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Conspiracy Theory, Russian and American Style: A Tale of Two 9-11s

By Ira Straus  Posted by Andreas Umland (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 6 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   17 comments

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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 10/9/09

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One of the wonders of the digital age is the ability to travel around the world's national news shows by a mere tap of the TV remote. On 9-11 the news shows from country after country were remembering the mass terrorist attack on America in 2001. They were all in basic sympathy with America. Except one -- Russia Today (RT).

Flipping the channel to RT, I found myself in a different universe. A universe of anti-American conspiracy theories. A show about whether to believe 9-11 was an inside job by the American Government.

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One should give RT credit: at least it's different. Not for RT the me-too journalism of the respectable Western daily papers. More like the supermarket tabloids with the Aliens Sighted headlines.

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And sadly, more like Russian domestic TV.

Conspiracy theory is something RT is providing more and more often, not just for 9-11. On just about any American topic in the news, RT pops up with a conspiracy theory. One with American Power always as the central conspirator.

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It reflects habits nourished under Russia's long history of authoritarian regimes. The regimes often made radical plans in secret, plans that amounted to conspiracies against their own people, massacring large swathes of their own societies. After generations of that kind of thing, it is not surprising Russians suspect conspiracies might be lurking around the corner everywhere. And then there are the conspiracy theories spun by the Russian regimes themselves, branding those who disagree with them as demons conspiring to drag Russia down into the abyss, or spies conspiring with foreigners against Russia.

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============================================================================== Andreas Umland, CertTransl (Leipzig), MA (Stanford), MPhil (Oxford), DipPolSci, DrPhil (FU Berlin), PhD (Cambridge). Visiting fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution (more...)

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