In principal, the former Soviet Union claimed not to censor the press. If a senior figure in the Party slipped over on a banana skin, the state media could report that a senior figure in the Party had slipped over on a banana skin. You had to make sure that your facts were correct, but facts were facts.
However, the one thing the state media could not do was criticise Communism directly. Communism was true, and known to be true. Communism provided all the advantages that Soviet citizens enjoyed compared to the oppressed working class in the West. So of course you couldn't print a news story saying – or implying -- that Communism wasn't true, any more than you could publish a geography text book saying that Barnsley was the capital of the United Kingdom.
The news had to be factually correct: but it also had to be politically correct.
It is not quite clear when the expression Politically Correct made the rhetorical leap into the vocabulary of the British and American far-right. It also isn't clear whether there was an intervening stage when the political left used the expression in a neutral or even positive sense. I went to college in the People's Republic of Sussex at the height of the hated Thatcherist regime. The student Socialist Workers ("copy of this weeks...!") would occasionally complain that someone had used an imperialist codeword like "Falkland Islands" rather than a more neutral term like "Las Malvinas". Someone from the Women's Group might have once moaned that the hated patriarchal administration were perpetuating the phallocentric and indeed aristocratic hegemony by labelling bathrooms "Gentlemen" and "Ladies" (rather than "Male" or "Female"). But I never heard anyone saying that the offending words were Politically Incorrect. Lefties with a sense of humour, if you can imagine such a beast, sometimes complained that something was "ideologically unsound".
But it's perfectly possible that someone somewhere really did think that the Commies had had a point. There really are some ideas that are self-evidently false, and they really do need to be corrected whenever and wherever they occur. Of course you shouldn't publish a book which claims that women are natural home-makers and men are natural bread-winners, any more than you should publish a book that claims that the sun goes round the earth. And if you shouldn't say it outright then you shouldn't assume it or imply it, either.
And it's perfectly possible someone did, as part of this project, deliberately adopt cumbersome terminology in order to draw people's attention to just how many assumptions and implications "ordinary", supposedly "neutral" language contained. There would have been no point in using convenient gender-neutral phrases like "Paramedic" or "Firefighter": hardly anyone would have noticed. But "Ambulanceperson" and "Fireperson" are rather awkward to say. They draw attention to themselves. They force us to notice that we've been saying "Ambulance Man" and "Fire Man" for years. They make us ask ourselves "Is there any special reason why a woman can't carry a stretcher or operate a hose-pipe?"
English Ordinance Survey Maps have a special symbol for churches. Russian Communist maps didn't depict churches at all. It might be entertaining to draw a map which left out post offices and public toilets, but included violin shops and undertakers. Not because it would be helpful or sensible, but because it would force us to notice that maps are not merely neutral diagrams of what's there, but ideological statements about what ought to be there.[*]
But there seems to be precious little evidence that this kind of thing was ever at all widespread. I have heard people saying "differently abled" rather than "disabled", which is silly. There's a shop in Bristol which sells equipment for "less able" people, which is horrid. But what we've mostly done is replaced nasty expressions like "cripple" with neutral ones like ""wheel chair user" or simply "person who can't walk", not cumbersome ones like "ambulatorially challenged". All the really silly examples of Politically Correct Language -- "vertically challenged" and "chemically inconvenienced" and "chronologically superior" -- seem to have been made up by the far-right as a parody of what they saw as a creeping attempt to impose a Soviet style monopoly on public discourse.
A lady -- sorry, a female person -- was once told by a taxi-driver that before long, the Political Correctness Brigade would demanding equal rights for homosexual goldfish. This was a joke : not a very funny one, but a joke, nevertheless. But it was a joke that made the female person very angry indeed:
"Gay goldfish? Was there such a thing? I had no doubt that if the Political Correctness Brigade could find a gay goldfish, this could become a reality instead of a throwaway line."
She was so angry that she decided that it was her duty to campaign against any attempt to give equal rights to gay goldfish -- and also against the abolition of competitive sport from schools, the banning of Christmas, and lots of other things which haven't happened. Her name was Laura Midgley, and we shall learn more of her wisdom later.
[*] Come to think of it, the Student Union Guide at York University did say, in so many words (I still have a copy) "There is no Christian Union here", which makes me wonder what meetings I was going to in the chaplaincy building on Thursday evenings.