Jousting for control of Georgia's nationally televised narrative has become the main plot line for the run-up to this October's parliamentary vote, as forces critical of the government keep dishing out satellite dishes and the government keeps taking them back. Both President Mikheil Saakashvili and his deep-pocketed foe, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, know that the message is the medium and are behaving accordingly.
In the latest episode in Georgia’s battle-for-TV drama: the opposition-minded television station Maestro is handing out thousands of satellite dishes to households; a move that could weaken the government-leaning channels’ dominance on national airwaves. The government strikes back by impounding the antennas. Critics accuse the authorities of being control freaks; the government accuses Maestro of being Ivanishvili's tool for vote bribery.
To read the full story