In new guerrilla-style advertisements, RT suggests that it could have prevented the Iraq War (“This is what happens when there is no second opinion”) and worries that U.S. government censors (widely known for shutting down opposition news outlets) will turn off the lights on RT’s TV prospects.
As it turns out, independent news outlets actually fear the Russian government, whose actions make the Obama administration’s anti-press policies look tame. But nevermind that.
RT spokeswoman Anna Belkina told Buzzfeed that the “campaign will be comprised of several different posters, and we kicked it off with wild postings in the New York City.” London and D.C. are next on the list.
Joe Pompeo explained the channel’s westward expansion on Intelligencer last year:
It’s this mix of the legitimate and the absurd — credible pundits and wacky conspiracy theorists, aggressive reporting and propagandistic commentary, traditional news broadcasts and viral meteor videos — that has made RT a compelling proposition for the Americans who are already tuning in, even if only as a guilty pleasure. At the very least, the network offers a unique formula. But being inimitable can only take you so far. “I don’t think it’s [for] a mass audience,” said [Ellen] Mickiewicz, the Russian media scholar. “I don’t think they even have a niche yet.”
Exactly how brazenly independent is RT? Not very. At least two of its anchors have resigned over its editorial policies, one of them on live TV. While it may be an open platform for critics of the U.S. government, it’s coverage of Russia’s actions is decidedly one-sided.