Thursday night on NewsNation, primetime host Dan Abrams pulled back the curtain on the abject sham and disgustingly pro-Kremlin RT, a so-called news outlet that’s spent 17 years spewing Russian propaganda and doing Vladimir Putin’s bidding seeking to expand his influence and splinter the west.
Abrams played a variety of clips over the span of the first two segments that lasted almost 19 minutes. “astonishing” “cuckoo stuff”They were sold in “alternative universe” By Putin “stooges” that, prior to the European Union’s axing of RT, was “available in more than 100 countries,”The U.S.
Abrams said that his team spent Thursday watching “the Russian-owned news channel..so you don’t have to” as “news networks across the political spectrum [brought]…information about the horrors of what’s happening at Putin’s hands.”
He said that they had found the following: “astonishing” as, in contrast to the reality of “hundreds…dying…as Putin tries to…fulfill some sort of historical vendetta,” RT was spinning the war as “justified”Inside “an alternate universe”Putin trying his best to “rescue the Ukrainian people in Donbass, who have been subjected to attacks, torture, and killings by the government there. “
Abrams went through some examples of what his team saw as well as soundbites from RT that led him to refer to as “truly cuckoo stuff” (click “expand”):
ABRAMS are highly produced segments featuring American or Western accents. They talk about Ukrainian soldiers shooting at children and the lies that European and American officials have told about Putin. There’s even a — a phony Crossfire-like talk show hosted by an American named Peter Lavelle that pretends to debate the invasion is if it’s a two-sided question. Even the guy wears an RT hat, where as I do my American flag pin. They also have a large graphic that appears before many segments claiming that this is actually day 200 — 2,525 of the war, which they say started in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea claiming, of course, at the time, they were protecting ethnic Russians from far-right extremists in the region. An RT reporter also claimed that some of the footage appearing on other networks may be footage from earlier wars. They have graphics on the screen which say things like, “Disarming Ukraine,” An “Operation in Ukraine Comes After Months of failed” Western “Talks.”
SOURAYA FAA: Putin’s actions are rightly his. Let’s just say that Putin was protecting those two countries that he has recently made free from the ongoing war that Ukraine has been waging for years.
PETER LAVELLE: CrossTalk is where everything is considered. I’m Peter LaVelle. Moscow has repeatedly stated that it will not allow NATO to use Ukraine as a threat to Russia’s security.
CALEB MAUPIN. Russia has stated that it does not plan to invade Ukraine. At this moment, however, Russia is engaged in an operation that protects the Donetsk-Luhansk people and ensures they don’t continue the bombardment and shelling they’ve endured for the last eight years.
PAULA SLIIER: President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen stated that Putin wanted to bring back war to Europe. However, it is incorrect. Remember, however, that wars have been in progress since 2014 so eight years. It’s not the fault of the west media or western governments for failing to mention this.
During a segment with a former RT anchor (which went off the rails as she fixated on how Fox News was part and parcel with RT), Abrams touted the U.S. coverage as having uniformly said “Putin is the bad guy” whereas RT’s been arguing the conflict was “understandable and justifiable” with a need to propagandize about why “Putin had to do this.”
Abrams played another clip from RT’s Rory Suchet claiming the Russian military was posing “no danger to the Ukrainian population” before again calling out RT employees: “[W]ho are these — and apologize using this language — but these stooges who are willing to go on television…and sort of restate…Putin’s completely fictitious explanations for what he is doing.”
Abrams argued for RT to be removed from American televisions in a second segment. He noted that Germany did the same last year, and the U.S. made it happen this year. “RT has been registered as a foreign agent since 2017” with “U.S. Call intelligence agencies[ing] it Russia’s state-run propaganda machine.”
Colby Hall was an editor at Mediaite, which Abrams started. “RT was always sort of a joke,” However, the war has changed their lives. “propaganda…no longer just a funny joke”Instead, “really sort of dangerous.”
The two also got into how RT could be kicked off the air with both arriving at the conclusion it should fall on cable provides and/or pressure on them to drop RT, not unilateral action by the federal government (click “expand”):
HALL: Breaking a contract is impossible, I believe. I mean, these cable providers, they have their deals and they can’t just break the contract. They need to replace the contract with something.
ABRAMS – There is also an argument to the effect that they had a clear understanding of what they were signing up for. They can’t even say that they have changed the programming. This is like signing up to a Russian propaganda network. Now you are a Russian news propaganda channel.
ABRAMS is a fully-distributed cable channel. It can be found on nearly every cable network. It’s not clear if they pay to have these channels or not. But yeah, I do think — look, I don’t think the government should get involved, right? But I do think that there should be pressure on some of these — and in particular, some of these hosts who are on there who are saying these cuckoo, Putin talking points issue and it’s funny because my previous guest was saying, “well, can hear this on other networks, etc.” Yeah, there are arguments to be made, absolutely, about some of the things we’ve been hearing on — on other networks that sounds like it’s pro-Putin, but what we heard — what we were listening to today was literally explanations for why Putin had to do this.
HALL: Right. It’s dis-information. It’s the exact opposite of reality. It is subjective. Public pressure is a good example. I think the most recent case would be One America News, which is a far right — it got dropped by DirecTV. They weren’t really dropped. Their contract ended and AT&T, under pressure, said we’re not going to renew.
Hall ended by referring to the campaign to get DirecTV to drop One American News Network. (Unfortunately, it was unsuccessful) and suggesting that if enough people were to spend resources complaining about OANN’s existence, then the same thing could happen withRT.
There was definitely public pressure. It was quite far-right. One — OANN — is — is not a reputable outlet by any means. But compared to RT and what they’re saying, at least there’s — they’re somewhat rooted in the truth and if — if there’s going to be a campaign to take One America News off, then, you know — but again — a lot more people are paying attention to RT now because of what’s happened.
You can view the NewsNation transcript of February 24th by clicking here