Trump’s friend Putin urges Americans to question more. The hypocrisy is rich.

Marketing to Americans, the Kremlin-sponsored global television network – Russia Today – challenges viewers to "Question More." That award-winning slogan is at the top of its website and appears on billboard ads in major markets, asserting that there is always more to uncover beneath the surface of every story.

In a world where “fake news” has become a powerful meme fueled by President Donald Trump’s charge against journalism he dislikes, questioning more is a good idea. After all, critical thought is a key to understanding the motivations of institutions and individuals. Everyone should question more.

 Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, speaks to the press at the presentation of Russia Today and Russia al-Yaum English and Arabic news channels, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007 in New York. DIMA GAVRYSH AP

Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, speaks to the press at the presentation of Russia Today and Russia al-Yaum English and Arabic news channels, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007 in New York. DIMA GAVRYSH AP

RT’s gambit, however, should be questioned a bit more too. Why does this Russian network put so much emphasis on its slogan?

In the American context, it wants its U.S. audience to question the American political system by playing to conspiracy theories and an underlying belief that corruption lies at the heart of all American politics. Unfortunately, this is fertile territory, from congressmen who stash cash in freezers to administrations ginning up intelligence to support a war. A 2015 Gallup poll showed three out of four Americans believe their government is corrupt.

RT’s approach intends to turn an already skeptical American electorate into a distrustful mob of political cynics.  READ MORE