Morning Media Newsfeed: CNN Broadcasts to End in Russia | Obama Defends Net Neutrality

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CNN to End Broadcasts on Russian Cable, Satellite TV (USA Today)
CNN will not be seen on channels in Russia beginning next year, Turner Broadcasting said Monday. “Turner International is assessing its distribution options for CNN in Russia in light of recent changes in Russian media legislation,” the company said in a written statement. “We are bringing our existing distribution relationships to an end while we do that.” FishbowlDC The decision comes in the wake of an advertising ban on Russian cable and satellite TV stations. TVNewser The network’s newsgathering in Russia will not be impacted. CNN has been available to Russian viewers since the early 1990s. HuffPost / Reuters Russia launched on Monday a state-of-the-art media organization with hundreds of journalists abroad intended to wean the world off what it called aggressive Western propaganda — dubbing it with echoes of the Cold War, Sputnik. In a hi-tech presentation in a media center once used to host Cold War-era press conferences, one of President Vladimir Putin’s favorite journalists outlined plans meant to repair the damage done to Russia’s image during the crisis in Ukraine. Although Moscow denies reverting to Soviet-style techniques, Russian media executives acknowledge privately they are waging a propaganda war with echoes of the Cold War. The Guardian Meanwhile, Russia Today has been threatened with statutory sanctions by media regulator Ofcom after the Kremlin-backed news channel breached broadcasting regulations on impartiality with its coverage of the Ukraine crisis. Russia Today, or RT, was summoned to a meeting with Ofcom after it was found guilty of breaching the code governing U.K. broadcasters in a ruling published on Monday.

Obama’s Plan for Net Neutrality (SocialTimes)
Is there still hope for net neutrality? President Obama made a statement Monday morning in full support, asking the FCC to consider the Internet a public utility, which would mean no throttling or “fast lanes.” NYT The FCC, Obama said, needs to adopt the strictest rules possible to prevent broadband companies from blocking or intentionally slowing down legal content and from allowing content providers to pay for a fast lane to reach consumers. That approach, he said, demands thinking about both wired and wireless broadband service as a public utility. THR The debate over whether ISPs can make paid prioritization deals with digital services erupted in January when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided the FCC had exceeded its authority in its anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules adopted in 2010. The ruling found that the agency had impermissibly treated broadband providers as common carriers. The development caused FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to consider whether the FCC should choose reclassification as a course of action or allow broadband providers to sell special access under certain scenarios. Variety Wheeler has previously said the agency would consider reclassifying broadband under Title II — a move staunchly opposed by Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and other Internet service providers as an unnecessary step that would impose undue burdens and decrease investment in high-speed networks.

Rush Limbaugh Threatens Lawsuit Over DCCC Rape Email (Bloomberg / Politics)
Conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh is threatening to sue the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee over campaign emails sent that Limbaugh says incorrectly portrayed him as condoning campus rape. The Washington Post / Style In a letter to the Washington-based organization intended for delivery Monday morning, Limbaugh’s lawyer demanded a retraction and a public apology for the fundraising emails. The letter indicated Limbaugh will sue for defamation and business “interference” if his demand isn’t met. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media In a letter to the DCCC last week, Limbaugh’s attorney Patricia Glaser demands an “immediate retraction and public apology” for removing “10 words completely out of context in order to attribute a false meaning” to Limbaugh’s statements about sexual assault. “[A] retraction and apology will mitigate against a subsequent lawsuit,” Glaser wrote in the letter to the DCCC. Glaser demanded the DCCC preserve all documents and data relating to the matter in preparing for litigation. The Washington Times The letter refers to a committee fundraising email in September which included the statement: “Let’s be clear: Rush Limbaugh is advocating for the tolerance of rape.” The email was distributed after Limbaugh mocked Ohio State’s new mandatory consent rules for those students wishing to have sex on campus.