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Wed Apr 18, 2012, 02:14 PM

Glenn Greenwald: Attacks on RT and Assange Reveal Much About the Critics

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/18/attacks_on_rt_and_assange_reveal_much_about_the_critics/singleton/?mobile.html

WEDNESDAY, APR 18, 2012 8:46 AM EDT

Attacks on RT and Assange reveal much about the critics

The NY Times' review of Assange's new show illustrates the failures and hypocrisies of our "watchdog" media


BY GLENN GREENWALD

A new news show hosted by Julian Assange debuted yesterday on RT, the global media outlet funded by the Russian government and carried by several of America’s largest cable providers. His first show was devoted to an interview with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah (video below), who has not given a television interview since 2006. The combination of Assange and a Russian-owned TV network has triggered a predictable wave of snide, smug attacks from American media figures, attacks that found their purest expression in this New York Times review yesterday of Assange’s new program by Alessandra Stanley.

Much is revealed by these media attacks on Assange and RT — not about Assange or RT but about their media critics. We yet again find, for instance, the revealing paradox that nothing prompts media scorn more than bringing about unauthorized transparency for the U.S. government. As a result, it’s worth examining a few passages from Stanley’s analysis. It begins this way:

- snip -

That contrast — between one of America’s Most Serious Journalists and Assange — speaks volumes already about who is interested in actual journalism and who is not. Then we have this, a trite little point, impressed by its own cleverness, found at the center of almost all of these sneering pieces on Assange’s new program:

- snip -

Let’s examine the unstated premises at work here. There is apparently a rule that says it’s perfectly OK for a journalist to work for a media outlet owned and controlled by a weapons manufacturer (GE/NBC/MSNBC), or by the U.S. and British governments (BBC/Stars & Stripes/Voice of America), or by Rupert Murdoch and Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal (Wall St. Journal/Fox News), or by a banking corporation with long-standing ties to right-wing governments (Politico), or by for-profit corporations whose profits depend upon staying in the good graces of the U.S. government (Kaplan/The Washington Post), or by loyalists to one of the two major political parties (National Review/TPM/countless others), but it’s an intrinsic violation of journalistic integrity to work for a media outlet owned by the Russian government. Where did that rule come from?

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply Glenn Greenwald: Attacks on RT and Assange Reveal Much About the Critics (Original post)
Hissyspit Apr 2012 OP
cali Apr 2012 #1
Hissyspit Apr 2012 #4
cali Apr 2012 #10
Hissyspit Apr 2012 #15
GeorgeGist Apr 2012 #39
Hissyspit Apr 2012 #42
Whisp Apr 2012 #9
cali Apr 2012 #12
Whisp Apr 2012 #14
sabrina 1 Apr 2012 #38
fascisthunter Apr 2012 #2
cali Apr 2012 #5
Swede Apr 2012 #3
Hissyspit Apr 2012 #7
RZM Apr 2012 #20
Hissyspit Apr 2012 #24
hifiguy Apr 2012 #6
Hissyspit Apr 2012 #8
Whisp Apr 2012 #11
cali Apr 2012 #13
Hissyspit Apr 2012 #17
sabrina 1 Apr 2012 #40
PADemD Apr 2012 #16
chrisa Apr 2012 #18
msanthrope Apr 2012 #19
Luminous Animal Apr 2012 #21
fascisthunter Apr 2012 #22
RZM Apr 2012 #25
joshcryer Apr 2012 #27
RZM Apr 2012 #29
Luminous Animal Apr 2012 #30
RZM Apr 2012 #31
Luminous Animal Apr 2012 #32
RZM Apr 2012 #33
Luminous Animal Apr 2012 #34
RZM Apr 2012 #36
Luminous Animal Apr 2012 #37
mmonk Apr 2012 #26
sabrina 1 Apr 2012 #41
Luminous Animal Apr 2012 #23
riderinthestorm Apr 2012 #28
Luminous Animal Apr 2012 #35

Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 02:21 PM

1. oh please. RT is what it is. And that certainly is not a legitimate journalism outlet

and there's something a bit ironic about Greenwald- who I sometimes agree with and other times don't, going on about anyone sneering. He does large amounts of that himself.

I haven't seen the interview, though I'd like to. And it may be very good, but RT really is controlled by Putin (now). And the thing about MSNBC is an interesting claim, Glenn, but let's see some evidence that MSNBC's reporting is what GE tells them to do.

gad, what a cheap ass piece, Glenn dearie.

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Response to cali (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 02:30 PM

4. The NY Times piece is ludicrous.

Yes, he's sneering. Because it's from the home of Judith Miller's "journalism." And he does indeed acknowledge that RT is what it is. I don't find your criticisms valid.

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 02:39 PM

10. oh for pity's sake. The NYT is a mixed bag for sure

but that aside as you don't find my criticism valid, how do you feel about Reporters without borders- they're harshly critical of RT or The Guardian or many others? I'm sure you won't find their criticism valid either. Shocker.



oh, and it's not like you even addressed my criticism. duh.

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Response to cali (Reply #10)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 03:16 PM

15. There is plenty to criticize about Reporters Without Borders, too.

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #15)

Thu Apr 19, 2012, 10:52 AM

39. Well that was ...

vapid.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #39)

Fri Apr 20, 2012, 11:24 PM

42. No it wasn't.

So there.

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Response to cali (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 02:37 PM

9. neither is CNN

 

I would much rather trust Assange and the Russians and (gasp!) even Greenwald compared to the useless lieing fucks like Wolf.

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Response to Whisp (Reply #9)


Response to cali (Reply #12)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 02:51 PM

14. oh and it's well known you too make some pretty idiotic broad claims, sister.

 

that over abundance of self righteousness of yours is also disheartening. If you are so into spell checking others perhaps you should look deep into yourself and work on capitalizing the first letter in a sentence.



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Response to cali (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 19, 2012, 12:35 AM

38. You haven't watched much of RT's programming, have you. Our MSM should be half as good and we

might not have a population who is as ignorant as they are, willing to accept Rupert Murdoch propaganda because they can't find actual reporting anywhere else on the US MSM. Once again this year, the MSM has landed somewhere in the forties on the World's Free Press list. Shameful, and it certainly makes it laughable for any of them to criticize a network like RT which gives a voice to some of the world's best journalists who will never be allowed on the rightwing US media.

I guess you could say what you get on RT is 'truth which has a liberal bias'. Having watched European news media it definitely compares to some of the best of their journalism. But since it is independent of Corporate Control, they cannot be silenced when they do report actual news.

Their discussion programs their documentaries, their world news, after watching it for a while, it makes CNN look like Fox News. I would compare it to the BBC before the rightwingers in Britain went after that network also.

RT is great. So glad we get it on our Cable lineup. Current and RT and the BBC will keep people informed of what is really going on in the world. Their American anchors are excellent, smart, informed and many of them, in fact most of them are women. Love Rt.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 02:25 PM

2. Indeed, it says volumes... sure... GE has no influence on their media companies

I swear! Their bais is all too clear.$$$$$$ and anything that rubs against their interests, is attacked.

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Response to fascisthunter (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 02:31 PM

5. Of course GE has influence but that's really not the same as

RT. There are subjects that are totally taboo on RT. There is no Rachel Maddow type reporting on subjects that the gov't doesn't want reported on.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 02:29 PM

3. List of journalists killed in Russia

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Response to Swede (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 02:33 PM

7. I don't think Assange believes his greatest threat is from Russia.

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #7)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 05:50 PM

20. I don't think that was the point of the post

 

The media environment in Russia is atrocious. The United Russia crew basically has the Russian media in check. You don't hear too much that's critical of them on Russian television.

I have a hard time taking seriously a news organization courtesy of the same people who prevent a free press in their own country. That's why I often point out that some of the criticism of the Western media on RT is absurdly hypocritical to anybody who knows much about the media in Russia.

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Response to RZM (Reply #20)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 10:03 PM

24. I Understand that.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 02:32 PM

6. RT is occasionally interesting, but one should never forget

that it's a Putin propaganda network. The amazing thing is that, even given that fact, they are probably more honest than Faux.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #6)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 02:35 PM

8. "Probably more honest than Faux?"

Understatement.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #6)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 02:40 PM

11. and the west has a corporate propaganda network.

 

funny how the other side's propaganda is always worse than OUR side of propaganda, to some.

true what you said about Faux, they are beyond propaganda, they are what propaganda eats for breakfast and fattens up on.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #6)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 02:46 PM

13. they are both propaganda tools. Anyone who can't recognize that

is either stupid to a hopeless degree or so slavishly ideological that it's tantamount to the same thing.

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Response to cali (Reply #13)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 04:28 PM

17. Greenwald acknowledged

Everything is propaganda ultimately. It's just all propaganda is not created equally.

Here is where Greenwald addresses some of your points. It was left off Salon's posting by a glitch earlier and has been restored:

So we spent the entire article having Assange depicted as some mindless propaganda tool for the Russian government — an attack on Assange repeated far and wide ever since this show was announced — only to learn at the end of Stanley’s review that, in his very first show, he was highly critical of one of the region’s most influential figures for failing to offer more support for Syrian rebels, directly in opposition to a key policy of the Russian government. That’s why I say that the media attacks on Assange’s show reflect far more about the critics than about him: they assumed that he would slavishly serve the agenda of his benefactors because that’s what American establishment journalists largely do. It’s pure projection. Speaking of projection, Stanley ended her piece this way:

In his first foray as a talk show host, however, Mr. Assange did everything he could to minimize his prisonlike isolation and behaved surprisingly like a standard network interviewer.

The Kardashians could be next.


Yuck that last excerpt. Talk about stupid. Being devoted to the center or to acceptable convention is ideological, too.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 19, 2012, 11:31 AM

40. Actually, it is not pro-Putin at all.

It's coverage of the anti-Putin demonstrations eg, was excellent, and not even our MSM covered the extent or the size of them as RT, as far as I know. In fact if I had not been watching RT I would not have known how huge those demonstrations were.

RT covers all sides of all issues, our MSM only covers one side, the 'right' side. We need more RTs.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 03:20 PM

16. I saw the show

The one problem I had was hearing what the translator was saying. There were two people speaking at the same time.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 05:20 PM

18. "funded by the Russian government"

*cough*

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 05:46 PM

19. Assange is taking a paycheck from Putin, and Greenwald is pissy about a snarky article

in the NYT???

Oh, dear...

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 06:19 PM

21. Heeheeheehee! Greenwald via Twitter:

"About to go on RT to talk about media reaction to Assange's show - just got my script from Putin by email"

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #21)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 06:56 PM

22. LOL!!!!!

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #21)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 10:10 PM

25. They choose their guests carefully

 

So scripts aren't necessary. They pick people who are already saying the kinds of things RT wants them to say. They know full well who Greenwald is, what he stands for, and what he's going to say about the Western MSM and NYT. Why bother with a script when you can get the same thing just by picking the right guests?

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Response to RZM (Reply #25)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 10:19 PM

27. Precisely.

FOX News does the same shit.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #27)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 10:33 PM

29. A lot of outlets do that

 

But the first person that popped into my head when I wrote that reply was Dick Morris. There's a reason he's been appearing on Fox in prime time for so many years. They know what they are getting with him.

But even Fox will have prominent liberals on every once in a while - and not just the politicians either. It's not something they do all the time, but I've seen people like Jon Stewart, George Carlin, and Rosie O'Donnell on there before. Al Sharpton was on all the time before his current gig at MSNBC. The list of liberals who have appeared on the network since its inception is probably very long.

Much less of that on RT. Quite often when I see an interview there, a little digging on the 'expert' they have on shows that person to have a rather interesting set of beliefs. And it's quite often just one person, so the viewer ends up getting only one perspective on the issue. Even Bill-O often has two guests on at a time to discuss a topic. He and the other guest usually shout down the liberal, but at least they get some screen time.

That doesn't go for every show on there. I'm sure Thom Hartmann has guests with much different views, but he's essentially a hired gun and not an in house personality.

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Response to RZM (Reply #25)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 10:54 PM

30. Yes, I am sure you were critical of Greenwald

When he slammed the mainstream media for characterizing Bush critics as "evil" and "deranged"
http://www.salon.com/2009/08/23/joe_klein/singleton/

And surely, you had a problem with Greenwald when he exposed Politico as a "right-wing cesspool" and deferential to Bush
http://www.salon.com/2008/05/30/allen_2/singleton/

Or when he pointed out the lazy MSM lied and touted Iraq war mongers as anti-war advocates
http://www.salon.com/2007/07/31/ohanlon/singleton/

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #30)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 11:03 PM

31. No I wasn't, because I never even heard of him until a year or two ago

 

Back in 2007, 2008, and 2009, I didn't know who he was.

What I pointed out was that his joke about Putin giving him a script basically missed the point. He's been invited to RT precisely because he's already saying what they want people to hear. He's not getting a script because he doesn't need one.

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Response to RZM (Reply #31)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 11:15 PM

32. He's been a critic of the mainstream media for nearly a decade.

You'd hope, when you are a news organization looking for a media critic, you actually book a real one.

Unlike, as pointed out and criticized by Greenwald, the MSM who featured pro-war hawks as anti-war liberals and paid Pentagon propagandists as independent strategists. And, as Greenwald also pointed out, if the lazy MSM had done their homework, they would have known both cases were incorrect.

I'd also like to mention this article by Mark Adomanis af Forbes.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/markadomanis/2011/06/28/rt-and-the-american-media/

RT and the American Media


Now, is RT a highly(!) imperfect media vehicle? Does it lapse into sensationalism? Does it over-hype certain stories that paint America in an unflattering light? Does it underplay stories that would paint Russia in a bad light? Does its level of professionalism occasionally leave something to be desired? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. A friend from grad school actually worked at RT and their experience there was far from perfect. But come on, folks, let’s grow up a little bit and open our eyes. Have you seen network or cable news recently? Have you seen RT’s “serious” competition?

...

The “serious” journalism on CBS prominently featured some poor guy standing chest deep in water giving an update about the flooding in North Dakota (did his physically standing in the flood waters really add anything to the reporting? Would people really have said “nah, everything’s fine up there” if the reporter had stood near the flooded street and submerged houses and simply pointed at them?) and also included a several minute long segment about a shark sighting in Orlando. You see this guy was being filmed while he was surfing and a small shark jumped over his surf board and he didn’t even know about it until he went home to watch the video! OMG! Now let’s replay the video for our viewers 15 straight times! DID YOU SEE THAT SHARK JUMP OVER THE SURFBOARD?? It’s a shark! Jumping! Over a surfboard! On video!*

I will admit that it is theoretically possible for RT to achieve a lower standard of professionalism than the “serious” broadcast journalism I witnessed on CBS the other night, but I’m not sure how it could do so without running afoul of the FCC’s decency guidelines. Really the only thing that RT could do to be less informative than the “serious” news I watched would be to provide live uninterrupted coverage of recently painted park benches drying in McPherson square: “This news just in: the glaze is dry. I repeat, the glaze is dry. Application of the second coat is expected to start within the next 45 minutes.”

...

Americans need to get used to a world and a media environment in which we do not always shape the narratives or frame the coverage. That is, other non-Western countries and cultures, who do not necessarily share a belief in the United States’ inherent goodness or in the “seriousness” of its major media outlets, are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. So if, like Weigel, you think RT is distasteful and off-putting just wait: over the coming years the Western, and especially American, media’s near monopoly on setting the agenda is going to evaporate and voices from China, India, Brazil, and other swiftly developing countries are going to be heard.


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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #32)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 11:25 PM

33. I've got no beef with the Kremlin getting their message out in English

 

Every other country in the world does it - including us. Many do so in plenty of other languages as well. But that doesn't mean it's wrong for me to call it out as bullshit. They are free to do their thing and I'm free to say they are full of it. I've never said RT shouldn't exist. What I say is that we should take them with a couple boxes of Morton's.

What I do have a problem with the Kremlin's suppression of press freedom in Russia itself, not to mention United Russia's stranglehold on political power. For all its flaws (and they are numerous) our press does not operate under the same constraints. If it did, Fox wouldn't exist, because such criticism of the ruling party simply doesn't happen on Russian television (most Russians get their news from television, BTW).

It's an illiberal, authoritarian regime. Plain and simple. The same people that tell us how unfree our press is make sure that their own is many times less free.

What's sad about RT is that they are hoodwinking the Western left. They are appealing to them precisely because they believe that Western leftists (and libertarians) are the best shot for advancing Russian aims. They are particularly keen on Ron Paul, btw. If the Kremlin could choose the US president, it would definitely be him.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002155425

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Response to RZM (Reply #33)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 11:34 PM

34. I don't think that Greenwald, Assange, or anyone on DU would disagree that RT

should be taken with a couple of boxes of Morton's.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #34)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 11:44 PM

36. I don't know about that

 

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439x782683

I do think that the majority of DUers don't exactly trust RT. But some definitely do.

As for what Assange and Greenwald privately think - I really don't know. I suspect that both think it's mostly bullshit, but good luck getting them to say so publicly.

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Response to RZM (Reply #36)

Thu Apr 19, 2012, 12:24 AM

37. I think you are confusing the entirety of the network with appeal of some shows.

Without a doubt, RT has produced some good news and news that about us, our policies, that won't get aired here. RT is a valuable source as is Al Jazeera. All should be watched critically and balanced against other sources

Greenwald publicly states that RT is biased. He states just that in the OP's linked article. He also linked to the Forbes article I mentioned earlier which contains criticism of RT. No doubt, Greenwald was invited on RT because of that article; thus someone at RT must have read it, criticism and all, and invited him anyway.


Greenwald quotes Kevin Gosztola...“Critics should come to terms with the fact that the network is biased but yet it does produce segments that provide necessary and sharp critiques of the US government that typically do not appear on mainstream US networks.” In other words, like Assange, they engage in real adversarial journalism with regard to American political power. And they are thus scorned and ridiculed by those who pretend to do that but never actually do."

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #21)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 10:12 PM

26. Heh heh.

Got to give it to him for his sense of humor.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #21)

Thu Apr 19, 2012, 11:34 AM

41. Lol!

Finally we have a network where we get all sides of all stories, not just propaganda from the MSM. And I love that we get to hear from great investigative journalists and other prominent people who we never see on the MSM here. RT is what Democrats USED to dream of, a place where real Liberals, shunned by the Corporate media here, are given a voice and it's way past time.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 07:06 PM

23. My post from yesterday contains a link and excerpt from The Dissenter at FDL...

compare and contrast between FDL's coverage of the interview and that of the NY Times:


"All The News That's Fit To Print" vs "The Reckless Blogosphere"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002577668

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 10:27 PM

28. K&R for Assange whanking the noses of the world's elite, again.

Bravo for sheer breathtaking chutzpah.

Honestly, it would be hilarious if it weren't deadly serious. Assange. On RT. With Hezbollah. Wow.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #28)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 11:35 PM

35. I am looking forward to next weeks show!

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