The US is revving the New Cold War up a notch by undertaking hostile actions against Russian media, utilizing a campaign of legal and social intimidation in order to get them to either self-censor or shut down. About the first part of its asymmetrical warfare toolkit, the US has threatened to hypocritically force RT and its sister company Sputnik to register as "foreign agents" under the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act because they're publicly financed, though blatantly enacting a double standard in refusing to consider having all other foreign government-funded information outlets do so as well. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova decried this move as promoting a "witch hunt atmosphere", stating that "applying the FARA to RT will have serious legal consequences, and will also compromise the safety of its employees. It demands disclosure of the channel's confidential data, including the list of employees and their personal data."
That's not all that the US government is doing in its War on Russian Media, however, since the FBI recently got involved in this scheme and decided to interrogate a former Sputnik employee. Mrs. Zakharova also had something to say about this as well, stating that "the pressure of the US authorities on the Russian news agency is an obvious violation of international commitments regarding the freedom of expression and media activities" and that "such an unjustified move by the United States is unacceptable for a democratic state". That's precisely what's at the bottom of this too, because the US proclaims itself to be a "democracy", yet is stifling Russian media's right to free speech. Instead of doing so directly, however, the US is utilizing roundabout but still obvious legal and social means to compel Russian outlets to either self-censor or shut down.
Margarita Simonyan, who's the editor-in-chief of both RT and Sputnik, recently said in reference to the US government's decree that RT's American broadcaster must register as a "foreign agent" that "what they [Washington] have been doing in regard to us is tantamount to driving us out of the country. They put us in conditions in which we cannot work." She believes that her companies are being punished for showing "a different point of view" during the 2016 election, and predicted that Russia would take reciprocal measures if the US forces RT to stop broadcasting in the country.
Lars Jørgensen, Danish sociologist and political commentator, and Fernando Martinez, Independent news analyst from the US, commented on the issue.
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