Why is RT increasingly popular in the West?

by on October 1, 2016 in Media Comment

Excellent article on RT by Finian Cunningham about the so-called “information war with Russia”.

This is a good description of the Western media:

The Western media have become so embedded in the ideological matrix of the ruling Western class that they no longer know what the meaning or purpose of genuine journalism is. It is not a public service to inform. It is an administration of permissible public thinking as dictated by the oligarchic complex of corporations, banks and the military-security apparatus.

His comments that the popularity of RT is based on the fact that people are turning to it because they feel that on international affairs they are getting a more accurate version of events is borne out by a simple test. Look at the comments section on any article on a Western media news site about Syria or Ukraine. After a lengthy piece in which the usual distortions and editorial narrative lines (always 100% in line with current State Department policy) are trotted out you will find many, if not a majority of the comments, evidencing complete disbelief – and an understanding of Russia’s position which is absent from the official news-line. There is indeed a disconnect between the editorial lines of the Western press (based on State Department briefings) and the views of the ordinary readers. This gap is then filled by RT.

RT is not popular because it is manipulating peoples’ minds. Indeed it isn’t the case that everyone – whether they live in Russia or the West – who has a different view on international affairs from the State Department holds it because they have been brain-washed by the “Kremlin controlled media”. This explanation shows a kind of introverted delusional hubris: gosh; these people aren’t believing our propaganda; they must be sick. People turn to RT because on Foreign Affairs they get analysis and fact based reporting.

The editorial line of RT is indeed very close to the policy of the Foreign Ministry of Russia. But then Russian foreign policy is based on reality not self-belief in delusional narratives. Narratives which always mask economic aggression under the banner of “human-rights” interventions and which invariably depict the West as being 100% in the right and ‘moral’ in any conflict, no matter how many hundreds of thousands of corpses and destroyed countries they leave in their wake. RT, unlike the Western media, doesn’t need to substitute fact-based reporting for narrative construction because Russia is not engaged in fighting wars aimed at re-ordering the world to fit an economic ambition masked as humanitarian or ‘democratic’ interventions.

It’s true that the editorial policy of RT is to cover stories which in the main paint the West in a bad light.  That’s a pity. But on international affairs their reports are simply free of the narrative constructions and editorial glosses which are needed in the Western press to oil their implausible sounding stories along.

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