And when the Washington Post published an article titled ‘If Russia Today is Moscow’s Propaganda Arm, It’s Not Very Good at Its Job’, they decided to teach the newspaper a lesson – that is, a lesson of fact checking and actual journalism.
First things first, WaPo accused the Russian news agency of denigrating former US Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, referring to some kind of (video) "segment" called 'Clinton and ISIS Funded by the Same Money', and "casting doubt on the outcome of the U.S. election with clips like "Trump Will Not be Permitted to Win."
Problem is, the video in question which provoked said accusations is not some sort of RT original production, but rather an interview with Julian Assange, the license for which was purchased by RT from Dartmouth Films.
Likewise, simply browsing the RT news archives reveals that WaPo's claims about the Russian news agency promoting Donald Trump and badmouthing Hillary Clinton during the US presidential election are equally baseless: the 2016 election was clearly regarded as 'choosing between two evils' by RT.
Also, the WaPo author’s attempts to determine exactly how many people visit the RT website and YouTube channel hit a little snag – it turns out that she based her conclusions on data from 2012.
And claims about RT mostly attracting attention via viral video hits online doesn’t even require comprehensive debunking – one only needs to compare the number of views of the aforementioned viral videos and, for example, ‘non-viral videos’ like Donald Trump’s victory speech or the live US election day special coverage.
No, WP. Our biggest scoops are Occupy Wall Street, Standing Rock, Freddy Gray protests (not riots) etc. all those you lot deemed irrelevant pic.twitter.com/fuqKEP6a9I— Alexey Yaroshevsky (@Yaro_RT) 12 января 2017 г.
Ironically enough, the claims that RT’s influence and audience size is vastly overrated appears a bit strange, to put it mildly, considering the amount of attention the news agency received in the recent US intelligence community report.
Are you sure, WaPo? I mean its not that we just had a third of US intel report deducated to us😘 pic.twitter.com/0fHb8rU4lX— Alexey Yaroshevsky (@Yaro_RT) 12 января 2017 г.
"Let us hope that next time US media agencies will put more effort into their attacks against ‘unpopular, Trump-loving Kremlin propaganda mouthpiece that virtually has no audience’, using facts and providing links to sources instead of resorting to unconfirmed statements, fake reports and unfounded figures. But, to be honest, we’re not holding our breath," the RT article concludes.