Ross’ Remarks: In the Soviet era, Russian television was dull as watching paint dry. And the state lost control of the people’s hearts and minds. Putin’s mediasphere is different. TV in contemporary Russia is bombastic, over-the-top, paranoid, riotous, often insane, xenophobic, and wholly entertaining. And it’s a key piece of solidifying Putin’s success.
There were more than 20 of us sitting around the long conference table: tanned broadcasters in white silk shirts, politics professors with sweaty beards and heavy breath, ad execs in trainers—and me. There were no women. Everyone was smoking. There was so much smoke it made my skin itch…..