Rus­sian me­dia backs Trump, ques­tions U.S. democ­racy

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - WEATHER -

Rus­sian sta­te­owned me­dia does lit­tle to hide its pref­er­ences in the U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

News re­ports about the race for the White House on Rus­sian tele­vi­sion de­vote most of their time to elab­o­rat­ing on Don­ald Trump’s al­le­ga­tions that Hil­lary Clin­ton is cor­rupt and the elec­tion is rigged.

“Clin­ton has a choice. Ei­ther she gets the pres­i­dency or she goes be­hind bars,” pro-Krem­lin jour­nal­ist Dmitry Kise­lyov said dur­ing his flag­ship Sunday pro­gram on the state-con­trolled Vesti chan­nel. Un­like the anti-es­tab­lish­ment Trump, he told view­ers, Clin­ton has the full back­ing of the U.S. se­cu­rity ser­vices, “oli­garchic” cor­po­ra­tions and the me­dia.

Other re­ports on the Krem­lin-con­trolled TV chan­nels that are the pri­mary source of news for most Rus­sians have high­lighted con­cerns about Clin­ton’s health, linked her to sex scan­dals and sug­gested the Demo­cratic Party is “pan­ick­ing” over re­cent polls.

“My col­leagues at these chan­nels com­pletely back Trump and show all the bad things about Clin­ton,” said Alek­sei Venedik­tov, the ed­i­tor of lib­eral Rus­sian ra­dio sta­tion Ekho Moskvy.

Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin has re­peat­edly rejected claims that the Krem­lin would like to see Trump win the White House. Ex­perts, how­ever, point to strong sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween their po­si­tions on ma­jor for­eign pol­icy is­sues, in­clud­ing Syria and Ukraine.

The Rus­sian me­dia is push­ing Trump’s can­di­dacy “very, very ag­gres­sively,” ac­cord­ing to a Euro­pean Union of­fi­cial who mon­i­tors the Rus­sian me­dia and spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause he is not au­tho­rized to speak pub­licly on the is­sue.

The pres­i­den­tial bat­tle has been widely cov­ered, though it usu­ally ap­pears in news bul­letins after do­mes­tic news and sto­ries about Rus­sia’s mil­i­tary ac­tion in Syria.

Much of the fo­cus has been on Clin­ton, who is por­trayed as a Rus­so­phobe, a war­mon­ger and re­spon­si­ble for blood­shed in the Mid­dle East.

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