Mar 11, 2022 • 47M

RT's Afshin Rattansi on Ukraine and Censorship

Open in playerListen on);

Appears in this episode

Matt Taibbi
Katie Halper
Useful Idiots is an informative and irreverent politics podcast with journalist Matt Taibbi and podcaster/writer Katie Halper. Episodes feature on-the-road coverage of the 2020 campaign and exclusive interviews, with humor, commentary and dissection of the politics news of the week. Join Matt and Katie as they examine important stories that have slipped through the cracks and what the media got wrong – and laugh about whatever is left to laugh about.
Episode details

Click here for the extended episode, including the full interview with Afshin Rattansi. And don’t miss Aaron’s take on The Young Turks meltdown over him.

Afshin Rattansi’s show Going Underground is becoming harder and harder to see as the US, UK, and EU have all censored the RT. But Afshin has some good news for viewers:

“With a VPN, you can always say you don’t live in unfree places like the US or Europe or Britain, and say you live in Pyongyang where there is freedom to watch it.”

Rattansi, whose channel RT is attacked as pro-Russia propaganda, regularly calls out the Russian invasion and has guests who condemn Russian aggression. But that doesn’t fit with the western narrative for the channel, so we don’t actually get to see him. If only we lived in North Korea.

In this interview, we examine the problems that led to the crisis in Ukraine and how world leaders dangerously get history wrong.

“Scholars only talk about Putin and Putin’s mind. This is corollary to the idea that WWII was about Adolph Hitler and not the Treaty of Versailles and the impoverishment of the German people after the war of reparations.”

Without understanding the structures around leaders, like the hawkish state department and Russian Duma, “we’re in the realm of Marvel comics and Hollywood individual good and evil.”

This individualism is what leads people to blindly call for a no-fly zone, which sounds good in terms of good-against-evil, but in reality, will only cause more destruction.

Or, as Rattansi puts it: “It’ll be the end of the earth.”

In this episode of Useful Idiots, we analyze no-fly zones, media censorship, and the path to peace in Ukraine. And we get treated to a very fun letter from Donald Trump.

It’s all this, and more, on this week’s episode of Useful Idiots. Check it out.