Russia Today Starts To Worry American Media

Russia-today-logoVisitors to disinfo.com will no doubt have seen more than a few YouTube clips from Russia Today, the cable television channel that dares to feature such mainstream-media personae non gratae as Alex Jones and Danny Schechter. Now RT, as it is being re-branded (presumably to be more palatable to Americans), is starting to attract the attention of its establishment brethren. The New York Times can’t resist some sniping at this upstart that has the audacity to air stories the American media won’t cover:

…Ratings have risen as Russia Today has reported on controversial topics on the fringe of mainstream news. One recent report focused on a summit meeting in Washington by Christians United for Israel, which the station said raised questions on the influence of religion on American foreign policy.

Another report featured an interview with Malik Zulu Shabazz, the national chairman of the New Black Panther Party.

Ms. Simonyan, the editor in chief, said Russia Today journalists were not specifically looking for negative qualities of American life and politics to highlight.

Instead, she characterized the station’s editors as applying to the United States the same yardsticks that Western correspondents use in their coverage of Russia. One recent headline on the station’s Web site proclaimed: “Welcome to the Gulag, American style.”

Ms. Simonyan says that with the change to this format and with rebranding as “RT,” ratings in the United States have risen…

Russia Today pays cable companies to be included in subscribers’ packages. And it is making gains in viewing in hotel rooms. Russia Today is on television systems for Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Sheraton and Renaissance. The station is available in New York on Time Warner Cable.

At times, Russia Today’s coverage of America has veered into the realm of conspiracy theory.

The station and its Web site, in particular, are a magnet for those who believe the American government had a role in the Sept. 11 attacks, so-called truthers, and those who believe President Obama is not a natural-born American citizen and therefore is ineligible to be president, so-called birthers. The Web site, for example, ran a four-part series titled “911 Reasons 911 Was (Probably) an Inside Job.”

Denis Trunov, the deputy editor in chief, who works in Washington, denied that the coverage leaned toward the conspiratorial, and said it came down to definitions. He characterized the coverage as simply reflecting a wider range of views than are available elsewhere on cable.

The editorial policy, he said, is to “talk openly about issues that people care about but often are considered too hot for the mainstream media.”

In political circles in Moscow, where Western media coverage has piqued the government for years, the station’s new focus on the United States is applauded.

“The Americans have a view of Russia and they show it to us,” Aleksei Makarkin, an analyst at the Institute of Political Technology, a Moscow think tank, said in a telephone interview. “Russians have a point of view about America, too, and we want to show it to you.”

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  • GT

    What can I say, those RT news-babes are easy on the eyes.

  • Your Mom

    We can only hope RT lives up to the journalistic standards of Pravda.

    “The abolition of classes is not achieved by the extinction of the class struggle, but by its intensification. The state will wither away, not as a result of weakening the state power, but as a result of strengthening it to the utmost, which is necessary for finally crushing the remnants of the dying classes… we have routed the kulaks and have prepared the ground for their elimination.”

    - Joseph Stalin “The Results of the First Five-Year Plan,” Pravda, January 10, 1933

    • Billybigpotatoes

      Pravda may have been politically corrupted, but no more than the New York Times or Washington Post.

      What was Operation Mockingbird? Check this link for the wikipedians, arguing over its existence……

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki?title=Talk:Operati

      Either way, when was the last time CNN, Fox, or whoever reported on a nightly news the TOTAL number of innocent Iraqi civilians killed since the invasion. Never.

    • Connie Dobbs

      I don't think he writes for Pravda anymore.

    • dumbsaint

      How Your Mom's world view was formed :

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FBBO4zgTCc

    • whitedog

      You really believe this tripe don’t you? Journalistic standards of Pravda? It that the newspaper printed by the animals that are more equal than the other animals? Propaganda is propaganda regardless of whose point of view it is selling. It is about attaining freedom and not about swapping one tyranny for another.

  • tonyviner

    Who woulda figured that I would've discovered one of the greatest hip-hop artists in the world on a news show?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    It should be interesting to watch the Russkies make a play for international media markets. I can't imagine they'll be any better or worse than all the others who grub for ad dollars and sensationalize whatever gets those ratings up…but it should still be interesting to watch how this progresses.

  • dumbsaint

    I'd be disappointed if the FSB weren't in control of RT.

  • Anonymous

    How Your Mom’s world view was formed :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FBBO4zgTCc

  • Anonymous

    You really believe this tripe don’t you? Journalistic standards of Pravda? It that the newspaper printed by the animals that are more equal than the other animals? Propaganda is propaganda regardless of whose point of view it is selling. It is about attaining freedom and not about swapping one tyranny for another.

  • whitedog

    So by allowing RT to broadcast in America we are allowing one tyranny to replaced by another? Free your mind and you will see what the founding fathers of America intended and it is not what America is today and it is not what Russia Today promulgates. A poster in this string had a link which does not work and titled it, “How your mom’s world view was formed”. What a joke, I ask how was your world view formed? Obviously not by freedom because if you believe that then you are in the Matrix and unaware that you are. We need a restoration of real American values and they may have to be fought for. So be it.

  • Anonymous

    So by allowing RT to broadcast in America we are allowing one tyranny to replaced by another? Free your mind and you will see what the founding fathers of America intended and it is not what America is today and it is not what Russia Today promulgates. A poster in this string had a link which does not work and titled it, “How your mom’s world view was formed”. What a joke, I ask how was your world view formed? Obviously not by freedom because if you believe that then you are in the Matrix and unaware that you are. We need a restoration of real American values and they may have to be fought for. So be it.

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