So Wikileaks' anarchist saboteur Julian Assange -- for all the world like a kind of albino Kropotkin -- has gotten together for a talk show with -- surprise, surprise! -- the Kremlin's agitprop station RT channelling the Vladimir Posner-dominated 1980s. No accident, comrades! The same nihilist features that led Assange to deliberately violate the Espionage Act and brag about it are what drive Moscow's insecurity/inferiority complex that always ends in aggressive hate campaigns against its number one enemy, the United States.
The toxic queen of agitprop herself, Margarita Simonyan, RT's US-exchanged and Posner-trained editor-in-chief is out hyping it up everywhere now. (Remember, "RT" stands for "Russia Today" -- the Kremlin did the same thing that the Kentucky Fried Chicken people did with converting their name to an acronymn -- KFC -- to conceal the fat content. Example: even a loyal correspondent was forced to resign when his reports about the Russian-Georgian war were censored.)
Miriam Elder, one of the most interesting journalists covering Moscow, tweets that Simonyan even "devotes an hour" to attacking her on Minayev's talk show. Well, a few key minutes out of an hour anyway. I guess that means you've arrived!
I have to say, watching this show was really sick-making. First, that big bottle of Dewar's. Tacky, tacky! And that Moscow swagger of the zolotaya molodezh that always comes off ultimately as provincial -- these khipstery drinking alcohol on TV. Ridiculous. The waitress even comes in with another tray at one point.
Second, the sheer awfulness of Simonyan's bullying of the kid asking the obvious question about this agitprop mill. He wonders why RT is always talking about "extremists". Isn't it overdone? Simonyan pounces on his initial inability to explain where he saw an article -- on TV or the web site -- and airily dismisses the point about extremists as a few articles featuring the "truthers" -- and disingenuously invokes the need for freedom of the press (*choke, splutter*).
This is a common theme as we see from a nearly-gushing Robert McKay column -- Simonyan explains with perfect-pitch moral equivalency-mongering that the truthers are "like" those who bring up the apartment explosions in Moscow. Well, yeah, kinda, but as I explain in the NYT comments, they really are different, when you have one country that performs its own public investigation with the press and civil society endlessly prying it apart and commenting, and another country where the people on a parliamentary commission themselves get killed, not to mention suppressing all those who write about it or try to poke into the facts. Difference!
But the kid never gets a chance to get to the substance of his question -- she pulverizes him into red mist over the technicality of where the article appeared instead of really addressing his question. The other kid decides to fawn and flatter more and gets further along.
Minaev aptly calls Simonyan "a general in the information war." Margarita coyly tells an impudent caller to the show that there is "no censorship" on RT because it is "prohibited by the Constitution". Well, duh. Of course not. When you are already loyal and already serving the Kremlin, you don't require "censorship" as you just sense the right line.
I'm going to take a wild-assed guess and say that the guest Julian is likely to have on the show will be Jacob Appelbaum, his co-conspirator from Tor, who blatantly assisted WikiLeaks by its own admission (and is being investigated for assisting Manning, the soldier who hacked the military computers to get the documents -- and yes, hacked, as hacking is not a positive thing, but using computers in ways they were not intended).
Simonyan claimed the guest is very controversial (that fits, as Appelbaum has been a constant controversy at least since "Collateral Murder," and for smaller circles, even before; whether or not he's charismatic depends on whether purple mohawks are your thing, I guess). Let's see, other charasmatic controversial types? Something tells me that they're not going to have Michael Moore.
Ever playing the victim, Simonyan claims that there will be "hawks" who will ask for the TV to be shut down after this amazing guest:
"But I have no doubt that this particular guest and this interview will lead to calls to shut us down from some especially hawkish personalities who have little respect for freedom of speech," she added.
Oh, please. What tripe! The issue with RT isn't to "shut it down" as it has subscribers, it is lawful from what I can tell, and it is just one of many world TV stations funded by governments -- there are lots of them from the British BBC to Qatar's Al Jazeera.
What the task, is, however, is to provide the counter narrative. I hope to do more of that. It really is desperately needed as RT has been allowed to seize the mindshare for WAY too long. The first article really seriously critiquing it has come out in the New Republic, which is the liberal flagship (although this could be threatened with its new prog Silicon Valley "better world" ownership).
Both Minaev and Simonyan believe Assange is a freedom-fighter and a "victim".
What drives this determined propagandist who believes she is doing journalism? It's not that she's an apparatchik or a classic Soviet-style operative, even graduating from the school of arch-propagandist Vladimir Posner. No, it's more about a deep drive and vanity. "Look!" she cries at one point in the show. "There are more people watching us on TV now than I have followers on Twitter" -- i.e. 52,000 viewers on TV.
"Have you met Assange personally?" asks Minaev. Margarita says she has indeed, and even went for a walk in the forest with him. "Did he rape you?" jokes Minaev crudely."
"If you're afraid of wolves, don't go in the forest," Simonyan replies. Sigh. Minaev pegs Assange as "a bit strange" and "not of this world" and perhaps a character right out of South Park. Simonyan coquets again, as she has throughout the show, and refuses to engage in personalities because if she is friends with someone, or knows them personally, she "can't" discuss them in public.
The Kremlin and the world's main wrecker -- as the Soviets would have called him -- have found each other. RT and Julian Assange will get endless replay and massaging from the adulatory progressives and lefty loons. Yet the question will be why self-respecting liberals in America go on this show and legitimize it.