Russia’s RT: Is it more K.G.B. than BBC?


…..The New York Times asks:

RT is part of the reality of the 21st century, said Peter Pomerantsev, who wrote a book three years ago that described Russia’s use of television for propaganda.. “Everyone will do it soon. It’s the world we have to live in.” Hacks and leaks are much more disruptive, he said. “If you can take out the electrical grid in Ukraine, that’s scary. It’s hard to get too scared about Larry King on RT.” …. Pomerantsev agrees …. that RT is not inventing popular mistrust about Western democracy. “The Russians are about sowing mistrust about institutions that is there already, feeding it,” he said. “How do we make our institutions more trustworthy?”

RT should not be lightly dismissed, said Michael McFaul, a Stanford professor who was the U.S. ambassador to Russia during the Obama years [and former Reagan-Fascell fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy]. “There is a demand in certain countries for this alternative view, an appetite, and we arrogant Americans shouldn’t just think that no one cares.”


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