RT Media is a Russian sponsored channel with only one purpose: Destabilizing the U.S. and its allies through skewed propaganda. This is in line with Putin’s ultimate objective to fracture NATO, which he publicly declares to be Russia’s biggest national security threat.
Hybrid warfare is something Putin is good at. He realizes that it’s not feasible to confront the west through traditional combat so instead he ironically exploits one of our biggest weaknesses. Our freedom of speech.
I say ironic, because freedom of speech is almost non-existent in today’s Russia. There is a new draconian law that forces bloggers to register with the state. It includes measures to ensure that bloggers cannot remain anonymous, and states that social networks must maintain six months of data on its users to allow for government access if needed. There is also the total shut down of any mainstream media that disagrees with the Kremlin. It’s important to note that television is hugely influential in Russia, particularly at election time. More disturbing is that apparently, being a journalist in Russia is really bad for your health…if you criticize the government that is. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists there have been 25 journalists killed in Russia since Putin took office .
Putin, a former KGB agent, attempts to undermine western values by sponsoring a very biased “news” network that paints the West as being full of imperialistic demons, while showcasing himself as the grand alternative, a sort of hero whose role is restoring balance to the world.
Russian taxpayers pick up the tab for all this propagandizing. The Kremlin directed outlet has practically unlimited resources, which allows it to present itself, without advertising, as the alternative to what it characterizes as corporate American media.
The material cranked out is so dubious and demagogued that it can be borderline funny; except when it’s not.
RT’s ability to disguise pro-Putin propaganda as alternative media has alarmingly proven to be a success among a younger audience.
It’s a fact that US voter turnout trails most developed countries; Only about 65% of the US voting age population votes in general elections, compared with 93% in the UK, and 96% in Sweden.
Let’s face it. A lot of people in the US are not politically informed, and at best, can be described as “low information voters”. It is this segment of the population that RT specifically targets and manages to push it’s pro-Russian message to.
A Russian media outlet successfully, in effect, indoctrinating the minds of an American audience without impunity. Let that sink in for a minute.
Major American news networks have long been silent on issues that matter more and more to younger people, such as police brutality, Israeli war crimes in Gaza, and money in politics, the latter being a major issue in the 2016 US presidential race. That silence, coupled with a clear shift towards tabloid-style, sensationalized media coverage has destroyed the credibility of American cable news with these younger audiences.
Cue RT stepping in, to change the narrative in its favor and casting Russia as the clear antidote to the West, with all its “problems”.
So just how popular is this propaganda channel? Sit back my friends; the numbers and stats will shock you.
According to RT’s website:
RT has 22 bureaus in 19 countries and territories, with a presence in Washington, New York, London, Berlin, Gaza, Cairo, Baghdad and other key cities and employs over 1000 media professionals around the globe.
2014 Nielsen research found that 2.8 million people in seven major US urban areas watch RT weekly.
More than 100 million viewers in US cities receive the channel 24 hours a day via satellite and cable networks. That number is constantly growing.
Still not alarmed yet?
Adding to the problem is that most of RT broadcasts can be found on its YouTube channel, which became the first TV news channel in YouTube’s history to reach one BILLION views, that’s right, billion with a “B”. Today, RT is the #1 TV news network on the platform with more than 3 billion views.
So yeah, RT is here and not going anywhere, and it’s a pretty big deal. Clearly Putin is full-throttle projecting Russian influence via social media and cable.
And just how bad are their articles? Let’s take a look at this report claiming “The US empire” will fall by 2020. Or how about this doozy, where a prankster goes around asking people in the US if they support President Obama’s supposed plan to launch a preemptive nuclear attack against Russia? This last one falls into the category of mocking the low information American voter in his/her own backyard.
Yes, ridiculous BS like this is being blasted on Russian TV.
Now, what is the U.S. government doing to combat all this? The U.S. has admitted that it’s lagging behind Russia when it comes to the information and propaganda war. All of this a result of the absolute gridlock in Washington.
Finally though, reality is sinking in, and as a remedy to this, U.S. law makers have now introduced a bill seeking $30 million in an effort to fight this false, anti American propaganda war. However, this bill also covers efforts to counter the Islamic State’s propaganda efforts, and with the current political climate, it is easy to see most of that money going towards the latter as a priority, not realizing that curtailing Russian influence is just as critically important. Also, keep in mind that RT’s budget is over $168 million. Are you listening congress?
On April 25, 2005, Russian President Vladimir Putin went on national television and told his nation that the destruction of the Soviet Union was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century.”
Putin blames his inability to bring Russia back to old Soviet glory because of “western meddling”. The former KGB agent feels that the ex-USSR countries should submit to what he calls a “Russian sphere of influence”.
Incursions into NATO countries’ airspace; the annexation of Crimea; backing the Assad regime, going against Western desires for his removal as a despot ruler. Putin clearly is putting his money where his mouth is, and the most dangerous thing is that his goals of “restoring Soviet glory” are being met most successfully without a single bomb or missile being fired. RT is the best weapon in the Russian arsenal, and it isn’t going anywhere.