"Every single day we're lying and finding sexier ways to do it."
—Sara Firth, former RT reporter
RT, formerly known as Russia Today, is a controversial news channel subsidized by the Russian government. While it airs on cable television, it is also known for its YouTube channel which has beaten Fox News in user hits. Like Al Jazeera, coverage is aimed at the international market rather than the domestic, but has often been accused of serving as a Propaganda Machine for President Vladimir Putin.
Biting the Hand Coverage: Averted, for obvious reasons. If the U.S. or a West European country becomes embroiled in controversy, RT newscasters will crawl all over the story. Then they will make excuses for the Kremlin on the exact same issues.
Abby Martin, host of Breaking the Set, had an extensive history in the 9/11 Truth movement before being hired by RT. Guess which subject Martin keeps bringing up on her show?
Thom Hartmann of The Big Picture (who is also a left-wing talk radio host) espouses JFK assassination theories and anti-GMO hysteria.
Daniel Bushell of The Truthseeker entirely devotes his program to conspiracy theories, often of the False Flag Operation variety.
Tony Gosling, a regular RT.com columnist, is a self-proclaimed "Bilderberg expert" and pushes theories about 9/11, the London bombings, and the Illuminati.
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 an absurd amount of air time and leeway to both far-left and far-right cranks.
Hypocrite: RT routinely depicts Western countries negatively for starting adventurist wars, undermining global stability, serving corrupt billionaires, rolling back press freedoms, and violating human rights and privacy. But the network ignores the fact that The New Russia has also been accused of doing all these things.
This theme being pushed by RT is actually a continuation of an old Soviet propaganda trick called "whataboutism," deflecting attention to Russia's shortcomings by shifting the focus back on the West and accusing them of hypocrisy.
Meet the New Boss: The network has recycled much of its techniques from the Soviet propaganda services.
Patriotic Fervor: Surprisingly averted. RT doesn't spread its message with nationalistic imagery like Fox News Channel, 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.
The Rival: Presents itself as one to the entire Western media. Considering how effective they have been in their 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 pretty 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 a calculated career move is a matter of dispute.
In both cases, RT was quick to react with typically unsubtle spite; 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."
Voice of the Resistance: Likes to pretend it's one by extensively covering protests in Western countries and hiring famous dissidents such as Julian Assange as primetime hosts, which fuels its Misaimed Fandom of disillusioned viewers. Not so when it's covering protests against Putin.