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Transmission

Lost In Translation: Russian TV Misquotes French Singer On Pussy Riot

French singer Mireille Mathieu had been criticized for reportedly describing Pussy Riot as "deranged."
French singer Mireille Mathieu had been criticized for reportedly describing Pussy Riot as "deranged."
A Russian television channel has apologized to French singer Mireille Mathieu for severely distorting her remarks on the Pussy Riot case.

The state-run TV-Tsentr on August 30 aired an interview with Mathieu in which she appears to slam Russian feminist punk collective Pussy Riot for performing an anti-Kremlin song in Moscow's largest cathedral.

Three members of the group were sentenced last month to two years in prison for the performance.

In the Russian voiceover of the interview, Mathieu, who enjoys enduring popularity in Russia, condemns the Pussy Riot trio in strong terms.

"I think they are deranged and I condemn their action," is how the Russian TV voiceover translated her words from French. "A church is not the place for such actions. A church has always been and will remain a place where people come to see the light, where they come for the purification of the soul. It is a sacred place that needs to be respected, especially Russian churches, where one feels so much fervor and zeal."

Supporters of Pussy Riot reacted angrily to Mathieu's comments.

Her remarks also drew a barrage a criticism from the French press, which has been mostly sympathetic to the plight of the three women.

The trouble is that Mathieu never called Pussy Riot "deranged."

In fact, the singer called for clemency toward the jailed women in her interview -- a detail TV-Tsentr's journalists left out of their report.

"I think these young women [of Pussy Riot] were a bit mindless to sing in a church" is what Mathieu actually said. "It's not an appropriate place. There are other ways to demonstrate. A church is a place of contemplation and respect. Here in Russia it's like a sacrilege. There is such fervor in churches here. But as a women, an artist, and a Christian, I wish for clemency [for the Pussy Riot members]."

The channel's deputy director, Vyacheslav Mostovoi, said the channel's leadership was "simply in shock" and pledged the author of the interview would be fined and banned from broadcasting.

-- Claire Bigg
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Gregory from: UK
September 07, 2012 19:04
Banned from broadcasting? I guess freedom with somebody else's speech is potentially a gulag of unemployment.

by: rick
September 08, 2012 13:38
This world is full of thinker in the box

they are apparently so democrat and so indulgent

in the reality

the are the worst kind of arrogant intransigent
anti-democratic people

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
September 09, 2012 06:26
In recent years, Russian television has turned into a bunch of scoundrels, jerks and rogues..
In addition the directors of channels is scum, which are controlled by Putin.
In addition to censorship, on Russian television,journalists who work there-practice self-censorship, hoping to get a prize and serve owners..they absolutely do not care about famous people from the West, they know that their words may be distorted, and those who against the impostor Putin- insult...
So, I recommend to all journalists of Radio Liberty,not to deal with these scoundrels from Russian TV, not to spoil their reputation...
And I advise also to Mr.Whitmore.to write exposing article about this garbage and slap in the face of the channel director Ponomarev-who is a scoundrel and a liar...it would be an act -that is worthy of a real journalist...
In Response

by: Ivan the Terrible from: Gori
September 09, 2012 12:14
You are only right,Vakhtang from Mosscow,and I say that if you are a real Georgian you must watch GeorgianTV which tonite will air a special necktie-eating competition.The one who eats the biggest number of neckties will be pronounced Georgia`s latest National Hero with a monument erected in his image.There will also be an underwear-eating event and we are all sure you will win it with flying colours.So,ru to your granny and ask her to lend you the money for a ticket to Georgia,and make sure you dont spend it on vodka,before you try to buy your ticket home.And hurry,because we need you here in Georgia to show us the way to the Great Future,or rather the loony bin,whichever comes first.

by: venezia from: sydney
September 11, 2012 08:30
I am from Australia and I am tired of hearing about this trio.2 years is a bit hard but it is not my country or culture and I have no say in it..In an Islamic society they would of died for making fun of the Qaran and their national leader.

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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