Russian channel cuts Vladimir Putin scene on 'South Park'
A segment of the US cartoon "South Park" that appeared to mock Vladimir Putin was cut by a Russian TV channel, a spokesman said Friday.
The channel "2X2" censored material from the show that aired on Tuesday portraying the Russian prime minister as a greedy and desperate leader, the network's spokesman said. The decision prompted criticism and furious discussion on Russia blogs.
It was unclear whether the decision, involving an episode that originally aired in the United States in 2005, was made by channel executives or regulators.
Asked about the Putin scene being cut, Andrei Andreyev, a spokesman for the channel, told The Associated Press by e-mail that: "the given scene in this version was absent". He declined to comment on the reason for the censorship.
Putin, who is now prime minister, has been instrumental in returning economic stability to Russia but critics say that his methods, which leave little room for public dissent, border on authoritarian.I HAVE A FEELING OBAMA AND THE OBAMAMANIACS WILL TRY TO BRING THIS KIND OF CENSORSHIP HERE; THEY'LL DRESS IT UP AS STOPPING HATE SPEECH.
Internet publications and blogs are among the last outlets for unfettered commentary and satire in Russian, and commentators on Russia's most popular blogging service, Live Journal, vented their anger after news of the South Park censorship leaked out.