- Russia’s foreign minister said Western media were engaged in a war of “information terrorism”.
- Sergei Lavrov praised Fox News for providing an “alternative view” and criticized CNN.
- He also accused TikTok of brainwashing children after the platform banned Russian state-sponsored media.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview aired on Friday that Western media was engaged in a war of “information terrorism”, praising Fox News for its coverage and accusing TikTok of brainwashing children .
“Whenever something happens, through mass protests, mass demonstrations, that [the American media] don’t like, they immediately call him a domestic terrorist,” Lavrov, who has served as Russia’s foreign minister since 2004, said in the interview. “So it’s a war and it’s a war that involves the methods of information terrorism, there’s no doubt about that.”
The show aired on state-controlled Russian channel Russia Today, also known as RT, which lost its UK broadcast license and is laying off staff from its US offices after being pulled from DirectTV following the invasion of Ukraine.
RT was required by the Department of Justice to register as a foreign agent in the United States in 2017 and has a long history of spreading misinformation and state propaganda through its channels.
“Yes [you] take the United States, only Fox News tries to present an alternative point of view,” Lavrov continued. “But when you see that you watch other channels, and when you read social media and internet platforms – when the interim president was blocked, as you know, that censorship continues in a very big way,” said he said, referring to former President Donald Trump’s bans from several social media platforms in January 2021.
Lavrov later denounced CNN, saying the network “prefers to avoid analytical material” and uses slogan-like headlines to report news that vilifies Russia. He also accused TikTok of brainwashing children, referring to the platform’s recent banning of RT and Sputnik, two Russian state-controlled media outlets.
“When they focus on TikTok and other resources like this and other platforms, they’re targeting kids because TikTok is about young boys and girls,” Lavrov said. “I believe this is an attempt to brainwash them for the rest of their lives and it is indecent and not fair.”
Meta, YouTube and TikTok all blocked RT content from their platforms after the invasion of Ukraine.
“The state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, along with their affiliates, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. noted of the ban when RT was taken off the air earlier this month.