Guardian Watch, Kit, latest, Russia, USA

Neo-McCarthyism in the Media: Donald Trump, Larry King and RT

by Kit

Larry King is an old man now, 82, and has been doing interviews for decades, including 25 years doing his nightly show “Larry King Live” on CNN. He has interviewed actors, politicians, athletes, moguls, singers, soldiers and scientists, won countless awards, received half a dozen honorary degrees and done charity work all over the United States.

And now he broadcasts on RT.

This has always been a sticky issue for the MSM, who try so desperately to portray RT as some kind of neo-pravda propaganda mouthpiece, as opposed to a state funded news service akin to the BBC. He is a respected figure in the industry, and by the general public, and to attack him for his presence on RT would only draw attention it. So, for the most part, they don’t mention it.

But now he has interviewed Donald Trump (see above video), and the Clinton campaign’s bizarrely desperate need to paint Trump as some kind of Manchurian Candidate means that Larry King’s and Donald Trump’s presence on RT is now centre-stage in the MSM.

The Guardian, in their “Politics live blog”, describe it thus:

Donald Trump has done a call-in interview for Russian propaganda outlet RT, which used to stand for Russia Today, slamming the US media and criticizing US foreign policy.

Now, most reasonable people would, at this point, say “So what? What difference does it make what TV channel he was on?” But this is a country where RT is literally listed alongside ISIS and Boko Haram as a threat, because they “push a point of view.”

There’s no discussion of the content of the interview, only accusations of “coziness with Russia”, which is alarmingly retrograde language.

They do at least make this concession:

In Trump’s defense, the interview was with eternal TV host Larry King, an old Trump pal and probably not a fifth columnist

Even if this is sarcasm, the very idea that the term “fifth columnist” can now be thrown around simply because somebody appears on Russian TV network is ridiculous. The ramping up of old-style, cold war thought patterns in the news media is continuing apace.

The Trump campaign later attempted to distance itself from the network, claiming they did not know which channel the interview would be aired on. The very fact they felt the need to do this is indicative of the anti-Russian hysteria that is sweeping American media, and Western media in General. It is both absurd, and dangerous.

In an advert for his RT show, Politicking with Larry King said:

I would rather ask questions to people in positions of power, instead of speaking on their behalf.”

Such a position is apparently unacceptable in the mainstream media.


  1. Alan says

    RT as all state broadcasters receives state funding. Not sure why the author infers a difference to the BBC, both are an arm of their respective governments. Mr Trump, an accused liar interviewed by Mr King, an accused liar, upon a news service that is seldom critical of the state that funds it. We can draw our own conclusions.

    • Secret Agent says

      My conclusion is that based on the available evidence, RT is a better news source than any of the Western outlets. It’s not a matter of he said she said. You can verify what people are saying.

  2. Kathleen Lowrey says

    Is it working? It doesn’t look like it is working. I get lots of emails from left organizing groups who assume that as a former Sanders supporter I’m a Clinton supporter and recently they’ve been extremely alarmed about her poll numbers. Donald Trump is a disaster but he’s a disaster the Democrats made — anyone willing to behave halfway sincerely on the side of the 99% would win in a landslide and the Clintons can’t do it convincingly anymore — neither one of them. Look at Obama, who did extremely well for that reason (in the same way that Clinton used to, when we had figured out less about him, back in the day). But the Democrats did everything they could to destroy Sanders, and now they are trying to portray Trump as a secret agent for another country despite the fact that he is popular precisely because he is quite genuinely a dopey hamfisted America Firster. I guess they think trying to suggest his bigotry is fake bigotry will undermine him? It’s so contemptuous of the electorate — a strategy that says, “we know you all are racist idiots, and we are going to suggest to you your favourite guy is only PRETENDING to be a racist idiot like you, so then you’ll vote for me as the debunker of fake racist idiots on behalf of real racist idiots (that’s you, by the way, in case you forgot)”.

    • Seamus Padraig says

      I agree with you, Kathleen. I think Hillary’s way overdone it, and that, as a consequence, the Democrats could now be cruising towards an electoral disaster of real historic significance–even if none of her other scandals sink her. The constant ranting and raving against ‘Russian agents under the bed’ sounds really paranoid and desparate … and I thought that I was the conspiracy here!

Comments are closed.