FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

When Anchors Go Off Script at RT

by BEN SCHREINER

The Cold War is back.  The Evil Empire has risen.  And the very epitome of evil, that mad dictator Putin, stands poised with a dagger aimed at the heart of Europe.  It’s thus once again time to pick sides: either you stand with the freedom-loving democrats in Ukraine yearning for a piece of that neoliberal European utopia, or you stand with the tyrant in Moscow.

Of course, there was never any doubting just which side the respectable U.S. press was to come down on.  But that’s to be expected, for the newshounds of the fourth estate have always prided themselves on their ability to sniff out just when to mount an attack on behalf of Uncle Sam.  As Dan Rather once stated, “I want to be a patriotic American without apology.”  And with the Red Army—er, the Russian Army—on the march toward central Europe, patriotic journalism demands nothing less than a frontal assault on the Russian barbarians.

Accordingly, any American consuming mainstream news in the past week has been subjected to a universal onslaught of naked Russophobia.  In fact, a regular consumer of the American media would be forgiven if they were to wonder just why it is the evil Russians hate us so much.  It’s probably for our freedoms, she would no doubt soon conclude.

Amid all the Putin as Hitler howls ricocheting through the echo chamber, RT, the Kremlin-owned English language news channel,[*] has come to find itself a favorite target of scorn form the frothing American press. The network’s unabashedly pro-Russian editorial line (RT stands for Russia Today, after all) has been ceaselessly and mercilessly mocked by the American media.  How ridiculous, the professional scribes in the U.S. opine, for a news organization to openly shill for a state illegally violating the sovereignty of a neighboring country.  I mean, who has ever seen such a thing?

It was to the great joy of the patriotic U.S. media, then, to see two anchors on RT buck the Kremlin line live on-air.  It was like watching Ronald Reagan personally tear down that Berlin wall all over again!

First, there was American reporter Abby Martin, host of RT’s “Breaking the Set,” who declared on-air that the Russian intervention into the Crimea was “wrong.”  Martin, needless to say, was instantly celebrated as a hero by the horde of simpletons in the American media.  See, Putin really is evil, and here’s confirmation from no less of a source than his own network!

Alas, Martin’s heroism was to be short-lived; for it was soon realized that Martin was as equally opposed to U.S. interventions as well.  This, despite the fact that American interventions (what those propagandists at RT call “wars”) have always been undertaken for the most noblest of reasons: to protect civilians, to spread democracy, etc.  Anyway, Martin’s apparent unorthodoxy certainly disqualified her from true hero status.  Patriot she is not.

But then the second RT anchor went off script.

In a dramatic on-air resignation coming on the heels of Martin’s own on-air stand, RT anchor Liz Wahl decried her network for “whitewashing” Putin’s crimes in Crimea.  And, importantly, she went on to declare, “I’m proud to be American and believe in disseminating the truth.”  But since when have proud Americans cared about the truth?  No matter, I suppose, as Wahl was to later explain, she really jumped the RT ship because we are “approaching possibly a new Cold War.”  Indeed, time to come in from the cold then, and nestle up nice and tight with the good ‘ol US of A like any good objective reporter.  Now that sounds more like a patriot!

Little surprise, then, that Ms. Wahl was quickly interviewed by the Daily Beast and soon thereafter popped up on both CNN and MSNBC.  Wahl’s television appearances offered up quite the spectacle, of course, as a self-confessed pro-Putin propagandist took to the corporate airwaves to repent in front of none other than two Washington shills: Anderson Cooper and Lawrence O’Donnell.  As if we all hadn’t been subjected to enough shaming of so-called Russian propagandists by our gang of corporate hacks masquerading as reporters.

Wahl certainly didn’t disappoint, though, delivering the goods her patriotic hosts were seeking, as she lambasted RT for being “hostile to the West.”  Just so typical, the average U.S. viewer must have thought, for those philistines in Moscow are always just so nasty to all of us here in the civilized West.  They really do hate our freedom.

Unlike the hero turned once again controversial figure Martin, Wahl will likely come to soon find gainful employment in the respectable U.S. press.  She just gets it.  U.S.-Russia relations may have been reset in 2009, but as no less a figure than Lenin noted, such alliances represent “nothing more than a ‘truce’ in periods between wars.”  And the truce appears over.  Time to hate Russia again.  And time for American journalists to let the hate carry them back home.  After all, either you’re an objective journalist, or you’re a propagandist for a dictator.

The Cold War lives.

Ben Schreiner is a writer living in Oregon.  He may be reached at bnschreiner@gmail.com

[*] Full disclosure: I’ve appeared as a guest on RT.

 

Ben Schreiner is the author of A People’s Dictionary to the ‘Exceptional Nation’.  He may be reached at bnschreiner@gmail.com or via his blog.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
Eric Draitser
Hillary and Tim Kaine: a Match Made on Wall Street
Conn Hallinan
The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
Ron Jacobs
Exacerbate the Split in the Ruling Class
Jill Stein
After US Airstrikes Kill 73 in Syria, It’s Time to End Military Assaults that Breed Terrorism
Jack Rasmus
Trump, Trade and Working Class Discontent
John Feffer
Could a Military Coup Happen Here?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Late Night, Wine-Soaked Thoughts on Trump’s Jeremiad
Andrew Levine
Vice Presidents: What Are They Good For?
Michael Lukas
Law, Order, and the Disciplining of Black Bodies at the Republican National Convention
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Just Fine for U.S. to Blow Up Children
Victor Grossman
Horror News, This Time From Munich
Margaret Kimberley
Gavin Long’s Last Words
Mark Weisbrot
Confidence and the Degradation of Brazil
Brian Cloughley
Boris Johnson: Britain’s Lying Buffoon
Lawrence Reichard
A Global Crossroad
Kevin Schwartz
Beyond 28 Pages: Saudi Arabia and the West
Charles Pierson
The Courage of Kalyn Chapman James
Michael Brenner
Terrorism Redux
Bruce Lerro
Being Inconvenienced While Minding My Own Business: Liberals and the Social Contract Theory of Violence
Mark Dunbar
The Politics of Jeremy Corbyn
Binoy Kampmark
Laura Ingraham and Trumpism
Uri Avnery
The Great Rift
Nicholas Buccola
What’s the Matter with What Ted Said?
Aidan O'Brien
Thank Allah for Western Democracy, Despondency and Defeat
Joseph Natoli
The Politics of Crazy and Stupid
Sher Ali Khan
Empirocracy
Nauman Sadiq
A House Divided: Turkey’s Failed Coup Plot
Franklin Lamb
A Roadmap for Lebanon to Grant Civil Rights for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
Colin Todhunter
Power and the Bomb: Conducting International Relations with the Threat of Mass Murder
Michael Barker
UK Labour’s Rightwing Select Corporate Lobbyist to Oppose Jeremy Corbyn
Graham Peebles
Brexit, Trump and Lots of Anger
Anhvinh Doanvo
Civilian Deaths, Iraq, Syria, ISIS and Drones
Christopher Brauchli
Kansas and the Phantom Voters
Peter Lee
Gavin Long’s Manifesto and the Politics of “Terrorism”
Missy Comley Beattie
An Alarmingly Ignorant Fuck
Robert Koehler
Volatile America
Adam Vogal
Why Black Lives Matter To Me
Raouf Halaby
It Is Not Plagiarism, Y’all
Rev. Jeff Hood
Deliver Us From Babel
Frances Madeson
Juvenile Life Without Parole, Captured in ‘Natural Life’
Charles R. Larson
Review: Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail