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Soviet Media Cut Gorbachev Comment on Wife's Role

December 03, 1987|From Times Wire Services

MOSCOW — Soviet newspapers, matching the approach of Soviet television, on Wednesday omitted Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev's comment to an American interviewer that he discussed "highest-level" affairs with his wife, Raisa.

The cut, apparently the only one in an hourlong interview shown Tuesday night on Soviet television, was evidence of the sensitivity of Raisa Gorbachev's high profile in Soviet society.

In the interview shown on American television Monday night, NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw said to Gorbachev: "We've all noticed the conspicuous presence of Mrs. Gorbachev in your travels. Do you go home in the evening and discuss with her national policies, political difficulties and so on in this country?"

"We discuss everything," Gorbachev replied--an answer shown on Soviet television and reported in major newspapers such Izvestia and Pravda.

But what was not televised or included in the newspaper transcripts was the following exchange:

Brokaw: "Including Soviet affairs at the highest level?"

Gorbachev: "I think that I have answered your question in total. We discuss everything."

The soviet version continues at that point with Brokaw saying, "I'll accept your answer."

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