You may know the Kremlin’s state-sponsored “Russia Today” (RT) propaganda network by its public billboards asking if the world isn’t failing to appreciate Josef Stalin’s talent as a romantic poet. But it seems the network’s true calling is the glorification of Barack Obama. At least, that’s the thinking of those who control prominent international media awards.
You may even know RT a little better than just glimpsing its advertisements. Maybe having seen that Stalin ad, and wishing to learn whether Hitler had a way with needlepoint, you decided to order the service through your local cable provider, or maybe you just checked out RT’s free website.
In that case, you might have read stories about how condoms could solve global warming, how nobody will eat or drink anything after August 21 of this year, and how none of it matters because we are all about to be wiped out by killer algae.
These are the stories that dominate the virtual pages of Russia Today. But reading or viewing them, while you might have flashbacks to the brilliant SCTV parody from the early 1980s of Soviet-era TV, you still won’t have glimpsed the true calling of the All-Putin network.
If you know RT more intimately, you may know how it runs scathing anti-American editorials from rogue disenchanted yanks who hate their homeland and want to see it destroyed, and how it actively recruits Westerners to provide pro-Kremlin content. You may know how, alternatively, it focuses on lauding Americans like Ron Paul who have actual power and think Vladimir Putin’s government is a model that America can learn much from. Mr. Paul shows up on RT with frightening, almost ritualistic, regularity. Pat Buchanan is also beloved by RT.
RT terminates reporters who won’t toe the Kremlin’s party line.
But no matter what you think you know about RT from its own pages, you still don’t know the real story. For that, turn to the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (IATAS). They’ve just nominated RT for an iEmmy award — and not for entertainment, mind you, but for hard news reporting. It’s big “news” over at RT, of course.
That’s right, an iEmmy.
Right next to the UK’s Sky News, whose reporters risked their lives in Pakistan reporting on the Taliban’s creeping invasion, right beside Qatar’s Al Jazeera, whose reporters faced bullets on both sides of the front in Israel’s war last year in Gaza, right along with Brazil’s Globo, which exposed massive corruption that led to a horrific nationwide blackout, there is the Kremlin’s pet propaganda project Russia Today.