Russia Today had yet another reporter make a public spectacle while leaving the employment of the news organization. This time, Sara Firth’s exit from RT was due to the coverage of the Malaysian airliner gunned down over the Ukraine by Russian separatists. Firth spoke with CNN about her resignation from RT which she detailed the misinformation being reported without any proof or investigation.
Much like Christians attempt to add Creationism in schools or how Fox News paints all media that is too realistic as “liberal”, RT treated the war in Ukraine as something that had multiple possible truths to be seen from varying perspectives. Putin’s recent interviews about the plane crash had him putting blame on Ukraine forces for creating a hostile environment for those Russian separatists. Putin seems to believe that had Ukraine simply bowed down to Russian interests, then separatists wouldn’t have been forced to kill innocent people.
Sara Firth told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, “There is Russian bias. There is misreporting, and I’ve been inside that so I’ve felt that, I’ve felt what that’s like. But at the same time, I don’t think that you counter that by doing the same thing and worse, and that’s what we were doing.”
What makes that any different from Fox News? They only get their facts straight about 40% of the time. Fox News anchors never quit their jobs for it either. If I were to guess as to what punishment happens for reporting lies that need to be redacted… I’d have to say that the anchor is just replaced by another blonde woman and nobody can tell the difference.
RT seems to be fairly good at reporting without intentional bias when it comes to American news, but their affinity for Russian government makes you wonder if communism ever ended in that country. This is something that conservatives in our own country seem to miss about the logical end of a “free-market” capitalism drive towards the same oligarchic end that Russia sits in today. This is the obvious missing factor in theories on government which refuse to acknowledge that capitalism and socialism are not forms of government, but methodologies within government. When either one of those methodologies becomes too heavily weighted in society, more imperialistic control is given to the wealthiest members of that society.
Politifact’s coverage of RT is pretty sparse compared to other news outlets, and so their one headline which was fact-checked is hard to compare against the multiple times Fox has been checked. Yet, if we compare that one “half-true” statement to the record of Fox News, RT still appears to handle the truth better than Fox News.
While Fox News continuously bashes communism because of an affinity for the Cold War era propaganda, RT does the same thing when they pick and choose their perspectives to give a conditional flavor to their reporting which supports Russia’s government. Truth isn’t a factor in this reporting style as much as truthiness is. While Fox News was covering the “weakness” in leadership of Obama in not going after Russia with our military, RT was spinning the economy of Russia as being more stable than it really was. While Fox News was praising the leadership of Putin to juxtapose shame onto President Obama, RT was spinning the Ukrainian opposition to be Nazi fascists. Both Fox News and RT both scoffed at the economic sanctions from the president even though those sanctions turned out to work quite well in crushing the Russian economy while boosting the value of American companies trading with the EU. And yet, somehow both the pro-Russian argument and the Fox News politicizing ended up sounding like they agreed with each other.
However, it seems that the employees of RT have stronger principles when it comes to media journalism.