This chapter examines the initially subdued role of ethnicity in television's approach to consensus management as it struggled to negotiate the competing demands of the democratic and nationalist oppositions. Ethnicity's centrality to the hegemonic process is indicated by the subliminal manner in which it colours the corruption theme so ubiquitous in Russian political discourse. The chapter examines the role of Naval'nyi's own populist campaign in constituting such a core and in accounting for federal television's neurotic reaction to Naval'nyi's claim to the anti-corruption territory, pointing, however, to that territory's ethnic substratum, and demonstrating that it is liable to rise to the surface at any point. Federal television broadcasts during the period prematurely hailed as the 'Russian Spring' are an ideal source to analyse the key subtexts of the 'authoritative discourse' which dominated state television during the new millennium. Putin's pre-election campaign articles dealt with the 'national question', economic tasks, democracy and effective government, social policy, military affairs and foreign policy.