NEW YORK- A new study by the Institute for Obscure Media has found that the most regular consumers of news from the Russian outlets RT and Sputnik are Western pundits who write about “Kremlin disinformation.” According to the study, this segment consists of about two dozen individuals.
“We found a strong correlation between those who said they consume RT and Sputnik ‘very frequently,’ and those who answered ‘strongly agree’ to the statement ‘I believe Russia is waging a hybrid information war to destroy the West, and I must warn them about it, though my words often go unheeded, not unlike those of Cassandra in The Iliad,'” said Dr. Steven Kleiner, who conducted the study.
Dr. Kleiner said that all such respondents listed their occupation as journalist, commentator, info-warrior, or “patriot.”
“All other respondents said they’d only seen maybe ‘a couple of their videos on Youtube,'” Kleiner said.
According to the survey, the most common response was “What is RT?”
Eric MacGruder, one of the survey’s participants and a self-proclaimed “Anti-Active Measures Operative” since late November 2016, explained how he started watching RT and Sputnik “religiously” after the presidential election, which he says was rigged by the Russians.
“Of course I watch a lot of RT,” MacGruder said. “They put coded messages into a lot of the programs. These are cues to their operatives in the US and other Western countries.”
MacGruder explained that the cues are “number codes which can be deciphered using certain mathematical algorithms.” He claims his knowledge of QBasic helped him create a special program which operates on those algorithms in order to decode the messages he gets from RT.
Jan Novak from the Czech Republic was another respondent who said that he “constantly” watches RT and Sputnik as part of his job, which is aspiring director of a new European-based anti-propaganda think tank.
“Oh sure, some people say we have enough of those already, enough fact checking organizations and so-forth, but we need more, or at least one more with someone like me in charge,” Novak said, while typing up a grant proposal on his PC.
“People who say that we are exaggerating about the threat of Russian information war are basically saying Russia’s not a threat at all. They’re saying that Russia’s harmless and Putin is a wonderful leader. That’s the only possible conclusion you can draw from any objection to my claims whatsoever. I am a sane, rational person.”
RT frequently boasts about its high number of views on Youtube, which currently stands at 5 billion views if you combine all the videos on all the Youtube channels the network runs. This is only 11 billion fewer views than PewDiePie, an adult male who screams at video games while occasionally being a flaming racist. Currently, RT’s most popular video is about a homeless man and his remarkable singing talent, which has 40 million views to date.
RT is also rivaled on Youtube by another “RT,” which stands for Rooster Teeth. This comedy gaming channel boasts over 5 billion views.
The study concludes with the recommendation that RT and Sputnik should deliberately target the “pundit and think tank academic” community in order to build up a reliable audience, and that the networks’ current base of approximately 24 frequent viewers could serve as the “foundation” for a future larger following.