President Letvits wrote a letter to Artus Kaiminsh, in which he pointed out the need to restrict TV broadcasting in Russian language1. Artus Kaiminsh is a chairman of the Parliament Commission on Human Rights and Public Affairs. It is proposed to limit Russian-language television channels in the following way: 80% of the airtime should be broadcasted in the language of one of the EU countries or countries of the Eurozone.
It’s funny that Russian broadcasting of “Euronews” TV channel will also fall under the restrictions.
Levits motivated his proposals with the fact that they meet the interests of “Latvian democracy and state security,” and also with the fact that “residents of Latvia should have access to high-quality and pluralistic television programs that would strengthen Latvia’s belonging to the cultural space of Europe” and the like… The question arises, Why call these programs “pluralistic” if their informational orientation is dictated from above by the president himself?
If the president chooses what information can be given to people and what cannot, if this is “Latvian democracy,” then I doubt the working people of Latvia needs such democracy. Even the most accomplished liberal will understand this for sure. But the president did not understand this. Or he pretended.
This prohibition, however, will entail other, less obvious, consequences. First, people will get less of the bourgeois nonsense that pours from Russian channels “ORT” and “RTR” around the clock. There will be less of “Ren-TV” too, the channel whose goal is to produce medieval people with religiously-mythological thinking.
Secondly, many will install private satellite dishes, which technically cannot be limited by government bans, and thus, they will still watch their favorite TV channels.
And thirdly, people will move more energetically from TV to the Internet, which the Latvian bourgeois authorities can’t close yet. It seems that Latvian authorities are desperatly trying to imitate their activity, so that their Western masters are satisfied.