Vladimir Putin's decision to have Russian forces invade Ukraine has led to strong reactions from around the world, including some pretty random and bizarre ones. For instance, as Jennifer Hassan reported on Thursday for The Washington Post, "International Cat Federation bans Russian cats from competitions." CNN has now also decided to stop broadcasting in Russia. The decision comes after Russia enacted a new law cracking down on "fake" news.
As Reuters reported on Friday:
Lawmakers passed amendments to the criminal code making the spread of "fake" information an offence punishable with fines or jail terms. They also imposed fines for anyone calling for sanctions against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
"CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia while we continue to evaluate the situation and our next steps moving forward," a spokesperson said.
News organizations including the BBC and Canadian Broadcasting Corp have also suspended reporting from Russia following the passing of the law.
Many took to Twitter to poke fun at the news outlet, adding some humor to what has been a sobering foreign policy crisis on the world stage:
What’s CNN so worried about? ?? pic.twitter.com/DcDtqPR5Fw— Matt’s Banjo (@MattsBanjo) March 4, 2022
This is actually helping Russia. Now only if CNN could do the same here https://t.co/n7S2NbHYgW— Kangmin Lee ?????????? HONK HONK ?????? (@thekangminlee) March 4, 2022
Russia benefits from this. Can CNN please stop broadcasting everywhere else too? Thanks. https://t.co/qmHw6am6E2— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) March 4, 2022
I think Russia has achieved their goal and should now exit Ukraine. https://t.co/N8yQuuTapX— Damin Toell (@damintoell) March 4, 2022
During the Trump administration, CNN was at the forefront of the former president's moniker of "fake news" and the media being "truly the enemy of the people."
There's been some silver lining for the network, though, in all of this. Ratings have improved for CNN due to coverage of the people of Ukraine fighting off their Russian invaders.
The war has been explosively good for the ratings of the three cable networks, especially CNN and MSNBC, which, in normal times, have almost nobody watching. I guess you can choose to believe this has nothing to do with media's views of war -- just a huge unintended gift -- but.. https://t.co/TnCB1tqRpf— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 4, 2022
That being said, the ratings for the network earlier in the year were just abysmal. As Joe Concha highlighted in an opinion piece earlier last month for The Hill, "CNN's collapse is now complete." In it, he mentions how ratings fell as much as 90 percent overall from January 2021 to just one year later in January 2022.
People need not waste a moment's pity on CNN. The media networks have been heavily censored in Russia, where they've even been forbidden from saying "war" and "invasion" in their coverage.
The anti-war movement in Russia has also been mounting, with police even arresting elderly women and children who dare to speak out against the war.
Russian police arrest an elderly woman in St. Petersburg. Why? She spoke out in favor of peace.— Aviva Klompas (@AvivaKlompas) March 2, 2022
Only a cowardly regime silences and brutalizes members of its society for speaking their minds. pic.twitter.com/BHD6DGTLzx
Since February 24, there have been 8,275 people arrested in Russia for "anti-war actions," according to OVD-Info.