Media,  Russia

RT update

Russia’s state-funded English-language channel Russia Today– which last year featured a friendly interview with “parliamentarian” Nick Griffin, who reported on his regime-hosted visit to Syria– also relies on German “journalist and Middle East expert” Manuel Ochsenreiter, who happens to be a neo-Nazi.

[O]n the March 17 edition of the RT talk show Cross Talk (entitled “Welcome Crimea!”), Ochsenreiter started by comparing the Crimea invasion to the reunification of Germany, then veered off-script to state that, contrary to virtually every other report on the subject, Tatars in Crimea who are not in the pay of the EU actually support secession from Ukraine. The program’s host interrupted this implausible report to ask a leading question about the freedom of the voting in the Crimea secession referendum. In reply to this, Ochsenreiter laughed as he reported that the voting did not take place “under the gun…there were no guns”. Then, as he stared somewhat forlornly at the camera, a fellow guest corrected this obvious distortion by arguing that the referendum could safely take place only under the protection of Russian guns – that in fact the guns were there to protect democracy from pro-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists. Again at the prompting of the program’s host, Ochsenreiter turned his attention from the purported non-violence of Russia’s presence in Crimea, to parroting almost word for word the host’s statement that German taxpayers were being asked by the EU to pay Ukraine’s debts.

Meanwhile former RT America presenter Liz Wahl reports:

Update: David Adler makes the key point.