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The US Government Requirement that RT-TV Register as a ‘Foreign Agent’ is a Threat to Our Press Freedom

Suddenly, I’m a ‘Russian agent’

For myself, I have agreed to be a go-to expert source for RT because over the years, after once upon a time being called to be on shows like MSNBC, CBS News and NPR programs, I don’t get those calls anymore. It’s not that I or my journalism have changed, but that the corporate media have grown flaccid and afraid of controversy. If I want to talk on TV about a story like the one I broke — based upon documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act — showing that the Houston FBI office learned or knew of a well-developed plot to conduct “intelligence” on the Houston Occupy movement, identify the leaders, and then “if deemed necessary” to assassinate them using “suppressed” sniper rifle fire, or the story I broke based upon information obtained from a county coroner suggesting that a potential key witness in the case of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was actually murdered by an FBI agent in Orlando, I have to talk about it on RT. No US corporate news organization will touch such stories. Same thing if I want to make the point that the US has been providing funding, arms and training in Syria to anti-Assad fighters of Al Nusra, an affiliate of the Al Qaeda organization. You simply cannot say such undeniably factually correct things on a US news program, but you can say them on RT.

I’m under no illusion that RT is some sainted news organization that doesn’t have a pro-Russian point of view. Of course it does, just as the government-funded BBC has a pro-British perspective. But I also well know (having worked for years as a staff journalist for major US news organizations), that every corporate news outlet in the US has a pro-US point of view, and that particularly where the story involves both US and Russian interests, as in the case of Ukraine and Syria, the whole truth is not being told by any Russian or US news organization. If I can get a bit of the truth out by talking on RT to counter propaganda and untruths in the US media, so much the better. I would hope that American viewers would have the sense to know that if they watch the news on RT, they are getting a pro-Russian perspective and to take what they see and hear with a grain of salt, just as I would hope they would consider American news reports with the same degree of skepticism (that may be optimistic!).

In any event, the reality is that I am no more an “agent of Russia” for agreeing to be interviewed (for a fee) on Russian TV than I would be an agent of Britain for being interviewed on the BBC or for having an article published in the New York Times or Business Week — both publications I’ve written for, the latter on retainer for five years.

Never once have I had an interview on RT edited to make it appear I’m saying something I didn’t say, and never once have I said something on RT that I didn’t firmly believe to be true based upon my own research.

When the issue of the US government requiring RT America to file as a foreign agent came up, my wife told me she thought by continuing to contribute comments to the station I was probably hoping to get called before some Congressional committee, ala the 1950s House un-American Activities Committee with its hearings on Communist subversion. I told her she was right: I would love nothing better than to get questioned about my work by some Congressional panel, and would be happy to have rabid anti-Russian Congressmembers view any one of my RT clips and point to anywhere that I was pushing Russian propaganda.



story | by Dr. Radut