Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, comedian Dennis Miller and others will stop hosting shows on RT America, the Kremlin-funded cable network that the US intelligence community considers a ” state-run propaganda machine”.
Miller’s program, titled Dennis Miller + Onehad been circulating on the network since March 2020. But a source close to the Saturday Night Live alum confirmed to The Daily Beast that he will stop doing the twice-weekly half-hour program. “He has no plans to go back,” a source told NBC News, which first reported the news of Miller’s show ending.
The comedian and conservative pundit’s show, like many on RT America, is produced by Ora TV and is licensed to the Russian-controlled network, which registered as a foreign agent in the US in 2017 The show was largely a one-on-one entertainment and pop culture-focused interview series.
Indeed, all the programs produced by Ora TV for the channel are temporarily suspended, including the one hosted by star trek William Shatner icon. Ora works with T&R Productions, which handles operations for RT America.
“Given the invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, Ora Media has suspended the production of content we license to T&R Productions. Future business decisions will be made based on the evolving situation. Ora Media CEO John Dickey told Deadline on Tuesday.
Shatner shamelessly launched an RT America talk show last year titled I don’t understand, despite much criticism. In recent days, however, he has taken to social media to express his solidarity with Ukraine.
In a tweet, which Shatner’s rep said the star wanted to “share” with The Daily Beast, the 90-year-old actor said his “prayers are with the people of Ukraine” and that the “brave are fighting an overwhelming force “reminds him of the Nazis trying to overthrow Stalingrad in World War II.
After publication, Shatner provided The Daily Beast with a statement regarding the production of his show and his relationship with RT.
“Ora TV sold the show to RT America. I had no say in it. My talk show, ‘I Don’t Understand’, is purely entertainment and is about all the things I don’t understand, i.e. everything because I’m lost for most things,” he wrote. “It’s informative, entertaining and totally, absolutely apolitical. My contract for seventy half-hour shows last year was with Ora TV. Those seventy shows are in the works and I haven’t no more voice in the chapter on this subject.
Shatner added: “I await with trepidation what will happen, but my total sympathy goes out to Ukraine. They are the historic change in the world today and I watch them with great admiration and pray that they will emerge victorious.
“Regarding RT America, my latest information is that all production of Ora’s TV shows at RT America has been suspended.”
Miller is not the only host to bail out RT America amid Russia’s deadly war on its neighboring democracy, which has prompted international outrage and sanctions.
Famed attorney Mike Papantonio has also ended his weekly RT America show, titled The American lawyeras confirmed by Farron Cousins, his partner on the progressive network Ring of Fire.
I am a former Russian TV presenter. Fox News imitates state television.
“After a lengthy discussion this morning, Mike Papantonio and I have made the decision to remove America’s Lawyer from RT. We are immensely proud of the stories we have covered and the relationships we have forged, but we are moving forward on our own. cousins tweeted Last week.
He added“It’s not a knock on anyone working on the network. They’re great people. But the network connection itself isn’t one we want to be a part of, so The American lawyer won’t be there anymore. RT America did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
While Miller and Papantonio have severed ties with the state-funded Kremlin network, some of RT America’s other big names, namely former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura and conservative radio host Steve Malzberg, are so far remained silent.
Professional wrestling legend and political iconoclast Ventura has hosted a weekly talk show on the network since 2017. Representatives for Ventura did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Malzberg, a former Newsmax host who now runs a media review show, titled eat the press, also did not respond to a request for comment. Interestingly, however, he used his Twitter feed to boost content praising Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a hero. (At the same time, Malzberg’s on-air mentions of the invasion have expressly focused on the pro-Trump, pro-Putin narrative that President Joe Biden is to blame for the bloody conflict.)
RT America is coming under increasing scrutiny as Putin’s unprovoked invasion grows increasingly violent. A number of staff members have also publicly announced their resignations in recent weeks.
“I have resigned from RT with immediate effect given recent events”, former correspondent Danny Armstrong tweeted February 26. “In light of recent events, earlier today I have resigned from RT with immediate effect,” former writer Johnny Tickle shared Two days earlier.
The defections from RT and its international branches also come as TV providers and tech companies move to limit the reach of the Moscow-backed outlet over fears the channel is peddling Putin propaganda.
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YouTube, TikTok and Meta all announced this week that they would take action to block RT on their platforms across Europe, making it increasingly difficult for the Kremlin to push misinformation about its war effort.
Additionally, the over-the-top streamer Roku said Monday night that it will be removing RT from its service. (A Roku spokesperson confirmed to The Daily Beast on Tuesday evening that the service was removing the channel from its listings everywhere, including the United States.)
And as many European satellite and cable providers have booted the chain from their platforms – and even opened investigations into RT’s news programs – companies across the Atlantic have followed suit. not. Rogers Communications and Bell Canada, two of Canada’s largest cable companies, announced on Monday that they would remove RT from their lineups.
DirecTV, the largest satellite provider in the United States, announced on Tuesday that it would immediately cut ties with the network. “Consistent with our previous agreement with RT America, we are accelerating the expiry date of this year’s contract and will no longer offer their programming with immediate effect,” the company said in a statement to Reuters. DISH Network, another RT America satellite provider, told CNN on Monday it was “monitoring the situation closely.”
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