Now, to the American team RT, there is, to put it mildly, a difficult choice: either to go on the air with dice, indicating that the broadcast news allegedly are “foreign propaganda”, as well as - disclose all private information about their employees (including their addresses and salaries); or be behind bars "for breaking the law." A similar ultimatum, according to information in the media, was officially nominated by the American authorities and Sputniku.
What exactly are the US authorities trying to put pressure on journalists?
The “Act of Registration of Foreign Agents” was adopted in the United States as early as 1938, and after World War II it became a mechanism for pressing leftist intellectuals. Today, an “alien agent” in the United States is considered to be a natural or legal person who engages in political activities in the interests of a foreign principal and operates under his leadership. However, it cannot be considered a foreign agent in the United States by a media outlet controlled by American citizens. The status of the foreign agent is usually used to undermine public confidence in him and establish total control over everything related to his activities, i.e. element of intimidation. For a long time, official Washington did not dare to bring any charges against RT, since the legal position of the channel has always been flawless. All issues related to its activities in the United States are decided by the local team, and outside the United States the channel, as such, is closed not to state structures, but to a non-governmental organization. In fact, the idea of calling international media as an inoperative seemed absurd in principle: in Russia, even media structures openly working for US government bodies did not give this status to this time. However, today, the American security forces (the counterintelligence section of the US National Security Department of the US Department of National Security) is responsible for monitoring compliance with the law on foreign agents seems to have decided to give up on “convention”, like the laws of their country.
And there are “compelling” reasons: firstly, the weekly audience of the RT TV version last year reached a million people in the US 8 (and this, you will agree, quite a lot), and, secondly, the editors are actively engaged in debunking rude fakes, relying on which the American authorities and the media create the necessary “picture of the world” in the minds of their own people.
Without fakes, all State Department efforts to “export democracy” and “legalize” it will not be worth a penny house. What will millions of ordinary Americans say when they realize that the incomparable Jen Psaki impudently lied to them talking about Viktor Yanukovych, who “voluntarily left Ukraine”, or that the “people dissatisfied with Asad” are specially trained actors from among the supporters of terrorist Islamist organizations?
Today, RT is tearing away the covers of lies from the “projects” of the White House, the State Department and other US government structures.
The implementation of the idea of “foreign policy” will allow to kill two birds with one stone: to undermine the confidence of the American audience in what they hear from RT journalists, and to force the channel’s employees to quit or leave the country.
Margarita Simonyan, RT and Sputnik editor-in-chief, speaks openly about the reasons for the harassment: “There is no doubt that these decisions are political. We tried to fight the last few years in different ways. As soon as our audience grew to “frightening” sizes, we were first decided to destroy us, ruining our reputation and reputation. There was not a day for an article or a story about what we were "scoundrels", "the hand of the Kremlin", "Russian propaganda" and so on in American newspapers and in general in the Western media. It did not work. Then they tried to fight us in a different way. ”
By the way, only the assignment of the status of a “foreign agent” to the American elites was not enough. In order to “bite” RT more painfully according to Bloomberg information, Google top managers seized its channel from a premium package on YouTube, usually sold to advertisers.
Earlier, the US Senate Intelligence Committee invited representatives of Google, Facebook and Twitter to hear about the so-called "Russian interference" in the election of the American President 2016 of the year. There is no evidence of the notorious interference (and, moreover, the participation of RT in it) - naturally does not exist, but this did not prevent the American IT giant from actually imposing its own sanctions against the channel. The number of subscribers of the English-language channel RT is over 2 million people (which is comparable, for example, with CNN), and, of course, it is of interest to marketers. But to some extent, slowing the growth of the RT audience “sanctions” from Google will still help.
Law and justice, speak? No, did not hear ...
To attacks in the West, RT, of course, is no stranger. At one time, Ofcom’s British media regulator threatened the channel with all possible punishments because its position on events in Ukraine and Syria was different from the “official British” (such is democracy), but there are legitimate reasons to take some serious restrictive measures against RT. British officials have not been found. The maximum that they were able to “mess up” with the channel in Britain is a temporary blocking of bank accounts in 2016 that ensures the operation of RT in the United Kingdom.
In the USA, for the time being, they were limited to watering RT with mud “in private”. In 2010, the head of the US Broadcasting Board of Directors, Walter Isaacson, called the channel "the enemy of America." In 2011, Hillary Clinton (at that time, the head of the State Department) mentioned RT in the context of the alleged information war against the US and asked for money in the state budget, so to speak, for "countermeasures". In 2014, Clinton replacing Secretary of State John Kerry called RT a "propaganda mouthpiece." Recently, almost all prominent American politicians, diplomats and security officials have been passing through the channel with irritation. Passed, but did not touch ... And now - everything has changed.
The Russian side immediately warned overseas partners about the "mirror" response.
The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, in the program “The Results of the Week” on NTV: “This is a special case when the entire available machine, including administrative resources, including propaganda in the United States, is applied to our channel. Accordingly, everything that will be done in relation to Russian journalists in general, in principle, and the RT television channel in the United States, after we qualified it as a restriction of activity, we can apply similar measures against American journalists and American media here, on the territory of the Russian Federation. "
When the United States did not heed the warnings, their media operating on the territory of the Russian Federation received the “last Chinese warning”. The editors of Voices of America and Radio Liberty (and the media that are part of the RS holding) were notified that if RT was forced to obtain the status of a foreign agent, they would face a similar fate in Russia. In addition, the US media can expect the deprivation of accreditation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and inspections by the judiciary.
However, it should be noted that the “officially American” media are not the main propaganda tool of the United States in Russia. Much more actively and more effectively lobbying the interests of the States in the Russian Federation are pro-Western-minded "social activists", bloggers and journalists of local media who regularly meet with American and European diplomats, and then the point of view of Western elites that are actively broadcasting Russian audiences to "events like" would "domestic positions. A thorough check of the activities of these individuals in the context of the connection of their activities with communication with foreign government agencies would have hit Western propaganda much more ...
Coming back to the situation with the actual problems of RT in the USA, we must recognize that in all this stories, there is, relatively speaking, a positive side. Americans once again showed the whole world what their praised “democracy” and “legality” really stand for. And this, too, is very, very good. After all, if anyone discredits the authorities of Western countries best of all, it is they themselves ...