Why I Watch RT (and why you should, too)

Firstly, I have no illusions about RT. But if any network is willing to give people like Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, Lee Camp and Chris Hedges a platform, then I will watch. Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winner fired by the NYT because he was critical of the Iraq War. Ed Schultz was fired from MSNBC because he was too vociferous in his opposition to TPP.

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You see, when the media is controlled by a mega-corporation, then the odds are that the controlling entity also has a major stake in policy issues before Congress and the American people, such as Net Neutrality, the military and war, healthcare, fracking and so on.

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So if a news outlet like NBC is owned by one the two largest defense contractors (GE) and they have an on-air personality who is being too critical of the rush to war, then they will get rid of that person. That is what happened to Phil Donoghue. He was fired because he was against the Iraq war — even though he had the best ratings on the entire network.

I realise that Putin’s goal with RT is to put a mirror up to America’s face and say, in effect:

“You think Russia is bad, that Putin is bad, but you are not as pure as the driven snow; you are not as great as you think you are; your healthcare is the worst in the industrialised world, not the best; your government does despicable and illegal things all over the globe; your political system is corrupt and you are all being taken advantage of by an oligarchic elite who are robbing you blind while making themselves obscenely rich. So before you start criticising and attacking Russia and Putin, put your own house in order, because right now your house is made of glass, and you should stop throwing stones.”

THAT is the message RT is putting out there. And it is a terrible message. It is also a true message. People like Chris Hedges, Glenn Greenwald, Noam Chomsky and others have been trying to get out the truth about the bad things being done in our name, but the US media is in thrall to the government; they are working hand in hand in a pernicious symbiosis that verges on fascism (and may even go beyond the verge).

I enjoy those segments and shows that tell the truth, regardless of who is paying the bill.

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I suppose that if Americans ever stood up to the Military Industrial Complex and drastically cut defense spending to say, only 5x what Russia spends rather than the 10x we currently spend, then Putin would call that a win — but so would I, because we would then have $300 billion a year to spend on single payer health care, free college tuition, infrastructure, etc.

So yes — RT would like to see the US spend less on its military, and so would I; RT wants Americans to see all the pimples and warts on the US body politic, and so do I; RT wants Americans to get outraged about things like for-profit prisons and their slave labor racket, and so do I; RT wants Americans to realise just how many of their countrymen live in poverty, and so do I; RT wants us to avoid WWIII, and so do I.

Joe is a US Ex-Pat with dual US-EU citizenship, who travels Europe extensively, commenting on trends, attitudes, politics and more.

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