Russia censors coverage of opposition guy’s arrest, media cries foul… replace with ‘UK’ & ‘Robinson’
Imagine the flood of sanctimonious media headlines if Russia were to prevent the hacks from reporting on the trial of a high-profile activist such as Aleksey Navalny. Now imagine such a ban existed in the UK. Oh, wait, it does…
Imagine this: Navalny, a highly-polarizing and outspoken opponent of the Russian government, beloved by the Western press despite his nationalist background, was sentenced to 50 years of hard labor in a Siberian borscht mine after being found guilty of high treason. (Actually, he received a 30-day prison sentence for something illegal in basically every developed nation – “blocking traffic without the correct permits” – but we’re sure the Siberian exile story must be floating around somewhere, even without restrictions on media reporting.)
Now, just really stop whatever you’re doing, put on some relaxing whale sounds music, and try to envision the blue checkmark scream-fest that would immediately break Twitter if, “in an effort to guarantee a fair trial and avoid prejudice,” a Russian court put a blanket media ban on reporting on the activist’s arrest and court proceedings.
Is it even possible to comprehend the number of hernias that would ripple through every Western news outlet and internet content farm if Russia had a law that inhibited Radio Free Europe’s ability to report on the latest abortion of Russian justice? Or even BBC and CNN?
This completely, utterly imagined out-of-this-world story still reminds us of something. The internet seems to be really unhappy over a UK court order prohibiting media outlets from reporting on the details surrounding the arrest and trial of Tommy [Redacted]. [Redacted] was [redacted] for breaching the public [redacted] outside [redacted] Crown Court on Friday.
“This is [redacted], I haven’t said a word…I’ve done [redacted],” [Redacted] said while being [redacted] by [redacted]. He would say that, wouldn’t he? Typical [Redacted].
According to the BBC, court-ordered media blackouts – like the one used to restrict reporting on Tommy Robinson’s current legal difficulties – are not entirely uncommon, and they are usually put in place to “prevent the publication of material which might prejudice a fair trial by influencing jurors to think that a defendant might be guilty.”
As for [redacted]: There may be perfectly innocent, even very reasonable reasons why the media can’t report that [redacted] was [redacted] while [redacted], and that he is now facing [redacted] for [redacted]. But we can’t help but wonder if Western media would display the same uncritical and dutiful obedience if such a decree were actually issued by… a Russian court.
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