American news and blogosphere are teeming with the story about out-going Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, and his lurid accusations against the Russian newsite RT. Clapper was put into his office by President Obama in 2010. Like Obama, Clapper turned out to be a miserable failure in his job. Both are leaving office effective the end of Obama’s term. Obama’s outgoing team, including Clapper, have been notable in pursuing a “scorched-earth” policy in relation to the incoming President Donald Trump. They are desperate to make life as difficult as possible for Trump, while at the same time (and here comes the cue for the studio audience to laugh at the punchline) — protecting their sacred “legacy” from Unbelievers.
There is a lot of hurly-burly in this story: American news consumers are being fed the sensationalist headline that “Russia launched a cyber-attack against the U.S.” Drilling further into this, it turns out that a “cyber-attack” was actually a leak of the Democratic Party’s dirty laundry. Not unlike the Woodward/Berstein leak against the Nixon administration’s dirty laundry. That was back in the early 1970’s. It was called Watergate. Gloating Liberals of the time thought it was absolutely fantastic that Tricky Dick’s dirty laundry was aired for all the world to see. Liberals of today, on the other hand, think it was a ghastly crime that Hillary Clinton’s dirty laundry was aired to the world. To Liberals, Deep Throat was a hero, but Julian Assange is a villain.
And drilling even further into these accusations against Russia, “leaks of information” have gotten subtlety transmutated into “publishing propaganda against the U.S.” Here is the quote from James Clapper, uttering his horrendous accusation against the Russian news outlet RT:
11:03 a.m. Clapper again talked about Russia’s “multifaceted campaign” against the U.S. He said, for example, that RT, which is funded by the Russian government was “very, vert [sic] active in promoting a particular point of view, disparaging our system, our alleged hypocrisy about human rights, etc.”
Quick fact check: Yes, RT is a news outlet funded by the Russian government. Just like the British government funds the BBC, Qatar funds Al Jazeera, and many other governments fund similar outlets to promote their national ideology and point of view to readers/viewers in other parts of the world. Similar to BBC News, which is a propaganda organ of the British government, RT boasts multitudes of sections of news, and employs correspondents all over the world. They have an “America” section in their news outlet, which reports on American news and lots of other stuff going on in America. The slant is not always critical, there are a lot of positive stories, and fluff pieces too. RT channel also sponsors talk shows and even comedy shows directed to an American audience. The increasing popularity of this content brings in advertiser revenues, and provides an alternative slant on news for American viewers who would otherwise be completely zombified by their own corporate-owned mass media. In fact, the ALT-news sources like RT and others, available mostly over the internet, are the only thing keeping the United States from becoming a completely totalitarian society.
But never fear: The Establishment intends to rectify that oversight. By banning RT!
Returning to Clapper’s assertion:
Let’s do the math here. Literally. Our variables are A,B, and C.
A = “Russia launched a cyber-attack against the United States.”
B = “Well actually, Russia helped to leak information damaging to the Democratic Party.”
C = “Well actually, the Russian government funds the RT newssite and channel, which publish articles sometimes critical of the U.S. government.”
Hence, by the laws of Commutation, if A = B and B = C, then A = C.
“Russian TV is often critical of the American government, therefore Russia launched a cyber-attack against the U.S. ”
Since my blog prides itself on being Fair and Balanced, it is my duty to present RT’s rebuttal against Clapper’s very serious accusations.
To present the rebuttal, I picked Margarita Simonyan. Margarita is the Editor-in-Chief of the English-language version of the RT television news. According to her wiki page Simonyan, as her name would indicate, is from an ethnic Armenian family. She does not speak Armenian, however; but is fluent in both Russian and English. Her interests always lay in journalism. Participating in a student-exchange program in the American state of New Hampshire, Margarita came to know, and like, ordinary American people. She was only 25 years old when she landed the plum job of RT Editor-in-Chief in 2005. Due to her youth and good looks, this appointment led to the inevitable speculation about how she got the job, i.e., who she slept with.
Once she had the job, though, her intent was to have a “professional format” like the BBC, CNN and Euronews that would “reflect Russia’s opinion of the world” and present a “more balanced picture” of Russia. She also told a reporter that the government would not dictate content and “Censorship by government in this country is prohibited by the constitution.” She later told The Moscow Times that RT started to grow once it became provocative and that controversy was vital to the station. She said that RT’s task was not to polish Moscow’s reputation. The station has however been criticised repeatedly in the west for perceived bias. Symonyan has been quoted as saying: “There is no objectivity – only approximations of the truth by as many different voices as possible”.
This seems like a sensible attitude to me. As Pontius Pilate once discovered, there is no such thing as Absolute Truth. There are facts, of course. But how the facts are interpreted, how a narrative is created, ah, there’s the rub! And Simonyan gets it. That many voices are needed. The readers and viewers should be able to collate all the facts and opinions, and draw their own conclusions. But the American Establishment, along with their lapdog mainstream media outlets, will attempt to prevent such healthy collation from ever happening. Please keep in mind that their goal is to shut down and censor all media which does not support their own crooked narrative about what is happening in the world. Starting with RT. RT is the news outlet which has really gotten under their skin, and they do indeed intend to shut it down, by hook or by crook.
As to the specific allegations made by Clapper, here is what Margarita had to say, summing up the whole story in a single tweet:
“The Head of National Intelligence of the U.S. has stated, that RT undermines the American system, but all we are actually doing is reporting on what is happening in that country.”