In Canadian Politics, International, National Security

Recently, after I had spent several weeks in Russia, I received an interview request from Worlds Apart a geopolitical analysis program airing weekly on RT.

The host of Worlds Apart, Oksana Boyko, wanted to discuss the concept of citizen diplomacy, as well as my reasons for coming to Russia in a time of war.

Anticipating that I would be criticized in Canada for appearing on RT, I nonetheless accepted the invitation.

Worlds Apart has just published the interview. Titled “One Handshake at a Time?”, the interview can be viewed here.

RT is an international  news television network funded by the Russian government, just as the CBC is funded by the Canadian government.

In the past 15 years, I have accepted interview requests from the CBC on many occasions, although virtually all of those interview requests related either to my work as a class actions lawyer or to my activities within the Green Party of Canada. The CBC has shown virtually no interest in speaking with me about international affairs or Canadian government foreign policy.

Some may argue that the CBC is a truly objective news network, whereas RT is a propaganda organ of the Russian state. I strongly disagree. Undoubtedly, RT’s editorial posture is aligned with the objectives of the Russian government, but it is also true that the CBC’s editorial posture is aligned with the objectives of the Canadian government.

The CBC’s Western neoconservative bias is amply demonstrated by the fact that it frequently provides a platform to David Frum, the former speechwriter for George W. Bush, and John Bolton, the former National Security Adviser of Donald Trump.

As Bush’s speechwriter, Frum coined the phrase “axis of evil” and helped lie the United States into Bush’s criminal war of aggression on Iraq.

Bolton is a bloodthirsty war criminal.

Neither of them should be given a platform by Canada’s national broadcaster. Not only does the CBC provide them with a platform, but its hosts generally treat Frum and Bolton with a level of respect that borders on sycophancy.

Furthermore, notwithstanding the pro-Russian government bias of RT, RT has provided a platform to some outstanding Western journalists whom the Western corporate media have shunned.

One such journalist is Chris Hedges. Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent who once served as the Middle East Bureau Chief of the New York Times. In 2005. the Times formally reprimanded Hedges for criticizing the criminal invasion of Iraq. Shortly thereafter, Hedges resigned from the Times. From 2016 to 2022, Hedges hosted a program, On Contact, on RT America. Shortly after Russia’s invasion began in February 2022, RT America was shut down. All of its 120 employees were laid off. On March 27, 2022, YouTube removed the entire archive of six years of On Contact from its platform, without any notice or explanation.

Another fearless American journalist to whom RT provided a platform was Abby Martin. Martin helped found the citizen journalism website Media Roots. She serves on the board of directors for the Media Freedom Foundation, which manages Project Censored. She hosted an RT America program, Breaking the Set, from 2013 to 2016. When RT America was shut down last year, Martin wrote on Twitter:

The shuttering of RT America is devastating news. It was one of the only alternatives to US centric corporate domination of our airwaves & it gave unmatched platforms to consistent anti-war voices like Lee Camp, Chris Hedges & myself. I had a show on RT America for three years. I had the editorial freedom to criticize Russia many times & was never told what to do or say. The cartoonish depiction of the network is false & it’s grotesque to cheer on censorship of voices that need exposure. The US establishment grossly exaggerated the impact of Russian propaganda to absolve its own political failures for years & was clamoring to eliminate RT because it featured forbidden viewpoints, not because it had real influence. Every country’s state media is biased for their government. RT is obvious but US has a much more sophisticated propaganda apparatus. 5 corporations that control almost all US news are dutiful stenographers for American exceptionalism, capitalism & imperialism…

In the West today, no major news organization is unbiased, particularly in questions of geopolitics and war. Moreover, whatever a news organization’s bias may be, every news organization has an audience. The point of accepting interview requests is to reach that audience, not to promote the editorial posture of the news organization. No one on RT has ever attempted to restrict what I can and cannot say in its interviews of me. As long as I am free to speak my mind to its audience, there is no sound reason for me to reject its interview requests.

The first time that RT interviewed me was in 2019. At the time, I was in Caracas, Venezuela, covering the now failed and discredited attempt by Western governments to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and replace him with Juan Guaido, a marginal figure who has never won election to the Venezuelan Presidency. At the time, RT wanted to talk to me about what I had learned about the political crisis in Venezuela. While I was in Venezuela, no mainstream Western media organization extended to me a similar invitation. Had any such organization done so, I would have accepted the invitation without hesitation.

A final note: RT did not offer to me any compensation for this or any other interview I have given to RT. Had RT offered to me any such compensation, I would have refused it.

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Showing 10 comments
  • James Lane

    It’s past due time for you to sit and chat with RFK Jr and discuss the future of North America in a post Biden/Trudeau era. Hell, Bobby Jr is putting his neck on the line, maybe Canada will wake up enough to see you too?

  • Lonsky

    Again, you are so right; occidental “intellectuals” criticize RT for the same reason there adversaries may criticize CBC/RC (stated found/aligned state medias)…The same for censorship…They criticize the adversary one’s but not taking into account the one that exist here! In summary, the most dangerous propaganda is the one that convince you there is no propaganda at all in your country! Hopefully, there are still some courageous voices from independent medias that are still looking for truth…

  • John Partyka

    I’m proud of you bro. – Pistola

  • Peter Wilson

    Thanks for showing the world that there is at least one non warmongering political celebrity from Canada.
    Thanks for the handshakes!
    Full support for your mission.

  • Jim Christiansen

    Thanks for your words of support for RT. I have watched since at least Abby Martin’s time there.
    I was disappointed that it disappeared from my cable lineup. I was shocked when the US government intimidated RT America to close. I still watch the Moscow-based version but the America version produced excellent programming. Not forgetting RT UK which was also shut down by the government.
    The integrity you show here is why I joined the Green Party to support you for leader.
    Keep seeking the truth!

  • Peter Wilson

    Hear Hear to the comment on Dimitri’s integrity!
    The only sane political figure on the Canadian scene!
    The Green Party of Canada has lost its integrity by supporting war and weapons shipments,abrogating the non-violence clause in its Charter.
    Sinophobia and Russophobia are the order of the day.
    What happened to fighting or rather, adapting to Climate Change?

  • Gregory Gillis

    Agree with all the great comments. I too joined the Green Party to support Dimitri’s leadership bid! Thank you for representing a sane Canadian voice as the rest of the warmongers in Canada’s parliament line up to show deference to Mr. Biden the number 1 warmonger of our time.

  • YesXorNo

    Mr. Lascaris,

    I have published what could be described as an anti-hitpiece on you. I inform you of its publication as a courtesy.

    If you find any technical error (especially!) or comment which you believe to be inaccurate in the description I make of your intentions, particularly of your current tour of the Russian Federation, please use the email attached to this message to inform me where I have erred.

    Regards, YesXorNo

    • Dimitri Lascaris

      Thank you for letting me know about your article and for your kind words. I hope our paths meet one day. Peace, Dimitri

  • James Lane

    Highly commendable Dimitri. I have applauded your efforts for several years, never losing sight of the immense stumbling blocks laid in your path. I have no doubts that you will continue down that same route towards peace and justice with the integrity you have thus far displayed. Dare I mention the raw deal of the Green Party of Canada’s leadership voting methodology. One needs only to look where the majority of the membership resides to understand the wherefore and the why of the election results. Sadly, the Greens are still the best party to vote for in Canada, what does that say about our country? A steady fall from grace.

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