RT, Sputnik and Media Censorship in America

Just a few days ago RTAmerica was forced to register as a foreign agent in the United States. Using this designation as justification, Twitter and Facebook have now banned RT and Sputnik from advertising on their services. This is all over alleged Russian “interference” in the 2016 Presidential Election, for which there is still not a single piece of clear evidence.

Russia Today

This is the United States of America, where freedom of the press is literally one of the founding principles of the nation. They celebrate their freedom every time they’re forced to stand through their national anthem.

What would the press reaction have been if Russia had forced the BBC, for example, to register as a foreign agent?

In fact, how many American or European media outlets have ever been forced to register as foreign agents in “autocratic” Russia where Putin has allegedly “shut down the free press”?

Zero.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has operated in Russia and Eastern Europe for nearly 70 years. It’s an American destabilization programme. That’s not a “conspiracy theory”. It is acknowledged in the public record that RFE/RL was established by the State Dept. and the CIA in order to spread American propaganda behind the Iron Curtain. They have never been barred from operating in Russia.

Now, imagine it was on the public record that the FSB had founded RT. Imagine it was written into Sputnik’s mission statement that their job was to undermine the American government. Would they have been allowed to broadcast in the US? Would they have come anywhere NEAR 68 years of operation?

Look at the Moscow Times, a notionally Russian paper that is owned by a Finnish conglomerate and prints exclusively in English. It is routinely, even pathologically, critical of the Russian government. Would this situation ever be allowed to stand in reverse? If there were a newspaper calling itself The London Times, which was owned by a Venezuelan and printed nothing but anti-government stories, exclusively in Russian…would it be allowed to operate? Would people cite it as a decent source of information?

Look at CNN, where Anderson Cooper – ex-CIA “intern” – solemnly nods his way through autocues full of baseless propaganda. Repeating, verbatim, the statements of nameless “intelligence sources”, without analysis or question. Can you imagine if RT’s headline reporter had worked for the KGB? Luke Harding would have written a (very bad) book about it by now. Can you imagine if RT’s news crews had been caught, numerous times, literally faking news footage (several times)?

These double standards are never addressed or acknowledged in the “free press” of NATO aligned nations.

Radio Free Europe has a story covering Russia’s “tit-for-tat” sanctions on US media outlets. It is hilariously without irony.

They interview the American ambassador to Russia – Jon Huntsman – who says, with a straight face:

We just think the principles of free media in any free society and democracy are absolutely critical for strength and well-being…Freedom of speech is a part of that. That’s why we in the embassy care about the issue. That’s why we’re going to follow the work that is going on in the Duma and the legislation that is being drafted very, very carefully. Because we’re concerned about it.”

He defends America’s stance on RT, whilst attacking Russia’s counter moves, claiming America is sanctioning RT in the name of “transparency” and that:

That’s far different from designating somebody a foreign agent

The US Ambassador to Russia, apparently, needs some help keeping up with current events because “designating somebody a foreign agent” is exactly what the US government has done. For some reason the (funded by the CIA) editorial staff of RFE/RL don’t feel the need to correct him. Even though their headline from three days earlier completely contradicts him.

Apparently journalistic standards are only for other people. And state censorship of the media, like all other crimes against humanity, is OK when America does it.

by Kit

via OffGuardian

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