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I just finished doing an interview on RT International about a new US State Department report on "Russia's Disinformation and Propaganda Ecosystem." I expect the black SUVs to be rolling into my driveway here in Lake Jackson any minute. I wish that were a joke, but these days you never know. An American foreign policy expert friend of mine who for many years wrote a column in a publication that the US government deemed "Russia-connected" got a visit from the FBI (in black cars) warning him of serious consequences should he continue to share his views on that particular outlet. So much for that old US embrace of the free press and media pluralism!
So tonight, as is par for the course, on the eve of renewed US/Russia talks in Geneva the US side feels compelled to drop a stink bomb on the party, like a dog marking his territory. This one comes in the form of a new report on how evil and dangerous are RT and Sputnik, two Russia-affiliated alternative news outlets.
I had a half hour to plow through the 30-ish page report before I went live, so I tried to hone in on any legitimate criticism. Had RT and Sputnik been making up false stories? Nope. No mention of that. Are they reporting in any manner outside of accepted journalistic practices? Nope. Have they been peddling disproven conspiracy theories, like four years of US mainstream media fake conspiracies about Russiagate? Nope.
So, as our older readers might remember that old ad slogan, "where's the beef"?
Well...Antony Blinken's State Department is furious because according to one study Americans who watch RT don't seem as susceptible to US government's pro-interventionist propaganda.
As the State Department report puts it:
One recent study reported that American consumers exposed to RT content are more likely than those not exposed to prefer that the United States withdraw from its global leadership position, even when the consumers are aware that RT is funded by the Russian government.
Oh noes! Some Americans dare to not prefer a "global leadership position" for the US government! Some Americans may not prefer the largest military budget on the planet, troops in 150 foreign countries, endless US-backed color revolutions, the murder of foreign leaders, and 20 year occupations in wars that are lost by everyone except the US military-industrial-Congressional-think tank-complex!
But if the State Department thinks it is dealing with just a handful of Ron Paul supporters, they are victims of their own circular thinking and mirror-imaging. As I said in the interview, according to a December, 2021 YouGov/Koch Institute poll, some 73 percent of Americans actually prefer that the US government "withdraw from its global leadership position."
Are 73 percent of Americans "anti-American" as defined by the State Department? Maybe the State Department is wrong instead of the 73 percent of Americans who pay their salaries!
The other big beef the State Department has with RT and Sputnik is that they accuse the networks of taking a position in favor of Russian government positions on foreign policy. Whoa, they got me there. Good thing the US media is always out there opposing Washington's endless interventionism! If we non-interventionists didn't have the mainstream media - and especially US government-funded VOA and RFE/RL - on our side, I don't know what we'd do!
Of course all US mainstream media networks - including those catering to conservatives like Fox News - take the US government position on foreign policy, with extremely few exceptions. Even the otherwise very watchable Tucker Carlson will criticize US government aggressive policies toward Russia not because they are dumb policies...but because that aggression should be focused on China!!!!
The American media, like the US government it serves, is obsessed with enemies. Enemies sell. Enemies get views and clicks. That's all that counts. They condition Americans to think of the entire rest of the world as desperate to destroy our way of life and drain our precious bodily fluids.
As Ron Paul said in his latest column, "It’s all fun and games until the missiles start flying."
The State Department report also points to the close ties between Russian media figures and the Russian government. Seriously? Have they watched the US mainstream media lately? As Australian writer Caitlin Johnstone put it not long ago, "The CIA Used To Infiltrate The Media. Now The CIA Is The Media." Additionally, US journalist Matt Taibbi gives us a partial list of US intelligence agents who went on to serve their masters in the US mainstream media.
Has the State Department not noticed how many senior US Administration officials of both parties went on to senior and high-paid positions with US mainstream media outlets? Surely they need to get out more.
As with everything coming out of the US Administration (and the ones before it), US foreign policy is best defined as one of projection. They claim that others are doing precisely that which they themselves are doing. This report is no different.
But we should all reserve some righteous anger for our own government believing us to be so stupid and ignorant that a few minutes of watching RT - or maybe even reading Caitlin Johnstone or Matt Taibbi or Glenn Greenwald - will turn us into Manchurian candidates out to do the bidding of a 1950s era global menace waiting to turn us all into slithering communist salamanders. Shame on them!
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