Saturday, July 1, 2017

DC Radio: Russian Propaganda Airing On 105.5 FM

The Russian state-sponsored news outlet Sputnik has entered the Washington, D.C., radio market in an effort to push back against what it called "constant attacks" by U.S. media companies.

According to The Hill, Sputnik Radio announced Friday that it has taken over 105.5 FM W288BS Reston VA/Washington DC , which previously aired bluegrass music.  The transdlator is being fed via Radio One's WKYS 93.,9 FM HD3.

In a statement, Mindia Gavasheli, the editor-in-chief of Sputnik's D.C. bureau, accused U.S. news organizations of unfairly attacking and criticizing the news outlet, which is funded by the Russian government.

"We’re glad to finally be able to directly address our listeners in Washington. During the last few months Sputnik Radio has become the target of constant attacks in the US corporate media," Gavasheli said. "And often the people who wrote or spoke about us didn’t even bother to listen to our broadcasts first."

Sputnik was launched by Rossiya Segodnya, a Russian state-run news service, in 2014 and has been accused in the U.S. of being a propaganda tool of the Kremlin.

The is reporting Sputnik is currently in talks with potential hosts and producers about a D.C. morning drive show, programming right now in the mornings is largely international news coming from Moscow and Edinburgh, two other cities with Sputnik newsrooms. D.C. is Sputnik's only U.S. outpost for now, and employs about 40 people, Gavasheli says.

At noon on weekdays, the three-hour progressive radio show "The Thom Hartmann Program" plays (Hartmann also has a daily television show on RT America), followed by "By Any Means Necessary," a show about social justice movements hosted by Eugene Puryear, a D.C. based activist.
At 4 p.m., "Fault Lines" comes on, with Lee Stranahan, a former Breitbart reporter, and Garland Nixon, a progressive. Gavasheli describes it as a "Crossfire-style" show where "they yell at each other and argue about things." Then, at 5 p.m., Brian Becker of the ANSWER Coalition hosts a show called "Loud and Clear With Brian Becker," which covers international issues.

"We don't do our shows on weekends, so Moscow produces most of the content on the weekends," Gavasheli said.

The Bluegrass Country station that previously resided on 105.5 remains on WAMU 88.5 FM HD2 and streaming online, or via their phone app.

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