Everybody Doing Cancel Culture To Poor RT Kremlin Propaganda Network

a screengrab of actual RT propaganda running right now

The topline story about what's going on with Russia's war on Ukraine today is that Russia is ramping up its attacks on the cities, with gruesome results. They're surrounding the city of Gherson, a town of 300,000 in the south, and the Russian military says it controls it. The Ukrainians say not so fast. In the northeast, it appears that Russia has just battered the city of Kharkiv. And still nobody knows what that convoy outside Kyiv plans to do.

As always, war is everchanging and moving fast, so for the latest updates, check one of the major network/newspaper's news tickers.

But here's an interesting story that's playing out on the outskirts of the main event. America has the kind of Russian propaganda that plays at 8 p.m. on the Fox News network, but it also in some places has the kind of Russian propaganda that's literally funded by the Kremlin, i.e. the American arms of state-run media organs like RT and RT America. And over the years, there have been extremely useful American idiots who have chosen to take jobs as talent on RT. Dennis Miller, Jesse Ventura, and William Shatner are several of the biggest names these days. ("Biggest.")

But now RT's American talent is one-by-one giving Kremlin TV the heave-ho and telling the network to keep its blood money.

Last night, Justin Baragona confirmed at the Daily Beast that conservative "comedian" (again with the mean quotation marks!) Dennis Miller would be ceasing production of his show "Dennis Miller + One," which as NBC News explains, is licensed to RT America. "He has no plans of going back," NBC News's source said. Lawyer Mike Papantonio pulled his show from RT, the day after Russia's invasion began. There have also been resignations from lower-level staffers and talent.

As for that licensing deal, Baragona explains that an outfit called Ora Media produces and licenses a bunch of shows for RT, and they're all on ice now. One of those is Shatner's show "I Don't Understand." (Y'all remember all the drama last year when Shatner announced that show and everybody was like ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING?)

“Given the invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, Ora Media has paused production of content we license to T&R Productions. Future business decisions will be made based on the evolving situation,” Ora Media CEO John Dickey told Deadline on Tuesday.

Baragona's story has been updated as the story has evolved. When we first read it, Miller's show was done, but Shatner seemed to be holding out. His people were instead directing Baragona to very nice tweets Shatner had been sending about Ukraine, which is very nice but not the point. Then came a fuller statement from Shatner:

“Ora TV sold the show to RT America. I had no say in the matter. My talk show, ‘I Don’t Understand,’ is purely entertainment and about all the things I don’t understand which is everything because I am at a loss for most things,” he wrote. “It is informative, entertaining and totally, absolutely non-political. My contract for seventy half-hour shows this past year has been with Ora TV. Those seventy shows are in the pipeline and I have no voice in that matter as well.’

Shatner added: “I await with apprehension what will transpire but my total sympathy is with Ukraine. They are the historic change in the world today and I look at them with great admiration and pray that they will emerge victorious.

"As for RT America, my latest information is that all production from Ora TV shows to RT America has been suspended.”

Well that's good to hear.

Baragona reports that there are still holdouts, like fucking Jesse Ventura and wingnut douchebag Steve Malzburg.

And then there are all the tech companies and TV streaming platforms telling RT to get bent. CNN Business has a little roundup:

YouTube, TikTok, and Meta, the parent company of Facebook (FB) and Instagram, each separately announced on Monday and Tuesday some of the harshest measures taken thus far against RT. The social media companies said they had moved to block RT in Europe. The outlet's accounts will no longer be accessible to users on that continent through those companies' services, depriving RT of crucial venues to advance its messaging.

Meta and Google (GOOG), the parent company of YouTube, had previously announced that RT would no longer be eligible to monetize its content on the company's platforms.

Hey YouTube, time to go further, because we found live-streaming RT to make the screengrab at the top of this post way too easily. We are just saying.

Big TV providers in Canada are cutting RT's cord. Meanwhile, Roku is dropping RT in the US and in Europe, which happened after DirecTV dropped RT America. The big holdout there seems to be Dish Network, which apparently just isn't sure yet. It's "closely monitoring the situation," it says. If you are a Dish Network subscriber, you should call them and tell them the situation. (Vice President Kamala Harris provided a very simple explanation that could be helpful!)

So that's where that is. We hope to see more, as we agree with Tim Miller at the Bulwark, who writes this week that there should be a "societal death penalty for anyone who chooses to profit off Russian state television in all its forms."

In other words, cancel culture. We should cancel culture the fucking bejesus out of Russian propaganda TV until it no longer exists outside of whatever's left of Russia's economy when all these international sanctions are done with it.

We are sure Jesse Ventura will be able to find a job somewhere.

[Daily Beast / CNN]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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