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Last week RT was with terrorists, this week it’s spies?

Margarita Simonyan
In 2005, at 25 years old, Margarita was named Editor-in-Chief of RT, the first Russian round-the-clock English-language news channel. Later on, after the launch of RT in Arabic (Rusiya Al-Yaum) and RT in Spanish, she became Editor-in-Chief of the whole multilingual television news network. Margarita Simonyan is also the first Vice-President of Russia’s National Association of TV and Radio Broadcasters (NAT).
Last week RT was with terrorists, this week it’s spies?
It’s like something out of a James Bond novel. The (alleged) spies are Russian. The redacted name in FBI filings appears only as “News Organization” – albeit “state-owned.” It could be anything – TV channel, wire service, newspaper, radio...

So naturally, in the middle of the night, it is RT that starts receiving calls and emails asking if the network is involved in an international spy scandal. Never mind that there is absolutely nothing in the 26-page complaint that in any way points to RT’s “association” (to use the filing’s tangential term) with the “spies” in question. It’s got to be RT, right? How many other Russian “news organizations” got that call from eager overseas reporters, I wonder?

It seems that the mainstream media narratives around RT are starting to blossom from simply conspiratorial into larger-than-life mythology.

American and British establishments are worried about “losing the information war” to Russia? It’s because RT is siphoning a billion dollars per year from the Kremlin, say noted media experts Pussy Riot. Egregious disregard for journalistic standards, with reporters interviewing family members live on air? Normal occurrences at RT!. The greatest challenges faced by the United States and its state-funded media? RT is on that list right next to terrorists of Islamic State and Boko Haram. Russian spies working with a Russian news organization? Who you gonna call? RT!

In interviews I am often asked, ‘What’s next for RT?’ At this point it could really be anything. Will we be revealed as ninjas? Illuminati? Alien overlords? Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.