The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘I’d Had Enough of the Insanity’

Posted on | March 13, 2014 | 77 Comments

Inside the madhouse of Kremlin-funded Russia Today:

Staci Bivens knew something was seriously wrong when her bosses at Russia Today asked her to put together a story alleging that Germany — Europe’s economic powerhouse — was a failed state.
“It was me and two managers and they had already discussed what they wanted,” Bivens, an American who worked in RT’s Moscow headquarters from 2009 through 2011, said of a meeting she’d had to discuss the segment before a planned reporting trip to Germany. “They called me in and it was really surreal. One of the managers said, ‘The story is that the West is failing, Germany is a failed state.’”
Bivens, who had spent time in Germany, told the managers the story wasn’t true — the term “failed state” is reserved for countries that fail to provide basic government services, like Somalia or Congo, not for economically advanced, industrialized nations like Germany. They insisted. Bivens refused. RT flew a crew to Germany ahead of Bivens, who was flown in later to do a few standups and interviews about racism in Germany. It was the beginning of the end of her RT career.
“At that point I’d been there for a little bit and I’d had enough of the insanity,” Bivens said. She stayed until the end of her contract in 2011 and didn’t make an effort to renew it.
Judging by interviews with seven former and current employees, Bivens’ story is typical. RT, the global English-language news network funded by the Russian government, has come into the spotlight since the Russian invasion of Crimea, which the network has defended tooth-and-nail. The invasion has led to two high-profile rebellions within the ranks: first, an on-air condemnation of the invasion by RT America host Abby Martin, followed days later by the live resignation of another host, Liz Wahl. Martin, who hosts an opinion show, said that Russia’s actions were wrong; Wahl, a news anchor, went one step further, saying that she could not work at a network that found Russia’s actions acceptable.
The public shake-up and skewed coverage of Ukraine has pulled aside RT’s curtain, exposing the network’s propaganda apparatus, which relies on a number of Western reporters and producers. . . .

Read the rest by Rosie Gray at BuzzFeed. (Yes, I know — everybody hates BuzzFeed, but this is a good story.)



77 Responses to “‘I’d Had Enough of the Insanity’”

  1. Esther Williams
    March 14th, 2014 @ 2:40 pm

    I understand your confusion; these are confusing times.

    Re: socialism, here’s Putin’s speech at Davos 2009 criticizing socialism:

    In case you’ve been in a cave for the last five years, the marxist ideologue waging war against Christianity, against the family, and against free enterprise isn’t Vlad Putin.

  2. WarEagle82
    March 14th, 2014 @ 2:49 pm

    I’ll send both of those links to my Russian History professors. I’m sure they will find them interesting…


  3. WarEagle82
    March 14th, 2014 @ 2:49 pm

    You haven’t put forth any facts. You have made some incredibly stupid statements. But that is not the same as putting forth “facts.”

  4. K-Bob
    March 14th, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

    Ba-Dump…all week…veal.

  5. WarEagle82
    March 14th, 2014 @ 2:53 pm



    In case you have been in a cave for several years, VLAD PUTIN IS the COMMIE THUG invading the free and sovereign neighboring state named Ukraine!

  6. Esther Williams
    March 14th, 2014 @ 2:53 pm

    Here, for example is a brief introduction to the factions from the Russian civil war, including a brief introduction to the differences between the Red Army Bolshevik Soviets and the anti-Bolshevik White Army forces.

    As you can see, the Russian flag today is the White Army flag of the anti-Bolshevik, anti-communist forces.

    Know your history.

  7. WarEagle82
    March 14th, 2014 @ 2:55 pm

    Yes, and you are certainly confused by something.

    Tell me how long you lived in the FSU? I know it is true. I saw it.

  8. Esther Williams
    March 14th, 2014 @ 2:55 pm

    Well, the marxist ideologue waging war against our sacred Constitution isn’t Vlad Putin.

  9. WarEagle82
    March 14th, 2014 @ 3:16 pm

    Well, just so we have our Marxist thugs and targets identified. I don’t recall anyone stating Vlad was directly attacking the US Constitution.

    The point here is that the Marxist THUG named Vlad IS attacking freedom in Russian and Ukraine and has launched an invasion of Ukraine and even the left-wing idiots who took jobs at RT have finally figured this out.

    You, on the other hand, seem to be fascinated by early 20th century flags and making apologies for Vlad Putin…

  10. Esther Williams
    March 14th, 2014 @ 3:43 pm

    At least two of your facts are wrong.

    1 – Banning sodomite propaganda, as the Russians have done, isn’t “attacking freedom”
    2 – There has been no “invasion of Ukraine”

    On the other hand, there has been a successful coup against the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Yanukovych.

    Me personally, I harbour no ethnic or religious grudge against the Russians and I strongly agree with the pro-family, pro-Christian, and anti-socialist policies that Russia puts forth today.

  11. WarEagle82
    March 14th, 2014 @ 4:14 pm

    Never said anything about first point. You seem to be hung up on that.

    Your second point is simply, objectively and verifiably FALSE. There are Russian military forces occupying the sovereign territory of the Ukraine. That territory is called Crimea.

    Furthermore, Russian troops are now massing on the Russian-Ukrainian border. The Russian government has indicated they are doing so. It is NOT because they fear Ukraine will invade Russia.

    We need to let the people of Ukraine work out Ukraine’s political issues. Vlad’s invasion of Ukraine is contrary to international law. See Hitler, Austria and Czechoslovakia, 1938 and 1939 for historical background.

    Russia routinely violates the rights of Russian Christians. If you knew anything of Russia you would know this. I have seen it first-hand.


  12. Quartermaster
    March 14th, 2014 @ 4:21 pm

    What you have put forth is irrelevant. The flag doesn’t matter. The way Putin is behaving is what matters. The flag he waves doesn’t matter a bit.

  13. Quartermaster
    March 14th, 2014 @ 4:29 pm

    If you think that’s a compliment, then you are far more ignorant than even I thought.

  14. WarEagle82
    March 14th, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

    Don’t say that about flags. It appears to be a soothing mechanism and if you poke the flag-bearer bad things may happen.

  15. Esther Williams
    March 14th, 2014 @ 4:34 pm

    The flag matters because of the history. There are very, very deep religious and ethnic hatreds in that part of the world and those are the impelling forces behind those conflicts.

    It’s always struck me as odd that folks are so stand-off-ish when it comes to learning about history.

    We need to understand the history.

  16. Bob Belvedere
    March 14th, 2014 @ 6:05 pm

    Apparently, you got early release from the Funny Farm.

  17. Bob Belvedere
    March 14th, 2014 @ 6:13 pm

    ‘Esther Williams’ is just the ‘Socialism Is Evil’ fool using a third name.

  18. Bob Belvedere
    March 14th, 2014 @ 6:18 pm

    Of course, Esther Of The Many Names gets even the flag thing wrong: the current flag of Russia is the Imperial Russian Flag…

  19. Bob Belvedere
    March 14th, 2014 @ 6:20 pm


  20. WarEagle82
    March 14th, 2014 @ 7:21 pm

    I agree that you need to learn history! You have that Russian Imperial flag down, at least in your mind. But you seem to want to confuse it with the Soviet Army flag, or the Russian Army flat but you do seem to know it isn’t the flag of the Soviet Union.

    The FORCES behind the Russian INVASION of the Ukraine is the NATIONALISTIC and IMPERIALISTIC dreams of one Vladimr Putin.

    Those of us who have actually studied HISTORY aren’t quite so “stand-off-sh” when it comes to history. We do get a little annoyed by BLATANT PROPAGANDISTS pretending and presuming to EDUCATE the GREAT UNWASHED MASSES about their TWISTED VIEW OF HISTORY.

  21. JeffS
    March 14th, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

    He’s a tyrant in thugs clothing. At that end of the political spectrum, there’s no difference. It’s all about grabbing the most terrain for your ideology.

  22. JeffS
    March 14th, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

    Yup. A concern troll apologizing for a commie thug.

    I’d say the mind boggles, but Anamika has returned. So I’m holding that in reserve,

  23. Esther Williams
    March 14th, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

    The following are the facts:

    – There has been no invasion of Ukraine
    – The democratically elected president of Ukraine was forcefully ousted in an illegal coup
    – The Russian presence on Crimea is within existing treaty specifications

    IMO, obviously, the Russian aligned people of Eastern Ukraine have every right to self-determination and alignment with Russia, if they so choose.

    Furthermore, there’s no serious, legitimate reason to force the Russians and Ukrainians to live together in an untenable ethnic situation not that much different from what’s found in the Balkans.

  24. Bob Belvedere
    March 14th, 2014 @ 10:17 pm

    You were always a wise man, Jeff.

  25. Quartermaster
    March 15th, 2014 @ 9:51 am

    You still haven’t shown why the flag is relevant against the way Putin is acting. History is important, but it is important in the context of what Putin is doing. The flag matters not.

  26. Esther Williams
    March 15th, 2014 @ 11:00 am

    My point about the flag is simply to differentiate terms like the Soviet Union and the Red Army from Russia today. Russia now isn’t the Soviet Union and its army isn’t the Red Army.

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