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The tragedy of RT
Why is Russian state media so terrified of asking the most basic questions?
By Riley Waggaman, who once worked for RT as a “senior editor” (newsroom errand boy)
I was recently taking a taxi ride through Baghdad when my driver turned to me and said, “so what’s the deal with RT? What happened to them?” Just kidding, but that’s how Thomas Friedman would start this article.
RT really has gone totally insane, though.
Here is RT in November weeping for an American lady who was bullied into getting a COVID shot:
Yes we know, it’s not RT saying it—it’s Dmitry Peskov.
So RT added some desperately needed balance at the end, right? Some “background”? Some basic “sanity” and “decency”? Maybe truth-loving RT pointed out that Russia has no VAERS and the Russian government refuses to share post-vaccination complications data with the public, which makes politely declining Sputnik V (and other shots available in Russia) a fairly reasonable thing to do?
Let’s examine the concluding paragraphs of this Question More masterpiece:
Asker-Zade also asked some medical professionals for their sentiments on the anti-vaxxer movement and received some stronger opinions. Andrei Shkoda, the chief doctor at Moscow’s City Clinical Hospital No. 67, described the phenomenon as “militant ignorance,” while the deputy chief physician at another Moscow medical facility, Sergey Tsarenko, called its believers simply “idiots.”
As things stand, five different vaccines against Covid-19 have been registered in Russia, including Sputnik V, the world’s first approved coronavirus jab.
When we first read the above “article,” we immediately thought: wow, this is pretty slimy. But then we remembered that RT’s daily output—especially RT’s celebrated Russia Desk—is often “inspired” by other news reports. And sure enough, the article in question is a barely-disguised carbon copy of a TASS report from a day earlier.
We wouldn’t go so far as to call it outright plagiarism—after all, it takes effort to copy-paste stuff into Yandex Translator—but it’s curious that the RT version of the TASS article has a byline, while the TASS wage slave who did the actual “reporting” remains anonymous—and probably this nameless journalist is grateful for that.
Does this mean RT writers are proud of relaying the regrettable guano that spews out of Dmitry Peskov’s unfortunate mouth-hole? Peskov is a liar and a fraud—only a sociopath, or Margarita Simonyan, would take pride in associating with the Kremlin spokesman’s word bile.
Actually, we don’t think RT International is mentally capable of intentional malice.
After all, the act of lying requires some sort of mental process—first, you need to realize you don’t want people to know the truth, then you have to conjure up some sort of reality-veiling scam. Preferably a convincing scam. That’s nothing to sneeze at, that’s hard work.
We can say with 100% certainty that the vast majority of the sludge pumped out by RT is not part of a devious plot to mislead people—because being devious requires effort.
No. Instead, this thoughtless, hypocritical and anti-human trash is the predictable result of the total nihilism, laziness and institutionalized cowardice that permeates through RT and probably all large media organizations. It’s extremely bad at RT but we’re willing to bet it’s even worse elsewhere.
You read RT because you think they are giving you spicy intel? You’re getting the hottest scoops that the lamestream media won’t report? That RT article you just shared on Facebook passed through a conveyor belt of people who barely care—people who are totally numb to the very concept of “truth.” After all, the truth is just hair-splitting, what’s important is getting a meal ticket.
This phenomenon is obviously not unique to RT, by the way.
Here’s another fun example:
It’s genuinely pathetic that RT peddles dubious Sputnik V “studies” from San Marino, a country whose total population is less than half the capacity of Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. (To RT’s credit, the article mentions almost nobody lives in San Marino, so…why did they write about it? Seems a bit “local,” no?)
But here’s the best part:
Honestly, we don’t consider any of this data particularly reliable or even meaningful. But it’s still funny.
When we think about RT, and how tragic it is, we are reminded of the immortal words of famous free speech boomer John Stuart Mill:
“He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion... Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them...he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”
It’s not that RT just refuses to mention that there are extremely good, obvious, level-headed, very normal, basic and sane reasons for questioning Russia’s coercive vax regime. That’s bad enough. The problem is that you can’t even have a normal debate because the people who are shilling this crime against humanity don’t even believe in what they’re doing. They’re not interested in playing delicately with ideas. They simply don’t care. They’re low energy, low effort mercenaries.
By the way, the real RT—RT на русском—labels anyone who questions COVID vaccines as some sort of far-right, western-funded extremist. Read about it—it’s very interesting!
Dear RT: if you’re so convinced of how amazing and awesome Sputnik V is, why not open the floor to debate? Obviously you will completely destroy us “dangerous fools,” with your San Marino facts and logic.
They will never do this because they do not even believe their own lies. They do not even think about their own lies. It’s just a paycheck.