What is really wrong with Russia Today and Sputnik? (UPDATED)
Today I am going to touch upon a subject which frankly saddens me, but which I cannot ignore, if only because so many others have also noticed this and asked me about it: what in the world is really wrong with Russia Today and Sputnik (RT&Sp)?!
We all know that the US government has now embarked upon an effort to persecute these two Russian media outlets in the USA by forcing them to be the only foreign media to register as foreign agents because they are, according to the Trump Administration, not real journalists, but “Russian propaganda outlets”. Likewise, in France, President Macron has refused to accredit RT for the same reasons. So, judging by these reactions, we could be excused for thinking that RT&Sp have done a great job.
Well, indeed they have and they are.
There is absolutely no denying that RT&Sp have changed the political landscape in the West by providing an alternative point of view. Furthermore, some of their programs have truly been ground breaking and absolutely superb. Peter Lavelle’s “CrossTalk” deserves the highest possible praise, and Lavelle himself is truly a hero of the information war. There are clearly those at RT&Sp who “get it” and who want to do the right thing. Just look at this superb advertisement for the show “Watching the Hawks“:
To any minimally educated Russian, that kind of “art” immediately smacks of the old anti-religious propaganda of the russophobic Bolshevik regime and it’s so-called “Godless 5 year plan”, the brainchild of Emelian Iaroslavskii (real name Minei Israelvich Gubelman) whom the always “politically correct” Wikipedia presents as the “anti-religious polemicist, Yaroslavsky served as editor of the atheist satirical journal Bezbozhnik (The Godless) and led the League of the Militant Godless organization” which, at first glance, is not incorrect. But when you place Gubelman’s activities in their context – the genocidal mass murder of Orthodox Christians and, especially, Orthodox clergy – then you realize that what Gubelman did is exactly what Julius Streicher did for the Nazis: they both provided the “propagandistic background” for the mass murder of people. The difference? Streicher was sentenced to death by the Nuremberg Tribunal, viciously tortured, and eventually executed. And Wikipedia does not present him as an “anti-Jewish polemicist”, of course.
You might wonder what RT has to say about the so-called “art” of Vladimir Malakhovskiy (whom the RT article introduces as a “concept artist”). Nothing much, really: “it’s all part of a Russian artist’s futuristic take of a Russian Orthodox space mission, blurring the lines between religious belief and the atheist realism of space exploration” and “The vessel has Orthodox icons sticking out of every surface and apparently even replacing solar batteries. After all, who needs solar power when you have faith?“. Clearly, the (anonymous) scumbag who wrote this article felt the need to add some of his/her own “humor” to the already “hilarious” article.
So, how is it that RT seems to have hired a modern Gubelman to engage in exactly the same propaganda?
From what I know from different personal contacts which I have, RT&Sp are far from being homogeneous organizations. While there are plenty of people who “get it”, there is also a strong pro-AngloZionist element active in these outlets who basically support the political line I call “Atlantic Integrationism”. And that is not really surprising since the Russian media today is also filled with such anti-Russian and, even more so, anti-Orthodox elements.
We need to look back at the circumstances which brought Vladimir Putin to power and remember that he was a compromise candidate between the security services and the Russian oligarchy, which favored Dmitrii Medvedev. It took Putin 15 years to finally succeed in pushing out some, but not all, of the “Atlantic Integrationist” elements from a few key ministries, but they are still very much there. The same goes for the Russia media. Sensing that Putin is extremely popular and that they better not openly oppose him, the Atlantic Integrationists have kept a relatively low profile and that, in turn, has allowed them to keep their jobs. Furthermore, we all know what these folks *really* care about – money, and even today the key economic/financial positions in Russia are all held by Atlantic Integrationists.
We should never underestimate the power and influence of these folks and a lot of what appears as Russian zig-zagging on certain issues or as Putin’s “indecision” is, in reality, the output of a constant struggle between the Eurasian Sovereignists and Atlantic Integrationists (for an explanation and discussion of these two terms, please see here and here). The truth is that Russia is still not a truly sovereign country, and that the best I can say about Russia is that she is in a *process of liberation* but that the struggle is far from over.
Besides, we should harbor no illusions about the real state of spirituality in Russia. Yes, we see a lot of *external* signs of a strong religious revival, affecting both the Orthodox and Muslim communities, but the *internal* reality is much different. The truth is that as soon as we look a little deeper into what is really taking place and what kind of people are really in key positions, we realize that there are still plenty of old/Soviet style clergymen who are total hypocrites and who probably don’t even believe in God. While the rank and file faithful can be very religious and pious, they are often led by “wolves in sheep’s skins” (a recent exchange with a well-informed Muslim friend confirmed to me that this sad state of affairs is true not only in Orthodox circles but also amongst Muslim religious leaders).
Finally, we should not forget that while millions of Russian do declare themselves to be religious, and that while many are truly discovering their own spiritual roots, the vast majority of Russians are either very superficially religious or not religious at all. Only a *tiny* fraction of Russians have a solid religious education.
It is against this background that we see RT posting an article which would have made Comrade Gubelman proud. My sense is that whoever wrote this deeply offensive article ought to be immediately fired, and I hope that if Margarita Simonyan finds out, that she will take action (I can’t imagine her condoning that kind of stuff). But I am not holding my breath because if that anonymous hater of Orthodoxy is fired, then his/her colleagues will complain of a nationalist or religious witch-hunt which will immediately be used by the AngloZionist propaganda machine to further discredit RT&Sp. And here we are reaching the key factor.
Fundamentally, when you are the object of an informational attack, you have two choices: to try to appease the attacker or to frontally counter-attack. RT&Sp have chosen the first option, and that, I very strongly believe, is a huge strategic mistake.
We all know that the word “Zionist” will immediately be censored by RT&Sp editors. The same goes for any mention of 9/11 truth. Why? Because there appears to be a consensus amongst key RT&Sp editors that when faced with accusations of being a “Russian propaganda outlet,” the correct approach is to deny these accusations and try to appear as respectable, mainstream and “proper” as possible.
Clearly, they have no idea about whom they are dealing with.
The AngloZionist propaganda machine will *never* accept RT&Sp as “one of our own”, meaning that they will never accept RT&Sp as a legitimate media, and that far from standing up for the rights of RT&Sp to operate just like any other news media, they will give a standing ovation to every form of persecution and smearing against RT&Sp. The folks at RT&Sp who believe that there is a way of appeasing their western colleagues if they “don’t go too far” are completely misguided and are lying to themselves. They should look at Donald Trump who tried this kind of appeasement with the Neocons and now can see where that got him.
Still, and even when I consider the complex context in which this took place, I am repulsed and deeply offended by the fact that some SOB at RT wrote this kind of article and some other SOB cleared it for publication. In a country where that kind of anti-religious propaganda resulted in the mass slaughter of Orthodox clergy and laypeople, it is simply unconscionable and inexcusable to publish such garbage, especially with what is clearly a supportive commentary.
So we shall see whether there will be any action taken against those responsible for this, or whether RT will at least apologize. If they do, then this will be a very good sign. But I am afraid that they won’t. Let’s see what happens next (if anything).
UPDATE: RT doubles down! This time what we get is an article and video about what appears to be a priest irritated by something, possibly a screaming baby, during a baptism. See here: https://www.rt.com/news/408423-priest-baptizing-baby-romania/ . The article itself, entitled “Bezerk Baptism,” ends with the following comment: “The priest then decides to make one final attempt to baptize the screaming baby, roughly dunking the child underwater several times, showing little care for the baby’s well-being. Orthodox baptism requires babies to be dipped in holy water from head to toe. The process is repeated three times“. Yet again, that kind of stuff would make Comrade Gubelman very proud. Makes me wonder what RT will offer us next – maybe “village infected by plague after unhygienic use of single Eucharistic chalice” or “alcoholism linked to use of wine in Orthodox ceremonies”?
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