;
    Valeri Batuev, Moscow News newspaper, Moscow;
    Sergei Kalinovski, the Moskovskiy Komsomolets, Smolensk;
    Vitali Sakhn-Val’da, photojournalist, Kursk town;
    Leonid Shevchenko, the Pervoye Chteniye newspaper, Volgograd;
    Valeri Ivanov, the chief editor for the Tol’yattinskoye Obozrenie newspaper, the Samara region;
    Sergei Zhabin,the press service of the governor of the Moscow region;
    Nikolai Vasiliev, Cheboksary city, Chuvashia;
    Leonid Kuznetsov, the Mescherskaya Nov’ newspaper, the Ryazan region;
    Paavo Voutilainen, a former main editor of the Kareliya magazine, Kareliya;
    Roddy Scott, the Frontline-TV TV Company, from Great Britain.
    Alexandr Plotnikov, the Gostiny Dvor newspaper, Tyumen city;
    Oleg Sedinko, the founder of the Novaya Volna TV and Radio Company, Vladivostok city;
    Nikolai Razmolodin, the general director of the Europroject TV and Radio Company, Ulyanovsk town;
    Igor Salikov, the chief of the Department of information safety of the Moskovskiy Komsomolets newspaper in Penza;
    Leonid Plotnikov, the publishing house “Periodicals of the Mari-El”, Yoshkar-Ola.[22]
    [edit]2001

    Eduard Markevich, 29, editor and publisher of local newspaper Novy Reft in Sverdlovsk Region, was found dead (shot in the back) on September 18. He often criticized local officials and had received threatening telephone phone calls prior to the murder. [11] [23]
    [edit]2000

    Vladimir Yatsina, February 20, 2000. A correspondent for ITAR-TASS, he was kidnapped and later killed by a group of Wahhabis in Chechnya [24]
    Aleksandr Yefremov, May 12, 2000, Chechnya. A photojournalist of the western Siberian newspaper Nashe Vremya was killed in Chechnya when rebels blew up a military jeep in which he was riding. On previous assignments, Yefremov had won acclaim for his news photographs from the war-torn region. [12]
    Igor Domnikov, from Novaya Gazeta, July 16, 2000, Moscow. Unknown assassin hit him repeatedly on the head with a hammer in the entryway of his apartment building in Moscow. The killer was never found. It is believed that the assailant mistook Domnikov for a Novaya Gazeta reporter Oleg Sultanov who received threats from the FSB for his reporting on corruption in the Russian oil industry.[13]
    Sergey Novikov, Radio Vesna, July 26, 2000, Smolensk. He was shot and killed in the stairwell of his apartment building. He often criticized the government of Smolensk Region. [14]
    *Iskandar Khatlon*i, Radio Free Europe, September 21, 2000, Moscow. He was killed at night with axe in his Moscow apartment by an unknown assailant. The motif of the murder is unknown, but Khatloni work on stories about the human-rights abuses in Chechnya.[25]
    Sergey Ivanov, Lada-TV, October 3, 2000, Togliatti. He was shot five times in the head and chest in front of his apartment building. He was director of Lada-TV, the largest independent television company in Togliatti, which was an important player on the local political scene. [15].
    Adam Tepsurgayev, Reuters, November 21, 2000, Chechnya. A Chechen cameraman, he was shot at a neighbor’s house in the village of Alkhan-Kala. He produced most of Reuters’ footage from Chechnya in 2000, including shots of Chechen rebel Shamil Basayev having his foot amputated. [16].
    [edit]Journalists who reported on the conflict in Chechnya

    Cynthia Elbaum. On assignment for Time magazine, Cynthia was photographing in the streets of Grozny, when she was killed in a Russian bombing raid in 1994.[26]
    Vladimir Zhitarenko, a veteran military correspondent for the Russian armed forces daily Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star), was hit by two sniper bullets outside the town of Tolstoy-Yurt, near the Chechen capital of Grozny on December 31, 1994.
    *Nina Yefimov*a, a reporter for local newspaper “Revival” was abducted from her apartment and killed together with her mother. Journalists in Grozny and Moscow believe that her murder was related to stories she had published on crime in Chechnya.
    Jochen Piest. On January 10, 1995, Piest was killed in a suicide attack by a Chechen rebel against a Russian mine-clearing unit in the village of Chervlyonna, about 24 kilometers northeast of the Chechen capital, Grozny. The rebel was firing his submachine gun as he drove a small diesel locomotive at high speed toward a Russian troop train parked on the track. Piest was fatally hit by three bullets. Rossiskaya Gazeta correspondent Vladimir Sorokin was wounded in the attack. The gunman died when the locomotive collided with the military train.
    Farkhad Kerimov. Farkhad Kerimov was murdered on May 22nd 1995 while filming for Associated Press on the rebel side of Chechnya. No motive has ever been established for the killing.
    Natalya Alyakina. Natalya Alyakina, a free-lance correspondent for German news outlets, was shot dead in June by a soldier after clearing a Russian checkpoint near the southern Russian city of Budyonnovsk.
    Shamkhan Kagirov. Kagirov, a reporter for the Moscow daily newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta and the local paper Vozrozheniye, was shot and killed in an ambush in Chechnya. Kagirov and three local police officers were traveling in a car near Grozny when they were attacked. The three officers were also killed.
    Viktor Pimenov. In March 11, 1996, he was fatally shot in the back by a sniper positioned on the roof of a 16-story building in Grozny, the Chechen capital. Pimenov had been filming the devastation caused by the March 6-9 rebel raid on the city.
    Nadezhda Chaikova. On March 20, 1996, Chaikova disappeared while on assignment. Her body was found buried in the Chechen village of Geikhi on April 11, blindfolded and bearing signs of beatings. The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the back of the head.
    Supian Ependiyev. On the evening of October 27, 1999, several short-range ballistic missile hit a crowded outdoor market in central Grozny, killing or wounding hundreds of people. About an hour after the attack, Ependiyev went to the scene to cover the carnage for his paper. As he was leaving the site, a new round of rockets fell about 200 meters from the bazaar. Ependiyev suffered severe shrapnel wounds and died in a Grozny hospital the next morning. According to other sources, he died two days later.
    Ramzan Mezhidov. The journalists were covering a refugee convoy en route, along the Baku-Rostov highway, from Grozny to Nazran in neighboring Ingushetia. As the convoy approached the Chechen town of Shaami Yurt, a Russian fighter bomber fired several rockets from the air, hitting a busload of refugees. Despite warnings from colleagues traveling with them, Mezhidov and Gigayev left their vehicle to film the carnage. As they approached the bus, another Russian rocket hit a nearby truck, fatally wounding both journalists.
    Vladimir Yatsina, a correspondent for ITAR-TASS was kidnapped and killed by a group of Wahhabis in Chechnya on July 19, 1999. [27][28]
    Aleksandr Yefremov. A photojournalist of the western Siberian newspaper Nashe Vremya was killed in Chechnya when rebels blew up a military jeep in which he was riding. On previous assignments, Yefremov had won acclaim for his news photographs from the war-torn region.
    Roddy Scott. On September 26, 2002, Scott was killed in the Russian republic of Ingushetia. Russian soldiers found his body in Ingushetia’s Galashki region, near the border with Chechnya, following a bloody battle between Russian forces and a group of Chechen fighters.
    Magomedzagid Varisov, a political scientist and journalist, was shot to death near his home in Makhachkala. He “had received threats, was being followed and had unsuccessfully sought help from the local police” according to Committee to Protect Journalists. Sharia Jamaat claimed responsibility for the murder. [29]
    Russia ranks SECOND (only after *Iraq*) in journalist deaths worldwide!!!!!!!

  11. why did the guy go to work there in the first place?? he wanted the money, the travel, and he didn’t give a damn if he was a liar/propogadist or not.
    any chance he found a better job while he was in georgia???? and that’s the real reason???
    russia today is vile, and only losers and liars work there.
    again—–he know how vile RT was when he took the job. i smell hypocrisy, and a young kid who took RT’s money when it suited him, and is now looking for publicity.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: It’s a very fair question and, if we get the chance, you may rest assured we shall ask him. However, a “young kid” can be easily hoodwinked by fanciful neo-Soviet lies. Indeed, many much older folks have fallen prey to them. If he was given the chance to report, as he thought, fairly in the early going, he may have felt he was doing some good by bringing the most truth possible to light.

  12. phobochka—
    fair enough, but i believe he started working there only a year or so ag0—RT’s editorial stance and reputation as PutinTV was very established by then. he seems like a very smart man—i heard an interview with him on this topic on npr—smart enough to know who he was working for.
    again—he wanted the money and adventure, and was willing to tell lies for money when it was in his intersest— and again—-i’m betting he simply got a better offer while he was in georgia and he took the better offer.
    look forward to what your investigation uncovers…..

  13. Pingback: birdbrain » Blog Archive » RT: ‘Obamamania bypasses Russia’

  14. Pingback: Reactie op "On Journalistic integrity" | Sargasso

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