Formerly known as Russia Today, the channel gives airtime to pundits from left and right – many of them UK politicians. After a week watching its often surreal output, our writer asks himself: is this really the best Moscow can do?
The top story on the 9am news on RT – the Kremlin-backed English-language television channel formerly known as Russia Today – is about the EU’s renewed approval for a weedkiller produced by Monsanto. It includes rather elaborate coverage of a small-looking protest outside the European parliament, and excerpts from a debate on the safety or otherwise of glyphosates. On the strength of this opening five minutes, I might once have been tempted to conclude that it was a slow news day, but on RT every day is a slow news day.
According to its detractors, RT is Vladimir Putin’s global disinformation service, countering one version of the truth with another in a bid to undermine the whole notion of empirical truth. And yet influential people from all walks of public life appear on it, or take its money. You can’t criticise RT’s standards, they say, if you don’t watch it. So I watched it. For a week.
Link : 24-hour Putin people: my week watching Kremlin ‘propaganda channel’ RT