Why I like RT

Hint: I am not a Russophile.  Ironically, foreign coverage of domestic events is less susceptible to bias.

North-american commercial news broadcasts have become largely infotainment portals: entertainment dressed up to look like news. Local commercial and political influences have neutered them and extracted their teeth.

This introduction of bias is easily understood. Either the news outlet is directly controlled by vested interests who control the message (the corporate pattern of influence), or more subtly, the news outlet is dependent for access (the government pattern of influence).  A third alternative is the litigation pattern, in which the threat of illegitimate court action makes a media outlet shy of reporting legitimate, but unflattering, details and opinions on a topic.

Any huge and profitable company can afford to invest in a media company, or find other ways of direct spending that profit media companies.  Naturally, a media company that finds its income stream tied to a controversial manufacturer will be reluctant to risk its existing business by publishing something that the manufacturer’s customers might interpret in a negative light.  For this reason, you are unlikely to read starkly negative commentary about directed-energy weapons; it is not because these cannot kill.

Similarly, law enforcement is always eager to buy new toys, and space age gizmos are a particularly alluring. Citizens are easily cowed by framing  the weapons “need”  in terms of fear, uncertainty, and doubt.  Buying these favourite toys helps to keep budgets where police want them: expanding.  A media outlet that dares to question the official story quickly finds itself an outcast, cut off from all sources of crime reporting, and cut off from the corresponding juicy revenues.  Naturally again, a media company in this situation will self-censor to protect its revenue stream.  It cannot be otherwise in a capitalist society.

Foreign news outlets are less sensitive to these influences, though their immunity is far from complete.  And it is dwindling.

Which brings me full circle to RT.  I like RT because it gives me news with less North American bias. Being a foreign news agency has its advantages for domestic readers, largely because they are less beholden to the above influences.

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