Up your politically correct American ass

Determined to see the old decade out with a bang, Russia Today, the Kremlin’s pricey answer to CNN and known to its detractors as “North Korean TV,” rolled out a series of provocative ads across the UK. And by provocative I mean that they conflated Obama’s image with Ahmadinejad’s and asked “Who poses the greater nuclear threat?” Also by provocative I mean this, which appeared during the Copenhagen talks just a few hundred miles away:


But Russia Today, whose operating budget is filled directly from the Kremlin’s coffers and which strives to provide a counterweight to perceived anti-Russian bias abroad, was not satisfied to stay in England and looked West. In the US, however, its ambitions were duly blocked until it produced this, toned-down version, which I encountered in DC’s National Airport on Friday morning:



This, in some ways, is even more fitting for the American market, given Russian perceptions that Americans are obsessed with — and paralyzed by — political correctness, a concept that denotes only hypocrisy and weakness in Russia. Touché, Kremlin. Touché.

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6 Responses to Up your politically correct American ass

  1. Pingback: Tangible Motion

  2. Ethan Epstein says:

    Thanks for posting this. I saw an ad in the Frankfurt (germany) airport earlier this year for RT that seemed interested in promoting it as a normal, “objective” news channel. “Learn more about Russia” or some such empty bromide was the tag line…

    Glad to see its not so shy anymore. I admire the anti-PC middle finger it represents — if not the regime it backs.

  3. Neal Ungerleider says:

    Great piece, Julia. I am currently writing an academic piece on RT and am consistently fascinated by their advertising. IIRC they hired a double-decker bus filled with Russian Father Christmases to drive through the streets of NYC to promote the launch of Russia Today in NYC. Great publicity stunts all, even if the actual content of the channel is often stultifying.

    • Julia Ioffe says:

      It’s certainly an interesting strategy on their part, though it bespeaks a larger Russian approach especially when it comes to foreign policy or Russia’s image abroad: form always trumps content.

  4. Pingback: Supreme Court ruling means get used to campaign ads from Mother Russia - Michael Roston - Newsbroke - True/Slant

  5. Pingback: On gays and other perverts - Julia Ioffe - The Moscow Diaries - True/Slant

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