RT Shut Down in Washington

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RT Shut Down in Washington

by Stephen Lendman

Is the action further punishment, following the March 4 likely US/UK-orchestrated false flag Skripal incident – RT operations in the US capital targeted.

Is Sputnik News next? Will a nationwide ban on Russian media follow? Is what’s going on state-sponsored censorship, wanting truth and full disclosure of major issues banished – official narrative fake news alone permitted ahead?

Is tyranny in America on a fast track toward becoming full-blown?

RT’s Washington area distributor MHz announced it will cease cable distribution of its operations, effective Sunday, April 1 – for real, not an April fool’s day joke.

Its action almost certainly followed US pressure on the company. Why else would it end a relationship with a client providing a steady revenue stream, contributing to company profits?

Last year, the Justice Department demanded US companies involved in distributing RT America and Sputnik register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

At the same time, an FBI probe into whether Sputnik News committed FARA violations was initiated.

FARA was long ago outdated Nazi era legislation, requiring agents representing foreign governments to disclose their relationship, along with information about their personnel, activities and finances.

Its enactment had nothing to do with regulating or in any way interfering with foreign media.

Satellite technology enables global electronic media to be broadcast almost anywhere – unless censored or otherwise blocked.

In response to the shutdown order, ending live RT broadcasts in the nation’s capital, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov issued the following statement, saying:

“Lawyers are thoroughly studying (this situation), but on the face of it this still looks like an unfounded decision, because even the status of a foreign agent cannot be reason in itself for removing a media outlet from the closed circuit,” adding:

“The situation is rather contradictory, as despite the operating contract the cable networks stated that they will not provide services for RT anymore.”

“This is a very alarming and scary trend, as such voluntaristic actions are reflective of discriminatory policy against mass media in the US, which runs counter to United States law, runs counter to the declarations of adherence to the freedom of speech and democracy that we are hearing from Washington all the time.”

RT’s communications head Anna Belkina issued a statement saying:

“(I)t s highly disappointing that despite repeated assurances that FARA status would not impact RT’s reporting and broadcasting capabilities, the registration, in fact, has placed undue burden on multiple areas of RT operations, and pressure on our partners as well, thus unequivocally demonstrating that the spirit of the FARA law is discriminatory even if the letter of that law isn’t.”

Targeting RT is disturbing, part of escalating Russia bashing, along with increased efforts to censor news, information, commentary and analysis, differing from the official narrative in America and other Western countries.

That’s how police state rule works everywhere!

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.