Watching Russia

The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture and Money

November 22, 2014

The Interpreter and the Institute of Modern Russia present a special report by Peter Pomerantsev, author of Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: the Surreal Heart of the New Russia, and our editor-in-chief, Michael Weiss, on the Kremlin’s weaponization of information, culture and money to achieve foreign policy goals and undermine opponents. In recent […]

Life of Bryan: How an RT Columnist Tries to Influence the Debate on Russia and Ukraine

October 29, 2014

This article was written by The Interpreter’s editorial staff and utilized the extensive research by independent journalist RobPulseNews of Ukraine: War Log. The Russian media landscape has changed dramatically in recent years, and much of that change has occurred only in the last eight months. Domestically, Russian-language print and broadcast media outlets have been dramatically […]

RT “Covers” the Shooting Down of MH17

July 18, 2014

Operating a fake news channel to promote state propaganda comes with considerable intrinsic problems and contradictions. Propaganda and news reporting have contrary purposes that propagandists carefully work to obscure by various means. That’s the art of propaganda: blurring the line between reality and BS, creating false equivalencies between the two, and implicitly arguing that the […]

Throwing a Wrench In Russia’s Propaganda Machine

June 18, 2014

UPDATED: RT, also known as Russia Today (that’s not entirely accurate anymore, but it’s a long story), is the English-language Russian media Goliath which has a lot to boast about. A 2012 Pew Research poll found that RT had the most Youtube videos of any news agency on the planet. The Kremlin-operated agency is now […]

Ryan Dawson, RT’s “Human Rights Activist,” A Holocaust Denier Who’s Friends With Hate Criminals

June 10, 2014

Ryan Dawson uses the internet to promote bigotry and Holocaust denial, but on RT, he’s a “geopolitical analyst”, “human rights activist” and “Asian affairs expert.” In 2007, a man named Eric Hunt cornered Elie Wiesel in the elevator of San Francisco’s Argent Hotel, grabbed him and pulled him off the elevator into a hallway. Hunt […]

Trip Wire

May 19, 2014

Sometimes in the course of reporting on a story, a journalist makes an error in judgment, accidentally walks into a trip wire and sets off a signal flare (so to speak) alerting viewers that his version of events is unreliable. In his reporting on the Ukraine crisis, RT’s Graham Phillips has done just that: literally […]

RT Sends In The Clowns

May 14, 2014

RT may bill itself as a news channel, but it stretches the definition of that term in several readily apparent ways. It blurs the line between entertainment, advertising and news, with many producers and on-air personalities coming from backgrounds in advertising or entertainment rather than journalism. It tends to portray the US and EU in […]

RT’s Abby Martin Takes False Equivalency to its Absurd Limit

May 1, 2014

False equivalency between the US and Russia was a gateway drug for RT host Abby Martin. She’s now moved on to the hard stuff: North Korea. On her April 22 program, in a segment entitled “A Visitor’s Guide to North Korea,” Martin interviewed Marcel Cartier, an RT employee whom she introduced as a hip hop […]

Karen Hudes – RT’s “Whistleblower” Who Believes World Bank Controlled By Second Species

April 22, 2014

Reporters love nothing more than a source with important inside information about the secret operations of a powerful institution. For the public, the word “whistleblower” evokes the individual citizen putting themselves at risk to stop wrongdoing by an employer. It’s a powerful idea – one justifiably lauded both in fiction and fact, and protected and […]

Russian TV’s Max Keiser: Blaming the Victims of 9/11

April 8, 2014

Conspiracy theorists have an unfortunate tendency to blame those killed in mass-murders for the attacks that killed them. Nothing about the 9/11 “Truth” movement is more disturbing than when it either says outright or just implies that the victims somehow deserved to die. Disgracefully, Max Keiser, whom RT provides a daily forum, does just this. […]