James Clapper, the US Director of National Intelligence, on the basis of his comments to the Senate committee on Thursday about RT, would appear to agree with Alex Jones in thinking ‘there’s a war on for your mind’.
I happen to disagree. I think there’s a race to the bottom, in order to see how much the American deep state and Congressional supporters of Obama’s neo-liberal ideology can condescend to ordinary Americans.
The truth behind the ‘media wars’ is far less exotic, let alone dramatic than the powers that be would like people to believe.
In business there is something known as the 80/20 Rule which states that 80% of all effects stem from 20% of all causal occurrences. When applied to retail it can mean that 80% of all revenue comes from 20% of one’s customer base. It can also mean that 80% of sales are derived from 20% of one’s inventory.
In media, one can apply this rule in the following ways: 80% of a media outlet’s viewership comes from 20% of a population who broadly agree with the editorial line of the outlet in question. Indeed, most viewers of media tune in and turn on to hear recent facts (and in some cases fake facts) which help to bolster their inherent views of the world. Clinton voters will watch CNN for reassurance, anti-Zionists will do with same with Press-TV, and neo-liberal globalists will put on BBC World.
RT isn’t an exception here. If someone broadly questions the globalist agenda and the militarist/interventionist narrative of the west, he or she will find many analysts on RT whose views correspond with their own.
There is however one big league exception. Prior to the launch of RT, there was no large media outlet broadcasting in the West which offered a critical view of the mainstream, establishment narrative. Whilst CNN and Fox bickered over hair-splitting interpretations of the ‘West is best’ agenda, no one offered a real opposing view.
RT has changed that. RT doesn’t have an anti-America view as Mr. Clapper implied. RT simply offers people in America and around the world an opportunity to question whether the establishment’s view of how America should rule the world actually makes the lives of ordinary Americans better or worse.
Increasingly those who feel that globalism, neo-liberalism and constant war are making their lives worse do things like watch RT and vote for Donald Trump. It is not a cause, it is an effect.
Few media outlets change minds but they do have the ability to give a voice to those which already exist. Globalists, liberals and war-hawks have had a voice in the American media market for decades. But unless one went to a local book-club where Pat Buchannan was giving a talk to a room of 80 people those opposed to the post-Cold War globalist hegemony of the US elite had no voice. RT has given them one, and the open contempt of those in the establishment, upset with RT for giving a voice to the voiceless, is staggering.
The tale told by the likes of Clapper and John Kerry before him isn’t one of a propaganda war. Ordinary people are not as stupid as many in the establishment would like to think. If RT was as propagandistic as they say, no one would watch it. Instead millions do watch it, some for reassurance and others to find out new perspectives so they can ‘question more’.
Perhaps many in the establishment are as shocked that they have as much patriotic American opposition as they have. The millions of Americans who watch RT however aren’t semi-retired KGB agents; they are patriotic, thinking, concerned Americans, many of whom are middle-aged and remember the Cold War well.
And this is what frightens the likes of Clapper, McCain and Kerry. They thought that they could keep a lid on home grown all-American moderate opposition with a little help from their good friends in the mainstream media. But now they can’t.
What does it say about modern America that it took a station founded in Moscow to ignite the spirit of America’s First Amendment and ‘make free speech great again’?
For the record, I have appeared on RT many times and have never been told what to say nor how to say it. I wouldn’t have it any other way and I’m happy that the people at RT feel the same.