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Witty Rebuttal by Head of RT to Claims RT's Numbers Don't Add Up (Simonyan)

Even Simonyan's critics have to admit, she's built a very successful global media company, and she writes well.  She's as sharp-tongued in English as she is in Russian, and nearly as fluent.

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Margarita Simonyan argues that Russian liberal journalists, the American neo-con media and the U.S. Embassy in Moscow continually conspire to discredit RT.  It originally appeared in Russian on her personal blog at Live Journal

Translated for Russia Insider  by Hugo Smith

<figcaption>She can punch</figcaption>
She can punch

The Daily Beast recently called me with a confusing question:

The journalist stated the following: "I have a letter from 2012 written by Svetlana Mironyuk (ex-RIA Novosti Director-General) to Dmitry Peskov in my possession in which she wrote that RT's viewing figures were not as high as was being claimed".

I was amused by yet another example of Sveta's marvelous ability to concoct complex intrigues, and it was explained to the Daily Beast that the figures mentioned in her letter were of course inaccurate.

RT obtains viewership statistics from the most respected American and European ratings agencies. We do not publish these figures without receiving their consent and agreement. Google is responsible for publishing Youtube statistics. It is rather unlikely that they are conspiring with RT to fabricate those statistics, as was claimed by Vasily Gatov, a former RIA employee whose claims were readily presented alongside those of Svetlana in the US media.

This is not the first time that former RIA management have engaged in mudslinging campaigns against us at RT.

It is unfortunate that ancient disputes still haunt certain people to such an extent that they won't refrain from inventing and inflating scandals and propagating them via low-quality and Russophobic sectors of the US media. A striking example of this was an article in the neocon-leaning Daily Beast, written by career-Russophobe Michael Weiss, who built a niche for himself by slinging mud at RT and Russia.

The article is a blatant example of lack of professionalism and distortion of facts in order to promote a false "RT lies" narrative. I wish those authors or their sources had at least some knowledge of international broadcasting and signal distribution, or the difference between measuring national TV ratings and international ones! It's just a shame to have to endure their antics.

RT is the world leader in Youtube's Global Audience stakes as has been shown by Pew Research and mentioned by Google's top management. I wonder how much we supposedly paid Google for this, Mr Gatov? The Washington Post recently spent an inordinate amount of time examining the RT phenomenon on Youtube and presented a detailed report on its most watched content, yet amazingly this information appears to be unobtainable by the Daily Beast's "journalists" who seem more pre-occupied with accusing RT of mortal sins.

We at RT won't apologise for:

1) being the #1 Television Network on YouTube with more than 2.5 billion views.

2) being the leader amongst English Language News Channels in the world and overtaking major international media competitors such as Al Jazeera, Deutsche Welle, Voice of America, Euronews, France 24 and Japan’s NHK (according to ComScore, a market leader in the measurement of online audiences). In May 2015 the total number of unique users on all RT's ( websites and RT's YouTube Channel was over 32 million people.

3) having a weekly audience of 2.8 million people in seven of the largest U.S. cities according to a Nielsen study.

4) having a daily audience of more than 6.5 million people in the Middle East and North Africa, according to a Nielsen study. RT Arabic TV is amongst the top three leaders based on daily audience figures, well ahead of BBC Arabic, British Sky News Arabia, American Al Hurra and Chinese Arabic CCTV.

All this public information is easy to find and verify, yet apparently the "journalists" at the Daily Beast found this even easier to ignore.

I did and do not want to make public all our internal squabbles or go into detail about what had been happening in RIA before the change of management team. Please Svetlana dear, calm down, go study in the USA and do not force me to do the same.

P.S. Oh, yes! What is particularly fascinating is that the eager promoters of this piece in the Russophobic neocon publication The Daily Beast are…well, let’s put it this way; the link to the article was immediately posted by Will Stevens, Press Secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Then it was re-tweeted by Navalny

Navalny was then re-tweeted by Gary Kasparov

And then Navalny was re-tweeted by Michael Weiss himself

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