Freedom Of Press Dies A Little In Moscow

Putin Russia is a free country and any newspaper can express its opinion provided it does not cross the line of what Putin thinks is allowable expression of opinion. The eXile, a Moscow based satirical biweekly apparently cross the line and it will disappear from Moscow newstands. The Moscow biweekly which has been publishing for eleven years its satirical comments about drugs, prostitution, night life, and biting political pieces will close its doors. Investors were frightened when four inspectors from the Federal Service For Mass Media showed up to conduct an “inspection.” Mark Ames, founder of the publication, says “the paper is dead unless a miracle happens”because his investors are frightened of offending the government and have withdrawn all financial backing.

Mark Ames put it succinctly by noting, “the situation sucks.” Yes, when there are people termed “inspectors” who check on what newspapers write, the situation truly sucks. When there is fear the government will close down any opposing viewpoint, the situation truly sucks of censorship and dictatorship. As Ames commented, “The eXile is the Jesus Christ of English-language publications.”