Mr. Bogachikhin was poking fun at the charge from Western governments, American and European, that RT is an agent of Kremlin policy and a tool directly used by President Vladimir V. Putin to undermine Western democracies — meddling in the recent American presidential election and, European security officials say, trying to do the same in the Netherlands, France and Germany, all of which vote later this year. But the West is not laughing.
Russian-sponsored rants about America get airtime in America, while U.S.-underwritten attempts to fairly and honestly inform Russians are massively curtailed. That’s not an uneven playing field; that’s our adversary owning the field and using America’s own liberality to attack U.S. policies and discredit Western values. The new administration needs to push back.
A new plan for countering propaganda has been introduced in the U.S. Senate, but how necessary is it?
Russia’s combination of traditional public diplomacy and messaging through media organizations like Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik with disinformation and internet trolls is also important. Moreover, in nearby regions, Russia’s domestic media can serve as a powerful instrument in socializing foreign compatriots into a wider Russian cultural world.