Mark Galeotti, explaining Russia Today. A Virgil we all need on our walks through hell.
"First of all, because I think there are three RTs, not one. There is, indeed, the RT that is a toxic font of bilious propaganda and hateful nonsense of every kind. Not wanting to see my words edited to suit others’ agendas or to be shouting it out with pseudo-pundits steeped in every conspiracy theory from QAnon to the belief that Ukraine’s Euromaidan was organized by MI6 and the CIA, this is the RT you couldn’t pay me to be on. And I should mention, I wasn’t paid at all.
Then there is the RT, especially on its online presence, that is just sensationalist clickbait. Irritating, but essentially harmless. Sadly, in today’s age of the attention economy, even the most reputable media services (yes, BBC World Service, I’m looking at you) have an element of this.
Finally, there is the RT that clearly has a particular ideological-nationalist stance (again, not something exactly unknown in other television networks) but seeks at the same time to be serious and meaningful. I go on the Oksana Boyko show because the host is punchy, combative even, but committed to a real conversation.
I get to say what I want to say. In past shows I’ve been able to talk about the illegal annexation of Crimea — in those words — on a network funded by the Kremlin, and this time we discussed the heavy-handed suppression of the Moscow protests, on how Russia could not call itself democratic so long as the Kremlin vets candidates and why I thought Moscow was wasting money on security spending. The show is not edited, so if my perspective doesn’t get through, that’s all on me".