Why I Talk to the Russians
After the news broke that Russian hackers targeted minority voters in favor of Trump during the 2016 election I had to pause the more than year long relationship I had with RT America, the American news channel paid in part by the Russian government.
I asked myself, "Am I being used for Russian propaganda?" I don't know Russian. Who knows how my words were translated to make me a potential Russian puppet.
RT America airs internationally. Eight hours are in Russian, eight hours in French, and eight in English - each time hitting the prime-time hours in each timezone. The channel plays in over 1,000 markets worldwide.
As an American was it treasonous? Was it dangerous?
I took time to research Russian history, allegations, and otherwise to make a wise decision. l was aware of Russian atrocities only via the media and rumor but not by my own research. What I found were actions that were not too different than some of America's own atrocities. I didn't feel like I was in a position to judge.
I also thought about the likelihood that despite their other interest, Russians, and people around the world may legitimately be interested in the opinions of Americans like myself. My appearance is often a segment where the hosts addresses political hot topics with individuals representing both sides of the aisle. Although I am more independent leaning, I appeared starkly liberal compared to the people I cannot see on the other side of the camera.
Finally, I considered my appearances on American stations. Fox New Channel, MSNBC, and other stations often "screened" my statements and would only put me on if my previewed talking points fit their narrative. RT simply sent me the topic and let me say whatever I wanted during my segment. They never guided my thoughts or edited my statements.
I even tested the notion and discussed on RT the allegations against Russia and their collusion with Trump. And not once did they stop inviting me to come back or ask me to hold back on my opinions of the Russian government. I did note an uptick in invites after being harsh on Trump on any given segment. And well ... who can be mad at that.
After prayer and lots of thought ... I decided that like all things and people, there are actually people interested in opposing views. RT welcomed my views and my authentic self. As long as I am not censored, I should continue.
Frankly, I need non-Americans to know how much we dislike our President and how he does not represent ALL OF US!
I appear on RT America every Thursday at 5pm and I am glad to be able to continue.