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Friday, January 4, 2013

Troubling American foreign policy story unfolding in Moscow with Radio Liberty, with WSJ's John O'Sullivan and WaPo's Kathy Lally adroitly describing the change in public poilicy that has Russians confounded by a move that seems destined to HELP Putin, not Russians who want genuine democracy and access to relatively-honest news and information


TechnerVideo: Shortwave Radio Bandscan 1. Uploaded December 25, 2009.

To me, the very troubling American foreign policy story unfolding in Moscow, described so well and with so much nuance by John O'Sullivan in a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed and Kathy Lally's article in Thursday's Washington Post, is also one of the most confounding of the year.

Confounding because it manages to connect what I believe is a very misguided change in U.S. public policy and the perplexed public perceptions of millions of average Russians, who can't understand why we as a nation are seemingly helping Vladmir Putin, the architect of the frightening nightmare of a reality show they wake up to everyday under his misguided leadership.

Under Putin's manic and oversize ego, every week seems to bring fresh news and all-too obvious evidence of his callously using the instrument of the Russian government as a giant club to vent and exercise his personal pique -and reveal his loss of bearings.
See Spotlight on Russia blog by Vladimir Kara-Murza
Standing Up to Russia's 'Herod's Law'
http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/vladimir-kara-murza/standing-russias-herods-law

I should admit at the outset here that part of my concern about what I perceive to be some very 
troubling developments is in large part shaped by my own past experience.

Unlike 99% of you who are reading this blog post now, I used to listen to (and depend upon) my high-quality Radio Shack shortwave radio for many HOURS a day.

I listened everyday to foreign news services, as well as the Voice of America and some of its foreign services, when I was in college at IU in those precious pre-Internet days of the early 1980's, and then later when I lived in Evanston and Wilmette, just a few blocks from the shores of Lake Michigan.

Radio Tirana, Sveriges Radio Int'l., Swiss Radio International, Radio Deutsche-Welle, BBC World Service, Radio Moscow, Radio Canada, Radio Nederland... 
I knew those broadcaster's musical intros as well as I knew the names of the people who lived on my dorm floor or on my apt. floor.
Actually, usually better... 

humanracer28 YouTube Channel video: Sveriges Radio/Radio Sweden jingle and ident. Uploaded March 18, 2010. http://youtu.be/_QhzQYKFOlU



While I've been following it in bits and pieces over the past few months, mostly on blogs and in The Post, for reasons known only to themselves, most other Mainstream Media outlets have consciously chosen to ignore this story, like it's the spoiled mayonnaise left out on the picnic table at the huge Fourth of July get-together that the last person using it forgot to put back in the cooler when they were finished with it.
But they could find space for the Justin Bieber kidnapping & castration case that never happened.
LA Times - Justin Bieber murder plot: Tie, pruning shears, unrequited feelings
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/gossip/la-et-mg-just-bieber-murder-castration-plot-20121213,0,6636059.story

It goes without saying that this story has been completely ignored by the South Florida press, even though once upon a time, it would have been on the front page of what used to be the Miami Herald's halfway decent Sunday Op-Ed section in the 1970's and ''80's, but which as I have described here in some detail in many posts is now a four-page running joke.
And no, not just because they NEVER EVER include something compelling about some aspect of Broward County public policy in it, even though it's roughly 40% of this ADI.

The things is, as bad as the decisions and the policies described below have been, and they have been both counter-intuitive and terrible, it actually only seems to get worse and worse by the week from the point-of-view of responsible Americans who want to see the U.S. continue to shine a beam of relative honesty about the news into Russia -and falling-thru-the-cracks Belarus and Ukraine.

It highlights the dangerous minefields that can emerge when public policy intersects both the news media and pop culture and the people making the decision forget what is most important -the customer, not managements and the consultant's tastes.
But then there always someone in radio who wants to reinvent the "Morning Zoo," isn't there? 

The Washington Post
Radio Liberty loses its license in Moscow, and Russians raise voices in dismay
By Kathy Lally
Published: January 3, 2012
MOSCOW — American-financed Radio Liberty, which penetrated the Iron Curtain with news of the outside world during the Cold War, has been trying to join today’s information revolution — and the static crackling around its efforts has been loud enough to reach Washington.
The radio station, funded by Congress but independent of it, has embraced a digital future, dismissing 37 journalists as it downsized just before it lost its only local broadcasting license here in November, when a 2011 law preventing foreign ownership came into effect.
Read the rest of the story at:

-----

Wall Street Journal
OPINION
Turmoil Over America's Radio Voice in Russia
The mass firing of Radio Liberty journalists prompted a protest by human-rights activists in Moscow.
By JOHN O'SULLIVAN
December 30, 2012, 7:43 p.m. ET
A few years ago Peter Pomeranzev, an Anglo-Russian journalist, found himself in a Moscow taxi where the radio was playing Radio Liberty, the U.S.-financed station that transmits uncensored broadcasts in Russian. As a boy Mr. Pomeranzev had been taken to hear his father, a Russian poet in London, deliver regular broadcasts to a closed Soviet Union. But that was another era. Why, in 2009, would a Moscow taxi driver listen to Radio Liberty?
Read the rest of the Op-Ed at:

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