RT, the Russian international television network funded by the Russian government, has complied with a request from the Department of Justice that it register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
In response to the network’s registration, the Congressional Radio and TV Correspondents’ Gallery officially revoked RT’s credentials on Capitol Hill.
“The rules of the Galleries state clearly that news credentials may not be issued to any applicant employed by any ‘foreign government or representative thereof,” Craig Caplan, chairman of the Radio-Television Correspondents’ Association, wrote in a letter to RT. “Upon its registration as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registrations Act (FARA), RT Network became ineligible to hold news credentials.”
The RTCA Executive Committee voted unanimously to revoke the credentials of the RT Network on Nov 21, 2017: https://t.co/bbAGMKKwKh
— RTCA, Capitol Hill (@rtcacaphill) November 29, 2017
The network countered the RTCA decision in part by questioning the status of Japanese news agency NHK. RT stated they had received assurances from the State Department that FARA registration would not affect its operations. They also claimed other “foreign agent” networks such as Japan’s NHK held Congressional press accreditation.
RT’s editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan slammed the RTCA decision, stating that it “looks like only RT is denied congressional accreditation on the basis of FARA status, while the likes of NHK and China Daily carry on business as usual, and US officials continue to claim that the forced FARA registration for RT America’s operating company isn’t at all discriminatory.”
The RTCA executive committee responded in an email statement that this is not true.
“In a widely reported response to our decision, RT has questioned the accreditation status of NHK, Japan’s largest publicly-funded broadcast outlet and a longtime Gallery member, asserting they, too, have registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This is not accurate. The company in question, NHK Cosmomedia America, Inc., is a separate entity that has never been issued credentials by the Congressional Radio-TV Correspondents’ Galleries”
The Foreign Agents Registration Act was created prior to World War II to prevent foreign propaganda from swaying the American public, particularly Nazi disinformation in the 1930s.