The Russians and American Progressives: Together Again

Accuracy in Media

The Russia Today (RT) Moscow-funded propaganda channel, which is backing the murderous regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, aired a special program on Tuesday night on how progressives in the U.S. can “Take Back the American Dream” by defeating Republicans. The propaganda effort was broadcast throughout the United States and produced in collaboration with major liberal groups such as the Campaign for America’s Future, MoveOn.org and Demos, all of them Soros-funded.

The host was Thom Hartmann, who regards himself as the nation’s number one progressive radio talk-show host.

The “National Teach-In to Take Back the American Dream” featured Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor; Heather McGhee of Demos; Leo Hindrey, a businessman and self-styled “Patriotic Millionaire;” Natalie Foster, the co-founder of Rebuild the Dream; and Robert Borosage of the Campaign for America’s Future.

Nobody on the program, which also aired on DISH Network, DirectTV and the Free Speech TV Network, demonstrated any concern about appearing on a Moscow-funded channel to promote the “American dream.”

The Russian regime, which has a habit of murdering journalists and political opponents, has a covert and overt program of manipulation of the Western media, similar to what the old Soviet KGB used to specialize in. Interestingly, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has just posted a blog on The Huffington Post, one of RT’s official “partners” in the media business.

However, demonstrating sensitivity to the charge that he is a paid Russian agent working in the progressive movement, Thom Hartmann has refused to discuss how much the Russians pay him to air his program “The Big Picture” on RT. When I questioned him about this, he actually grabbed my camera recording his response in order to avoid being seen stonewalling.

RT is the same channel that recently announced it was going to host a show with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, now under investigation for espionage against the U.S. The alleged WikiLeaks source for the largest theft of classified documents in U.S. history, Pfc. Bradley Manning, is being formally arraigned on February 23 on charges that include aiding the enemy.

In this video, produced by Accuracy in Media, several Soviet-like broadcasts are shown on RT featuring denunciations of the U.S. This is fairly typical of the fare offered by RT.

The Vladimir Putin regime started the channel in order to promote Russian interests abroad and serve as a cover for Russian intelligence operations. Anti-communist blogger Trevor Loudon calls RT “a propaganda arm of the Putin-Medvedev-KGB-run Russian thugocracy” and notes that former KGB officer Konstantin Preobrazhensky has described it as a channel for disinformation and propaganda from the Russian intelligence services. Medvedev is the current Russian president stepping down from the post at Putin’s direction so Putin can run again for president on March 4.

Putin, a former Soviet KGB officer, has just made headlines praising the Russian spies who stole U.S. atom bomb secrets.

Putin said, “You know, when the States already had nuclear weapons and the Soviet Union was only building them, we got a significant amount of information through Soviet foreign intelligence channels.” Putin was undoubtedly referring to atom bomb spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, members of the Communist Party who were executed for stealing U.S. atom bomb secrets on behalf of the Soviet Union.

These days, however, some Russian collaborators operate in the open, such as Hartmann and his ilk.

The purpose of the Hartmann show, a special edition of The Big Picture, was to push President Obama to the left, in terms of promoting more federal government economic programs, and discrediting proposals for smaller government and lower taxes coming from conservatives and Republicans. As such, however, the program may constitute foreign interference in U.S. election campaigns, a violation of federal election law.

The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) prohibits foreign corporations such as RT from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly.

For purposes of the law, it can be argued that Hartmann, who is paid an unknown amount by the Russian regime, is operating as an agent of RT and prohibited from electioneering in the U.S.

The “American dream” show was promoted by many other liberal-left groups, including the AFL-CIO, without any hint that it was made possible through the generosity of the Russian regime. The Russia Today channel was referred to in promotional advertising simply as “RT TV,” which is how the channel wants to be known in the U.S., so that its Russian connection can be hidden from the viewing public.

Officially, however, RT is the first Russian 24/7 English-language news channel that promotes the Russian government’s view on global news. RT TV is the American-based arm of the news organization, which is headquartered in Moscow and completely paid for by the Russian regime.

Thom Hartmann used to be a host on Air America, the liberal radio network which went bankrupt because of mismanagement and lack of listeners. His mentality is illustrated by the title over an article on his blog, “Why do Republicans let sick Americans die just to avoid a legislative victory for President Obama?” The post in favor of socialized medicine was written by his wife, pictured here in an unusual pose for a liberal—firing a gun. “Don’t mess with Louise,” the caption says. Louise Hartmann produces his show.

Thom Hartmann serves on the advisory board of Progressive Democrats of America, along with such notables as Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, former Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) leader Tom Hayden, Steve Cobble of the Institute for Policy Studies, and left-wing Democratic members of Congress John Conyers (Michigan), Donna Edwards (Maryland), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Raul Grijalva (Arizona), Jim McGovern (Massachusetts) and Lynn Woolsey (California).

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org.


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Comments

  1. Obama Failed To Appear In An Adminstrative Court Again Today. Instead Of Issuing A Default Ruling Against Obama For His Failure To Appear, The Motion For A Default Ruling Was Flatly Denied. In Addition To Their Letting Obama Off Scott Free, The Ballot Challenge Was Unanimously Denied. This Is Totally UNACCEPTABLE! We Need To Revolt Against This Tyranny!

    http://obamareleaseyourrecords.blogspot.com/2012/02/indiana-election-commission-obamas-moms.html

  2. This program and agenda of the Communist International has been in play for a very long time. People should not be surprised at all that “Progressives” in the US are STILL in cahoots with their Russian big government counterparts. The Democratic Party has been the political front for this plan and the unions and immigrant rights issues are only the way in which the leaders of this manipulation get more votes to gain power in the courts and government agencies to achieve their goals. Sure, Obama was raised by Communist red-doper diaper babies, but Putin, he was a KGB man himself!

    I think we have to do a better job in explaining what it means to be on the Left and what it really means to be on the right.. We have to understand what it means to be a radical and what it means to be on the left or on the right because they are not the same thing. As Glenn Beck keeps saying we need to do our homework on this because it will help people understand what’s going on.

    The left is defined by big government “socialist” economic views and the right is the opposition to such a thing. The right is more reliant on tradition and autonomy aka self-reliance. This is why it was such a BIG LIE to claim that Mussolini and Hitler were right wingers; Mussolini wanted the state to have final say and control over businesses and Nazi is short for the German Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei which stands for “National Socialist German Workers Party.”

    So what about the terms radical and conservative? A radical is a sort of rebel while a conservative is more of a person who wants to protect things as they are. For instance, a KGB agent in the totalitarian USSR would fit the description of conservative, but if this agent was on American soil he would be considered radical because the supreme law of the US frames and defines a system of limited government and free enterprise. That’s the US constitution which defines a people who have a government in order that it doesn’t become the other way around: a government which controls a people.

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