Karabakh on prime time TV
Criticism of Russian political talk shows is as senseless as criticism of bad jokes by Yevgeny Petrosyan and his team [Yevgeny Petrosyan is a Soviet and RF standup comic - VK]. Prime time shows have long ago stopped being a platform for serious discussions which could enable the audience to understand the political views of their opponents. In the context of the information war, it can be explained why popular talk shows are turned into a tool in the war – a mix of the information and analytical genre and entertainment helps to form public opinion. If it cannot be approved, at least it can be understood. However, it is difficult to understand when feelings run high over a problem which has no direct relation to Russian citizens on a federal channel in prime time.
Two days ago the First Channel discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
To touch on the interests of Russia on the talk show, participants were made to talk about disadvantageousness for Moscow of the confrontation that has started; and what was more annoying is that they tried to present the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict as a Turkish-Russian one.
It’s difficult to say whether the goal of the action was globalization of the developments or pitting two nations against each other. Passions ran high in the studio, but there was no desire to turn opponents to the speakers’ views. It is assumed that political talk shows should demonstrate the ability of the participants to respect the high cultural standards of holding a political discussion. However, there was pandemonium in the studio at the level of criminal infightings which were becoming personal – ‘let’s come out and fight’; alternative views were suppressed by ‘witty’ statements by the anchor, which made the audience laugh on the orders of an editor.
Thus, statements like ‘Turkey will come on bended knees to us’ seemed to create pride in the audience’s country.
There was no need to say that straight-shooters didn’t say a word that Armenia was actually recognized by the international community as an occupant, while the so-called NKR was not recognized by any country, including Russia. If imposing an image of an enemy on the US can be explained somehow, it is not understandable why the federal channel has decided to form the image of an enemy from Azerbaijan. Moreover, it is not understandable why Mr. Kurginyan and Mr. Bagdasarov are chosen to form public opinion about the conflict. We could see no culture of a political discussion at all, as the talk show was structured in such a way that participants who tried to take the discussion into a constructive dimension had to defend themselves from groundless accusations most of the time.
Experts believe that a reason for the chauvinistic theatrical performance of First Channel is the fact that, using the motto of ‘the best defense is attack', Armenian politicians, political scientists, militaries, and journalists have begun their attack. After the talk show, there were views that the studio of the First Channel was occupied by ‘packed moles bought by the Armenian lobby.’
Maybe this is not true, but the level of professionalism of the channel’s staff responsible for casting guests is under question. An attempt to present themselves as the victim, despite crimes against humanity, is called a ‘historic feature’ of the world Armenian Diaspora. And we have to know about such details.
Will we see a similar talk show on Russian TV-channels again? It seems we will, however, it is well-known that quantity doesn’t mean high quality. The Russian information authorities state that they cannot deal with Lifenews, which has presented a map of Azerbaijan without Karabakh and has a lot of mistakes in translations from the Azerbaijani language in its reports (they say the TV license for the channel belongs to Media Content Company, one of the beneficiaries of which is Aram Gabrelyanov). However, we hope that the supervisors of the Russian information policy are able to correct the policy of the federal channels.