Creator / Russia Today

"Question More."
RT slogan

RT, formerly known as Russia Today, is news channel subsidized by the Russian government. While it is carried on cable TV, it is also known for its YouTube channel which has beaten Fox News in user hits. It is aimed at the international market rather than the domestic. It is also known for giving airtime to Conspiracy Theorists.

RT has branches in the U.S., U.K., Germany, South America, and the Middle East. The Kremlin has announced plans to expand RT's budget by 40% in 2015 and launch, among other things, a French-language service. However, the recent downturn in the Russian economy has caused the budget to be slashed and the new services to be possibly shelved.

This network contains examples of:

  • Blonde Authoritarian Sex Kitten
  • Biting the Hand Coverage: Averted, for obvious reasons. If the United States or an allied country becomes embroiled in controversy, RT newscasters will crawl all over the story. Then they will make excuses for Russia and its allies on the exact same issues.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Perhaps the most common criticism. RT devotes lots of coverage to conspiracy theories, giving airtime to truthers, birthers, and cranks warning of False Flag Operations. It's no surprise that Alex Jones is a frequent guest.
    • Abby Martin, the now-former host of Breaking the Set, had an extensive history in the 9/11 Truth movement before being recruited by RT. Guess which subject Martin kept bringing up on her show?
    • Sean Stone (Oliver's son) and Tyrel Ventura (Jesse's son), who previously hosted an online conspiracy podcast, filled in Abby Martin's timeslot with Watching the Hawks.
    • Thom Hartmann of The Big Picture (who is also a left-wing talk radio host) espouses JFK assassination and anti-GMO/vaccine theories.
    • Daniel Bushell of The Truthseeker entirely devotes his program to conspiracy theories, often of the False Flag Operation variety.
    • Tony Gosling, a regular columnist, is a self-proclaimed "Bilderberg expert" and talks about 9/11, the London bombings, and the Illuminati.
    • Daniel Estulin, an occasional Alex Jones guest, hosted a segment on RT's Spanish-language channel alleging a conspiracy by wealthy Jews to steal Argentine territory.
    • The English-language program The ResidenT ran a segment linking Hillary Clinton to the Illuminati, which had similarly anti-Semitic overtones.
    • As Rational Wiki puts it, RT is an example of a (relatively) mainstream outlet that promotes conspiracy theories on an industrial scale. Indeed, it provides a large amount of air time and leeway to both far-left and far-right cranks.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: When it was launched, RT devoted most of its schedule to weather bulletins and cultural programs about the countryside. In response to its tepid reception, RT (at Putin's alleged behest) was retooled into a news channel.
  • Laugh Track: Redacted Tonight's Lee Camp has his monologues accompanied by three guys (and a pre-recorded audience) laughing seemingly at random.
  • Meet the New Boss: The network has recycled much of its techniques from the Soviet propaganda services.
  • The Moral Substitute: For the rest of the international media, which RT implies is anti-Russian.
    • Basically designed as the Russian BBC.
    • Not So Different: Most Western criticisms against RT are very reminiscent of what the USSR had to say about Voice of America. They are essentially the extreme opposite of Fox News.
  • Ms. Fanservice: RT flaunts how its sexy anchorwomen are just as much as, if not more so than, Fox News. Even the Fox anchorwomen aren't made to dress like American Apparel models.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Subverted. RT doesn't spread its message with jingoistic imagery like domestic networks Channel One and Rossiya-1 and the Ministry of Defence-owned Zvezda, but no less through its ongoing theme of juxtaposing other countries and political systems unfavourably to Russia.
  • Quote Mine: According to some past guests, RT interviewers push extremely hard for a particular quote advancing a particular narrative, and will resort to making something up if they fail.
  • Rapid Fire Interrupting: Cross Talk show host Peter Lavelle's principal debate strategy consists of immediately interrupting speakers and talking over opinions he's disagreeing with.
  • The Rival: Presents itself as one to the entire Western media. Considering how effective they have been debate and conveying the official Russian narrative about Ukraine, they're probably right.
  • Scare Campaign: The network's commercials for its "Question More" campaign in 2010. One ad showed Barack Obama's face morphing into Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's while asking, "Who poses the greatest nuclear threat?" It's clear what the desired effect of the ads were besides promoting the channel.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Liz Wahl, one of RT's American anchors, abruptly resigned on the air after calling out RT for its biased coverage of the Ukraine crisis. Whether her gesture was sincere or simply a calculated career move is a matter of dispute.
    • Then a British correspondent, Sara Firth, followed suit in July 2014, apparently because she was upset with RT's coverage of the MH17 crash.
    • In both cases, RT's reaction was quick and derisive; they denounced Liz Wahl's departure as "nothing more than a self-promotional stunt" (on the comments section of the same video, no less) and caustically wished her "well." Of Sara Firth, they commented, "Sara has declared that she chooses the truth; apparently we have different definitions of the truth."
  • State Broadcaster: Unusual in that it's aimed at the foreign market rather than the domestic.
  • Voice of the Resistance: Likes to claim it's one by hyping conspiracy theories, covering protests in Western countries, and hiring famous dissidents like Julian Assange as primetime hosts. This format has earned them a sizable international viewership from both fringe left and fringe right crowds.