RT America’s Demise is a Loss for Free Speech and Diversity of Information


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The United States government is busy banning and sanctioning virtually all things Russian. Meanwhile, big money media and social media are nearly uniformly proclaiming anti-Russia sentiment and working hard to limit Americans’ exposure of contrary information.

In this context, it is little surprise that last week RT America, with its connection to the government of Russia, ceased broadcasting. The silencing of the news organization arises from a Russia scare relentlessly fueled in America and several other countries in recent years that reached its highest manic level in the last few weeks.

The departure of RT America from television is a loss for free speech and diversity of information. And that loss comes within a larger scary progression in America — continual increasing of the muting of voices challenging narratives, such as the coronavirus scare of the last two years and the ascendant Russia scare, that are used to expand government power.

RT America has been a go-to place for news and commentary different from what is found at cable television stations such as CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. Flipping the channel to RT, one would likely find a different topic being discussed than at those other stations, or the same topic being discussed but with the inclusion of different perspectives or additional important information. RT America thus helped Americans become more knowledgeable about what was happening in the world and helped them overcome tunnel vision approaches often presented elsewhere.

A big step in the suppression of RT America came in 2017 when the United States government required it to register as a foreign agent with the US Department of Justice. Writing then at Consortium News, investigative reporter Robert Perry explained the apparent chilling motive of silencing alternative views and controlling information that was behind imposing this requirement:
The U.S. government’s real beef with RT seems to be that it allows on air some Americans who have been blacklisted from the mainstream media – including highly credentialed former U.S. intelligence analysts and well-informed American journalists – because they have challenged various Official Narratives.

In other words, Americans are not supposed to hear the other side of the story on important international conflicts, such as the proxy war in Syria or the civil war in Ukraine or Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians. Only the State Department’s versions of those events are permitted even when those versions are themselves propagandistic if not outright false.
Five years later, the hammer came down with full force on RT America.

Goodbye, RT America. Americans will be worse off without you.

* Originally published at the Ron Paul Institute

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