Mitchell Polman, thedailybeast.com
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Fortune 500 companies are selling their products on pro-Kremlin channels that traffic in black stereotypes and anti-Americanism.
There has been much discussion in Washington about how best to counter the Kremlin’s propaganda efforts. Much of the debate has focused on increasing funding to counter it through Voice of America and Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe. There has also been talk of trying to ban the ineffectual RT (formerly Russia Today) television network in the U.S., which is constitutionally dubious and would do nothing to affect Russian public opinion. There has been no discussion at all surrounding the ad dollars that American and European companies pour into the Russian media that in turn makes the propaganda campaign possible in the first place.
Without those ad dollars it would be difficult for Russian media to function. Nor has there been any examination of media business deals. Perhaps it is time to examine whether the sanctions regime should be strengthened to shut-off the Western advertising money spigot for the Kremlin propaganda machine provided advertisers themselves don’t do it first.