Censorship - live on Russian TV

Could the Kremlin censor an entertainment programme on live TV? According to Russian bloggers, that's exactly what happened on one of the country's national television channels. 

The programme, "Phenomenon," aired on the state-run Rossiya channel on Sept. 5. In the live broadcast, Russian magician and self-styled psychic Alexander Char played a version of the children's game Cluedo, telling the audience that the details of a murder were in a safe. Then he asked three audience members to name first a weapon, then a place, then the person who committed the crime. 

The first guinea pig in the audience chose a knife, the second, Munich, and third, after much hesitation... "Putin." An assistant wrote the details on a board: Putin, in Munich, with a knife. The scenario apparently didn't please the show's producers, and a man in a suit, wearing a headset, rushes onto the stage to tell the psychic to remove the name from the list. But it can't be done, spluttered the presenter, there's nothing to rub it out with. What follows is an extraordinary scene, with the man in the suit barking orders from offstage while the presenters try to explain themselves, until the name Putin is removed by the nervous-looking assistant and replaced with simply "Vladimir".

The scene seems as if it could have been staged: the man in the suit makes such a dramatic entry, and his microphone is open to the audience. That was our team's first reaction when they saw the video sent by our Russian observers. However many Russian journalists we spoke to confrimed that the scene was broadcast on Russian TV. So we decided to go ahead and publish this video, fully understanding how unlikely or unbelievable this incident is. Our Russian observers also told us that Russian television networks are all controlled by the authorities.

UPDATE (12 September 2008 - 2pm): Following some further research and comments posted on this piece, we can confirm that the man who intervenes onstage is a co-presenter. That explains why he has a microphone. It looks like a case of auto-censoring on the part of the co-presenter.

We additionally found out that the show was also aired in eastern Russia, later then the live version in Moscow. In that show, the scene in question had disappeared - something else that seems to support the idea that the censorship was live.


"We should change his last name"

The subtitles were added by France 24. That's why the France 24 logo appears on the video. The subtitles begin at 00:30.


Yes, Germans were kind, they

Yes, Germans were kind, they bore to the people of Europe and the USSR clearing and a civilisation. And the malicious Russian bear has destroyed hopes the freedom-loving and Germany-loving people.
Now about a role of Russian. I have written and about the USSR as the Russian empire, and its all people struggled with fascism. But in the West in history textbooks it's told that America with allies has won. And soon children in the West will know that Stalin and Hitler were at war against the West and have been won by it.
And war in the Chechen Republic is Berezovsky's handwork and its boss, the western special services. There are records of negotiations of Berezovsky and Basayev, there is Berezovsky's concealment in England, there is a polonium which have given to drink to the appointed victim, there is Politkovskaya whom in Putin's birthday have killed (influence on children's mind of the western inhabitant).
...An explosions of houses. It's the western style, the western scenarios. Nero has set fire to Rome, nazis have set fire to Reichstag... And towers-twins have cynically taken down those who has then begun expansion on the East and have sunk in it as in a bog now.
But to you, Maya, to convince it is useless, because yours grandfather saw the truth and has told to you.
Probably, Russian soldiers having changed clothes in the form of the Georgian army, destroyed the South Ossetia? Yes, fascists were kinder than communists. As now Americans are kinder than Russian. Therefore furious Russia again will win. It will enslave all free world and will oppress it;)))

Rubbish collection

You shamelessly speak about Second World War? How much Russians know or ever heard about Normandy battle? Did it mentioned in any history school book in your enlightened country? Things that you wrote about "USSR won Germany without USA and allies" it's known historical lie tale and rubbish that you learned in russian school and we know how wrote this history.
How much brave journalists killed every year in Russia? The answer is DOZENS. How many free TV stations do you have? The answer is ZERO. How many opinions you hear on TV? The answer is ONE(Kremlin opinion). Did you hear one bad opinion on Putin or his marionettes on TV? The answer is NEVER.
Putin's Russia has tenebrous regime and you part of it.

"You shamelessly speak about

"You shamelessly speak about Second World War? How much Russians know or ever heard about Normandy battle?"

We since the childhood knew about heroic French pilots of a regiment "Normandy-Neman" and knew in general about merits of allies. But they have entered war in 1944 when the USSR has already broken a ridge of fascism. I can remind about defeat at Ardenness when the Soviet army had to go to the aid of allies.

"Things that you wrote about" USSR won Germany without USA and allies "it's known historical lie"

Look, how you quote my text which can be read on this page. In my text there are no such words. Means you are an ordinary sharper. I recognise merits of the western soldiers at war with fascism, but heads of the western states always were engaged in political gamble.

Another rubbish collection

I know exactly what was wroten in Soviet school books about WWII. They didn't mention part of the allies in the war. Furthermore fact that you don't really like and also didn't mention in Soviet books is Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. Your country betrayed Britain and France and all other free countries. Furthermore they betrayed "brother slav" Poland. Moreover did your country helped anyone? Did you helped to UK when London was bombed, did you help jews in extermination camps, did you help to US in Japan ??? In this war you defended only your ass in Kursk, Smolensk, Minsk...because you didn't have other choice. And, Yes, you got help from US, without their food, weapon, arms you couldn't beat nazis.

And something personal: you are not free journalist as maybe you think, you are the part of Kremlin propaganda mashine that based on 90% lies and you eat what they prepared to you as is.

Only one example - Osventsim

Only one example - Osventsim in whom 4,5 million person has been exterminated , - it has been released by the Soviet army. Also remember, - Hitler has been created by hands of England and its European friends. About Italy do not forget - Mussolini. And in territories of the countries grasped by Hitler (all Europe) did the weapon for his army and this weapon were at war with the USSR.
Pact R-М has been concluded to remove war, to detain Hitler, to create a buffer zone. It is interesting, where there would be now Poland - and all Europe - not be the USSR? Slaves of the Third Reich?
More shortly: if you do not feel a lawful gratitude to the Russia which have rescued Europe I will speak more rigidly. The victory is completely a merit of the USSR. Allies have accelerated victory arrival, but in the mercenary purposes - they have been disturbed that we all Europe under the control take. For this reason, nazis surrendered to allies almost without fight, and the rests of forces threw on East front. Europe constrained Russia by German hands. And it was after Europe has untied Hitler's hands in hope that he and Stalin will destroy each other. And I am not the free journalist. "To live in a society and to be free from a society it is impossible". (Lenin):))) Remember, if yet do not know, - idiots are completely free only. And the West is infantile today to extreme degree, it is very close to full freedom:)))

How to see full version?

I would like to see the end of tis case- Vladimir Putin. Who is he? and what did he do- and what kind of crime scene? So exciting. Where to find it.
I like to watch this, great show. He is good entertainer. Now they got his both front and surname.

Almost unbelievable

It's crazy to see something like that happen on this day and age! The guy looked very nervous. The funny thing is, instead of writing only the surname, the ended up writing the whole name!

censor, not censure

To censure is "to rebuke" or "to indict." You meant "censor."

Thanks rjbs. We're

Thanks rjbs. We're correcting this mistake.

The game rule states that

The game rule states that they should use first names. So what's wrong with that? Do not also forget that they have their own culture that people should respect.