RT America

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RT America
RT America Logo.png
Launched February 2010
Network RT
Owned by (ANO) TV-Novosti
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
(HD feed downgraded to letterboxed 480i for SDTVs)
Slogan Question More
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area Worldwide
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Sister channel(s) RT International
RT UK
RT Arabic
RT Documentary
RT Actualidad
RT Deutsch
RT en français
Website rt.com/usa/
Availability
MHz Networks
Satellite
Dish Network Nationwide:
Channel 280 (SD)
Washington, D.C. area:
Channel 8084 (HD/SD)
DirecTV Nationwide:
Channel 321 (SD)
GlobeCast WorldTV Channel 462
Cable
Cox Communications (Washington, D.C. area) Channel 473
RCN Cable (Washington, D.C. area) Channel 33
Verizon FiOS (Washington, D.C. area) Channel 455
IPTV
Apple TV Channel unallocated
Eagle Multimedia Channel unallocated
Pluto.tv Channel 132
Russian TVGroup Channel unallocated
Streaming media
Live stream On Air
Google Chromecast Internet Protocol television
Sling TV Internet Protocol television

RT America is a TV channel based in Washington, D.C., and part of the RT network, a global multilingual television news network based in Moscow, Russia, and funded by the Russian government.[1] RT America has studios and bureaus in New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles.[2][3] The channel is the home and the production base of RT's U.S.-based programs.

RT America focuses on covering news in the United States from a Russian perspective. Programs are hosted by American journalists. Similarly, most guests are American (and sometimes Canadian) activists, academics, speakers and analysts with alternative perspectives on "mainstream" issues. The channel covers issues that see lesser coverage in the mainstream media, such as using non-GMO ingredients in foods, capitalism, growing wealth inequality, corruption in politics, peace and environmental issues. It maintains a separate schedule of programs each weekday from 4 p.m. to 12 midnight Eastern Time, and like its counterpart in the UK, it simulcasts RT International at all other times.

RT America is the channel for RT content delivery to the United States cable and satellite providers. The channel is also available on Canadian pay TV providers. In addition, the channel is also available worldwide through various means including: online through RT's primary website, Pluto.tv, mobile phone apps, and channel apps on platforms such as Roku and Apple TV.

The channel is registered as a "foreign agent" with the United States Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. A 2017 report by the United States Intelligence Community characterized RT as "The Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet" and said that RT America had been set up as an autonomous nonprofit organization "to avoid the Foreign Agents Registration Act".[4][5]

History[edit]

The channel was launched in February 2010 as RT was looking to grow its footprint. It was launched along with Rusiya Al-Yaum in 2007, the Spanish language channel RT Actualidad in 2009, and the RT Documentary channel in 2011.[6] On June 13, 2013, RT previewed Larry King's new Thursday evening political talk show Politicking with Larry King with a discussion of Edward Snowden's leaking of the PRISM surveillance program.[7] King's programs on RT America are produced by Ora TV. RT later added notable figures such as former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura and Ed Schultz, formerly of MSNBC, as hosts in primetime. Schultz died in 2018.[8]

ODNI Statement on Declassified Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections

In the wake of the alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. elections and the subsequent investigation into the matter, on November 13, 2017, the United States Department of Justice insisted that RT America register as a "foreign agent" under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). On the same day, RT's editor in chief, Margarita Simonyan, said that it would comply with the demand in order to avoid further legal action by the U.S. government, and registered the company as a foreign agent.[9] Under FARA, RT is required to disclose financial information. The network's congressional press credentials were revoked following the network's registration as a foreign agent.[10]

Incidents[edit]

Abby Martin statement[edit]

On March 4, 2014, Breaking The Set host Abby Martin (whose show was at the time produced by RT America), speaking directly to her viewing audience during the show's closing statement, said that even though she worked for RT, she was against Russia's intervention in Ukraine. She said that "what Russia did is wrong", as she is against intervention by any nation into other countries' affairs.[11] Later, Martin asserted that RT still supported her despite her differences of opinion with the Russian government.[12] RT's press office suggested that Martin would be sent to the Crimea and responded to accusations of propaganda, stating "the charges of propaganda tend to pop up every time a news outlet, particularly RT, dares to show the side of events that does not fit the mainstream narrative, regardless of the realities on the ground. This happened in Georgia, this is happening in Ukraine".[13][note 1]

Glenn Greenwald said that American media elites love to mock Russian media, especially RT, as being a source of shameless pro-Putin propaganda, where free expression is strictly barred. Agreeing the "network has a strong pro-Russian bias", he suggested that Martin's action "remarkably demonstrated what 'journalistic independence' means".[14]

Wahl resignation[edit]

RT America broadcast with former anchor Liz Wahl

Wahl's on-air statement[edit]

On March 5, 2014, RT America anchor Liz Wahl resigned on air, claiming RT was a propaganda machine for Vladimir Putin.[15] She was recorded as saying[16][1]

I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin. I am proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth. And that is why, after this newscast, I am resigning.[1]

Wahl stated that what "broke" her was that RT censored a question from her interview with Ron Paul about "Russia's intervention in Ukraine". In response, RT released a statement: "When a journalist disagrees with the editorial position of his or her organization, the usual course of action is to address those grievances with the editor, and, if they cannot be resolved, to quit like a professional. But when someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt. We wish Liz the best of luck on her chosen path".[17] In a March 2014 Politico article, Wahl expanded on that statement, saying, "For about two and a half years. I’d looked the other way as the network smeared America for the sake of making the Kremlin look better by comparison, while it sugarcoated atrocities by one brutal dictator after another."[1]

When asked about a clip of her interviewing a guest on RT by Brian Stelter, host of CNN's Reliable Sources, Wahl responded,

They get these extreme voices on that have this kind of hostile toward the West viewpoints towards the world, very extremist. These are the people that they have on. And when I was on the anchor desk, they would instruct you to egg on these guests and try to get them, you know, rallied up, to really fire off their anti-American talking points. Listen, I'm all about exposing government corruption. I'm all about being critical of the government. But this is different. This is promoting the foreign policy of somebody that has just invaded a country, has invaded the country and is then lying about it, is using the media as a tool to fulfill his foreign policy interests. And RT is part of Putin's propaganda network and it's very, very troubling in the wake of what is going on in Ukraine today.[18]

C-SPAN interruption[edit]

On January 12, 2017, during a live House of Representatives debate on the Securities and Exchange Commission C-SPAN 1's live broadcast was suddenly interrupted by a cut in of RT America. C-SPAN explained the interruption as a technical malfunction blaming it on an internal routing error which moved the RT America feed from an internal monitor within C-SPAN used to monitor the network alongside others to the broadcast feed for C-SPAN 1.[19]

RT stated that while it was testing its systems in preparation for the inauguration of Donald Trump, its signal was "mistakenly routed onto the primary encoder feeding C-SPAN 1's signal to the internet, rather than to an unused backup."[20]

RT America programming[edit]

Current[edit]

Former[edit]

Notable news personalities[edit]

Current[edit]

Former[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Liz Wahl, I Was Putin's Pawn, Politico, March 21, 2014.
  2. ^ "Usa – Rt". Rt.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  3. ^ "RT America – About". rtamerica.tumblr.com. Retrieved 2016-05-10. 
  4. ^ "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections" (PDF). United States Intelligence Community. January 6, 2017. 
  5. ^ Phillip Ewing, 5 Things On Michael Flynn, Russia and Donald Trump, NPR (February 10, 2017).
  6. ^ Nikolaus von Twickel, "Russia Today courts viewers with controversy", The Moscow Times, March 23, 2010.
  7. ^ "Politicking: Larry King talks NSA scandal fallout", RT.com, June 13, 2013.
  8. ^ Inc., Midwest Communications. "Ed Schultz dead at 64". The Mighty 790 KFGO. Retrieved 2018-07-05. 
  9. ^ "Russia's RT America registers as 'foreign agent' in U.S." Reuters. November 13, 2017. 
  10. ^ Gold, Hadas. "Congressional press office yanks RT's credentials". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2017-11-30. 
  11. ^ Greg Botelho, CNN (March 5, 2014). "State-funded news anchor Abby Martin: 'What Russia did is wrong' – CNN.com". CNN. 
  12. ^ "Ukraine conflict perspectives and Washington's shadow lobbyists". 
  13. ^ Graves, Lucia (March 4, 2014) RT Defends Host Abby Martin, Responds to Accusations of Pro-Putin Propaganda, National Journal retrieved April 11, 2014
  14. ^ Greenwald, Glenn (March 4, 2014) RT Host Abby Martin Condemns Russian Incursion Into Crimea – On RT The Intercept Retrieved March 21, 2014
  15. ^ "Russia Today TV presenter Liz Wahl quits on air". BBC News. March 6, 2014. 
  16. ^ RT America (2014-03-05), RT America's Liz Wahl resigns live on air, retrieved 2016-07-28 
  17. ^ "RT reacts to anchor Liz Wahl quitting on air". RT International. Retrieved 2017-04-14. 
  18. ^ Brian Stelter (March 24, 2014). "Putin TV in Chaos". CNN. 
  19. ^ Bromwich, Jonah Engel (2017). "C-Span Online Broadcast Interrupted by Russian Network". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-30. 
  20. ^ Spangler, Todd (2017-01-19). "Facebook Restores Kremlin-Funded RT Posting Privileges After Temporary Block". Variety. Retrieved 2017-11-30. 
  21. ^ RT America (2016-10-13), ‘America’s Lawyer’: Attorney and radio talk show host Mike Papantonio joins RT America, retrieved 2018-07-27 
  22. ^ RT America (2018-07-05), Remembering Ed Schultz, retrieved 2018-07-27 

External links[edit]