Our beloved Secretary of State John Kerry has denounced Russia’s RT network as a “propaganda bullhorn” that Americans should ignore.  “The Russia Today network is wicked-evil,” Kerry seemed to say. “Do not watch it.”
I still can’t get over Kerry having publicly denounced Russia Today. What does Kerry expect, that Americans will decide that beloved Kerry’s words are heedworthy? My guess is that Kerry handed Russia Today a ratings boost.
Russia Today has a web site, of course: RT.com. But the network is like a Russian version of CNN. The trick is, how do conspiracy theorists tune in, now that John Kerry has alerted them not to watch? A way I’ve found is to attach an inexpensive device called “Roku” to my TV set, then hook in to the WiFi. From there you can add, at no extra charge, RT to your subscribed channels.
Anyway, I have been enjoying the Russia Today broadcasts for about a year now, and have come to recognize some of their familiar faces. But searching the names of various RT news people returned little substantial information. Who were these people giving me an alternative perspective on the news?
In September 2013 I described one of the Russia Today people, Maria Finoshina, as wearing a blue “press” helmet in Syria and reporting courageously with bullets flying in the background. (Heroic Deeds of Maria Finoshina, Ersjdamoo’s Blog entry of September 16, 2013.)
On May 7, 2014 I mentioned Gayane Chichakyan and how she got “dissed” by State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki at a press briefing. Chichakyan seems like a serious, studious type of person. She is apparently based in Washington, DC. (Obama “Boxed In” About Ukraine?, Ersjdamoo’s Blog entry of May 7, 2014.)
Paula Slier, another of the Russia Today reporters, is another of these “danger is my middle name” sorts, like Maria Finoshina. Slier, like Finoshina, reports live from the hot spots. She has said she loves doing live reports and even said, “If I have to die, I would like it to be during a live broadcast.” (Let’s hope she does not get her wish, at least not for many years.) Slier is originally from South Africa, based on her saying her parents live there. She has a twitter feed, http://twitter.com/PaulaSlier_RT, via which she distributes frequent news updates.
Another of the live “hot spot” reporters for Russia Today is Graham Phillips. He has a blog at http://grahamwphillips.com/. What is the exact nature of his relationship with Russia? Writes Phillips: “My feelings about Russia are 2 things – 1. A country which deserves respect because of its culture, people, history. 2. A very nice place to have a holiday. I’ve been twice, 2009 and 2011.” Graham Phillips has recently had a $10,000 bounty placed on his life, presumably by neo-Nazis in Kiev who want him dead.
Russia Today reporter Peter Oliver seems like an outgoing, happy-go-lucky type of person. He reported live from Kiev during the February 2014 upheaval there. Above you (hopefully) have an embedded video of Oliver braving ice-cold waters for an “Epiphany dip.”
Also covering the February 2014 Kiev upheaval was Russia Today reporter Egor Piskunov. On February 20, 2014, Piskunov narrowly avoided being shot by a sniper. Had Piskunov been standing where he was about to do a live broadcast, he might have been killed. “Our cameraman has just been targeted while filming out of the window of our hotel. 3 shots fired. Thank god they missed,” tweeted Piskunov on February 20th. 
These are some of the brave people of the Russia Today news network. The list is not exhaustive and I apologize for not mentioning everyone. A video offering a behind-the-scenes look at the Russia Today reporters is hopefully embedded at the top of this blog entry.
——- Sources ——-
 “Kerry’s Propaganda War on Russia’s RT”, by Ray McGovern. ConsortiumNews, April 30, 2014. http://consortiumnews.com/2014/04/30/kerrys-propaganda-war-on-russias-rt/
 “RT crews under fire, armed rioters take over hotel, fire from windows in Kiev”, Russia Today, February 20, 2014. http://on.rt.com/xkt9hb