Putin is spewing Russia's ruthless propaganda from a building right next to Westminster
The Daily Mail, the very symbol of journalistic integrity in Britain, has scored a major coup – it has revealed the location of RT’s UK office. We haven’t been able to confirm the number of investigative journalists involved in finding the address – presumably by googling it.
The biggest surprise to dedicated Daily Mail readers will be that RT is not operating from a hollowed-out volcano on a super villain’s tropical island, but actually from a gray, aging (cold) skyscraper.
The Daily Mail article, jumping wholeheartedly upon the now-speeding anti-Russia bandwagon in Britain, carries the breathless headline: “Putin’s lying machine: Revealed, how Russia’s spewing out ruthless propaganda from a Moscow-funded TV station – right next to Westminster.”
But surely the real headline is in the opening line: “The 16th floor of Millbank Tower, and Vladimir Putin is pumping out truth — of the Russian kind.”
The man himself is in London, writing stories about Universal Credit and Grenfell Tower. Now that is a story! Does he want tea?
Maybe he was using some of the “state-of-the-art equipment [which] allows for slick, sophisticated graphics that mimic the output of respectable international news broadcasters such as the BBC, CNN and France 24.” By state-of-the-art, we assume that means it uses electricity.
Doesn’t "state-of-the-art" sound sinister though, especially when you’re just “mimicking” other broadcasters. It will be news to the people (yes, real, educated, independently-thinking people) who work at RT UK that their stories are just mimics. The interviews they’re taking are just mimics. The editor who is shouting at them to meet a deadline is just an angry mimic.
In his ‘special report,’ journalist Neil Tweedie then gets outright hurtful: “There is nothing respectable about Russia Today... whose UK offices these are.” For the record, the office has a tap which provides still and sparkling water on demand. Is that not the height of respectability?
He describes the sinister scene that can be found in the office, an office unlike any other: “Journalists… are busy at computer terminals and video mixing desks, preparing bulletins and programs and telling the news Kremlin-style.”
In his writing and attention to detail Tweedie displays the characteristics of any top-level Daily Mail journalist – he manages to spell the name of the head of RT UK incorrectly... and get his job title wrong.
He has a good attempt at it though, with Nikolay ‘Bogachikhin.’ That’s a long name, so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he was tired and hungry when writing. He should have ordered some ‘Bogachikhin’ – Kremlin-style, of course.
Tweedie has unearthed some “unapologetic quotes” which will send shivers down readers’ spines.
“Nikolay Bogachikhin, RT news chief in London, was unapologetic during a BBC interview when speaking about the channel’s Middle East coverage. ‘We are bringing stories that matter from the Russian perspective,’ he explained. Russia is a big player. The Russian view of the situation [in Syria and Ukraine] is so much different from the Western vision.’”
Different perspectives are not something the Daily Mail can be expected to tolerate in modern Britain. Unless the different perspective happens to be in a bikini, then MailOnline will explore it rigorously.
It can’t be emphasized enough that the RT offices are staffed by people working independently to try and do a good journalistic job. You’ll struggle to find a Russian, and Putin only calls at Christmas.
Tweedie’s final line fits well in a campaign which appears to want to dehumanize anything associated with Russia. “The RT functionaries are beavering away behind their screens. And it can mean no good for the country that offers them a home.”
If you replaced ‘RT’ with ‘Daily Mail’ in the line above, would many disagree?