Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 06, 2016

Russia Today Plagiarizes Moon of Alabama - Which Is The "Russian Propaganda Outlet"?


This site, Moon of Alabama, gets defamed and falsely accused of being a "Russian propaganda outlet". One would assume that any such outlet would get its leads and orders from Russia or its media. We now find that it is the other way round. An official Russian state outlet is stealing content from us.

On November 28 RT Deutsch, the German TV and web edition of the Russian state financed global news outlet Russia Today, published an opinion piece by one Rainer Rupp. That piece is in its core idea and wide parts a rip-off and translated copy of a piece I wrote and published on Moon of Alabama on November 25.

After a complain Moon of Alabama is now mentioned as a source for specifically one small sentence in the RT Deutsch piece. But the whole idea that is the main theme of the piece if based on the MoA piece. Core paragraphs are nearly verbal (translated) copies. Their original authorship is not in any way marked or mentioned.

The content was simply stolen, including the links I provided, and published under the name of some author I do not even know.

When I, the original author, contacted RT Deutsch I first received no replies at all and only after insisting a promise to check the issue from the Director and editor in chief of RT Deutsch. A week later nothing has happened. Neither was I contacted back nor was a sufficient link or explanation added to the stolen content.

On November 30 the Director of RT Deutsch, Ivan Rodionov tweeted this promotion for a piece published at the RT site:


His tweet promoted a piece on his RT Deutsch website headlined: Putins "Witz" war todernst – und entlarvt die Halbbildung unserer "intellektuellen Eliten". (Translated: Putin's joke was dead serious - and exposes the superficial knowledge of our "intellectual elites".)


The piece is authored by one Rainer Rupp and was published as opinion piece at "" on November 28 at 17:00 local time.

The original piece by me was published here on November 25 under the headline: Putin Tutors Euklidean Geometry - Pundits Say "All Greek To Me".

The gist: The "western" media made an "Imperial Putin wants to extend Russia's border" scandal out of a mathematical lecture Putin had given a pupil on public TV:

Putin asked a pupil: "Where do Russia's borders end?" The answer "nowhere" is the (only) mathematically and geographically correct one. The geographic area characterized by a border is limited. The circumferential (border) line is, by mathematical definition, not "limited" in the sense that it has no beginning and no end (it has a length though).

The RT Deutsch is widely based, even verbatim, on the Moon of Alabama piece but MoA is openly referred only in relation to one sentence:

Wie das Onlineportal Moon of Alabama darlegte, stürzten sich vor allem BBC, Newsweek, Daily Mail und Express gierig auf die vermeintliche Skandalisierungsvorlage.

(Translated: "As the online portal Moon of Alabama states, BBC, Newsweek, Daily Mail and Express are avidly jumping onto the assumed scandal." The links underlying "BBC" etc are in taken from my original.)

UPDATE (Dec 7 12:00am CET):

The above reference to MoA was only added after(!) my first complain to RT Deutsch director Ivan Rodinov. There is no editorial note attached to the piece to note or clarify the modification.

Here is a screenshot of a part of the RT Deutsch piece as saved on December 1 2016, 14:37 CET. There was no mentioning of Moon of Alabama in there at all:


Here is a screenshot of the current version of that same part. Moon of Alabama is now mentioned but only in a very limited sense:



The additionally sneaked in mentioning of Moon of Alabama in the RT Deutsch piece is limited in its meaning to that one proposition it is attached to. But the author goes on to widely copy, with nearly verbatim translations, from the MoA piece. He is even using the links I provided in the original. It is not discernible to the reader that this content is from MoA and not the named author's original thought. Here is the core of the RT Deutsch piece:

Grundsätzlich lautet die Definition einer Grenze:
Ein Band oder eine Linie um oder entlang der Kante von etwas.
Ein Land, und zwar jedes Land, wird von einem Rand oder einer Linie rund um sein Territorium begrenzt. Diese Linie, die z.B. ein Kreis, ein Oval oder vielförmig sein kann, ist auch als "Grenze" bekannt. Aber ist diese Umfangslinie begrenzt? Wo beginnt die Umfangslinie eines Kreises und wo endet sie? Eine Umfangslinie hat per Definition keinen Anfang und kein Ende! Das ist aber genau das, was Putin gesagt hat: Russlands Grenze - also die Umfangslinie - endet nirgendwo.

My original:

The basic definition of a border is:
A part that forms the outer edge of something.
A country, any country, is defined by a limited area (or areas) with an area characterized by an outer edge and a circumferential line known as "a border". Does the circumferential line of, ideally, a circle have a limit? Does it have a beginning or an end? This is exactly what Putin asked the kid.

That paragraph - the explaining core of the piece - was translated sentence by sentence, nearly word one to one. It even repeated the link from the original to the English(!) definition of "border" in the German version.

The paragraph following the above about the "müde Publikum" (transl: "tired audience") in the copy is also obviously taken from the next paragraph about the "tired evening audience" in the original piece. And so on ...

It is evident that the RT Deutsch piece - its central idea and core paragraphs - was copied from my piece. It is obvious plagiarism. The only mentioning of Moon of Alabama is as a source to one specific sentence that is not relevant to the core idea. That is in no way enough. Rapp and RT Deutsch are selling a content as their original intellectual creation even as the core idea and sentences of that content are direct copies from my piece.

On December 1, when I first noted the copy, I publicly challenged RT Deutsch director Rodionov on Twitter to at least provide a more explicit link to my original piece. There was no response from Rodionov.

I then requested a statement from Rodionov via (private) Direct Message and offered to send a bill for providing that content to RT Deutsch. Later that day, December 1, Rodninov responded that he would "check the issue". A reference to MoA was silently added in relation to one single sentence of the piece.

Late on Friday, December 2, I gave Rodionov notice that I would write and eventually publish this piece. I have since heard neither from Rodionov nor from anyone else at RT.

This is not the first time Russia Today (ab)uses content from Moon of Alabama. On September 20 I wrote about the U.S. air attack on Syrian soldiers in Deir Ezzor and how this would possibly lead to "Salafist principality". Two days later RT English published a piece by author Pepe Escobar about the same issue that very heavily borrowed from my piece. Escobar explicitly writes that central ideas of his piece originate from my Moon of Alabama piece. Thanks, but it is still my content and without it that Escobar piece would have had nothing. (Esobar has copied from me for his pieces on several occasions. He mentioned MoA as his source in only some of these.)

But even if mentioned as source I am not happy with RT Deutsch or RT English publishing pieces that are essentially based on stuff I have created, researched and written for this site. Russia Today is financed by the Russian Federation. They have a not-so-small budget. If they publish and pay authors that take their essential stuff from me I also expect to get paid. I today make zero money from these writings but put a lot of effort into them. This site depends on charity from the readers to keep the equipment and this site running (and for more).

If the original stuff is so good why not contact me directly, publish (modified) content from MoA when it is timely and fresh and pay me for it instead of people who just copy or even plagiarize it days later?

The defamation and censorship organization, strongly promoted by the Washington Post, has listed Moon of Alabama as a "Russian propaganda outlet". It repeated that claim on Twitter:

Neither this site nor its proprietor and main author have ever received anything from Russia or any associated organization. What gets written at this site is based on personal research, values and opinion independent of any country. (For the record: In my view Russia under Putin is way too capitalistic and urgently needs to go back to a more socialist position.) We have no resources to fight the defamation by ProPornOT and the Washington Post. (A big thank you to Yves at Naked Capitalism and to Truth Dig for exemplary taking up that burden.)

It is quite ironic - and sad - then that this financially defenseless site gets defamed as "Russian propaganda outlet" while a legitimate Russian state propaganda organization, Russia Today, is stealing our content without proper attribution and without any compensation.

Posted by b on December 6, 2016 at 19:26 UTC | Permalink

next page »

all you fake news guys have no ethics, didncha know?

b, in English, they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

seriously, have you seen the draft of the law the House wants to pass in the US? it feels like they resurrected the Soviet Union

Posted by: mischimischi | Dec 6 2016 19:36 utc | 1

I cant remember most of them, but I have seen your stuff plagiarised all over the web. I remember leaving this site for ZH and finding a ripoff there. More than once. Slightly reworded. No credits. But mostly its just small alt-news blogs. Im sorry about your finances, but if everyone from RT and ZH were to come here, it would become a nightclub, not a local bar.

Posted by: dan | Dec 6 2016 19:44 utc | 2

oh, and by the way, I see your stuff a lot at

Posted by: mischimischi | Dec 6 2016 19:49 utc | 3

McCarthyism 2.0 against the independent information

Posted by: nmb | Dec 6 2016 19:58 utc | 4

dear b.. i am sorry to hear of this.. you are an insightful and informative blogger. i am not surprised. i wonder if there is some legal recourse available to you?

Posted by: james | Dec 6 2016 20:05 utc | 5

That is very frustrating. On the other hand the positive news is that your site is becoming more well known and read. This plagiarism can imo only improve your websites popularity. Why go to the copy when you can to the source?

Posted by: Jl | Dec 6 2016 20:13 utc | 6

Hey b, wear the accusation as a badge of honor, it shows the clowns who thought up this "Fake news" scare, fear you, and are, in fact, the REAL fake news folks.

THIS, from the Intercept..

Posted by: ben | Dec 6 2016 20:14 utc | 7

I think you need to put a legal disclaimer first of all, and copyright as well.

Also, letter writing campaign by your readers, and SEO campaign as well to show you're serious. When people search for RT Deutsch, you should show up second.

Same for those other f**kers, Pepe, et al

Posted by: mischimischi | Dec 6 2016 20:15 utc | 8

This is an international copyright issue, but if it were national (US), it would not require much in the way of resources to prosecute. There is a presumption of guilt based on prima facie evidence. I believe.

Posted by: Burt | Dec 6 2016 20:16 utc | 9

I do not wish to change the subject, but this comment by Pat Lang on one of his posts has set off the most urgent alarm bells in my tortured brain.

"turcopolier said...
Outrage Beyond

They won't have too after Hizbullah's rocket and missile troops reduce the northern half of Israel to rubble. pl"

That's got the genetics of a false flag written all over it. Imagine a false flag______________________that kills say 100 Israeli's in Tel Aviv for example, and Israel says it is an existential threat and nukes Damascus/Tehran.

I ask you, Would a single American Congressman or Senator do more than yawn? No. So what does Russia do? Or China?

Israel says that Iran poses an existential threat to Israel. The US now has a minority government in the hands of an anti-Iran clique. What does Iran have to do to get nuked?

Posted by: Burt | Dec 6 2016 20:23 utc | 10

Welcome to the whole madness of the race to produce "contents". Journalists are on top but now ppl are paid cheap to just add anything on Pinterest. And the best at this game are the bots called 'academics' in our days (not to mention academic publishers, whose job is to keep the leash tight, of course).

Posted by: Mina | Dec 6 2016 20:37 utc | 11

Normally if you are imitated more and more, it will end up as a religion.
Why not try to join a political movement then (before you turn into a world sect)? Diem25?

Posted by: Mina | Dec 6 2016 20:41 utc | 12

@ b

Mention how RT has plagiarized your November 25th piece on your Twitter a/c and let your followers retweet it. This could spread like wild fire and hit RT Deutsch .

Posted by: Yul | Dec 6 2016 20:51 utc | 13

Agree with mischimischi's suggestions at 8. It's horribly unprofessional of RT to not respond to your many queries, which do nothing to elevate its credibility when it needs to do all it can in that regard. As you may be aware, plagiarism in academia can doom any academic's career and such an outcome for journalists ought to be similar--it certainly is while attending university. It's rather sad you need to fight a battle of this sort as it's certainly not your choice of how to spend your scant resources, which is where your readership must man-up and render aid.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 6 2016 20:57 utc | 14

Rainer Rupp was Topas. One of the most important soviet spies ever in NATO. He was in prison I believe ten years and after unification started to work for Junge Welt. I personally like Rupp and Junge Welt. Sad, that he stole from you without attribution. I love your site and can hardly think of anything better or more informative. Not surprising (and in fact a back handed compliment) that Rupp thinks so as well.

Posted by: Tom | Dec 6 2016 21:10 utc | 15

b - The irony of being listed at ProPornOT :-) while your are being plagiarized by openly Russian-owned media outlets is just blinding. OTOH, it could be dangerous. This whole "List of Russian propagandist web sites" can be a part of an agenda to suppress alternative news and analysis web sites by tagging them as Russian propaganda or as fake news. I know you are doing what you can to support Yves Smith's response to WaPo and ProPornOT.

I still believe that truth will win in the end, but only if we remain vigilante and skeptical.

And, many thanks from this Alabamian for your work providing this blog. I promote and link to it wherever appropriate.

Posted by: John Zelnicker | Dec 6 2016 21:22 utc | 16

we could all post comments on RT Deutsch mentioning that they plagiarized a story. I will look for the story you have already mentioned and add a comment.

Every time you see some sort of plagiarism, maybe shoot us an email from our list of emails that we will send you and we will add a comment to the story in question, if possible. They will soon stop, or maybe give you an attribution. Which do you prefer, b?

Also, set up an email addy where we can send you our email addresses.

Posted by: mischimischi | Dec 6 2016 21:29 utc | 17

On propaganda related matters, excellent piece by Snowden

Posted by: Mina | Dec 6 2016 21:29 utc | 18

B, you have my best wishes during these trying times.

I do not know what to think about this. It is definitely "out-of-the-box" thinking and action to plagiarize you in such a way but am unclear of the message.

If you were to plagiarize something from RT then you could be seen as a potential "mouthpiece". Seeing them do so does give you serious credibility, IMO.......please keep up the excellent work.

Maybe you need to use the opportunity to ask readers for more contributions......and if you get enough then you could join the fight against FAKE Fake News.

We are in unchartered waters....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 6 2016 21:34 utc | 19

b: I hope you get the recognition that you deserve!

Is it possible that legal action against WaPo could be turned into a class action?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 6 2016 21:43 utc | 20

John Z @ 16 said.."This whole "List of Russian propagandist web sites" can be a part of an agenda to suppress alternative news and analysis web sites."

Bingo John! That's exactly the game afoot.

Posted by: ben | Dec 6 2016 21:47 utc | 21

Unbelievable... We're really heading up to cave age

(sorry if OT but the whole plagiarism thing is just what the internet is about. maybe we need to think about a new un-bot-able internet?)

Posted by: Mina | Dec 6 2016 22:00 utc | 22

Porra, Pepe, isso é sacanagem e golpe baixo :(

(complaining in his native language)

Posted by: Rudolf | Dec 6 2016 22:05 utc | 23

Irony of Ironies

b --

I am very active on a left-opinion site that publishes columns by a rather large number of left-opinion writers.

Site members, also, can publish links to articles on other sites, and quote three or four sentences -- clearly marked as quotes -- to show what the articles are about.

I have posted a good number of links to MOA articles there, as I consider MOA one of the most reliable and informative sources on the web, especially (these days) about events in Syria. Recently I was ordered by the site's owner -- publicly -- to stop posting links to MOA, as "MOA is not a reliable news source and publishes links to unreliable sources."

Seems you're catching it from all sides. You must, therefor, be doing something right.

Have you considered making an offer to Yves to add your name to her protests and/or potential legal actions? It's possible she'd like to demonstrate such support, even if you're not able to offer financial support.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Dec 6 2016 22:08 utc | 24


Plagiarism is the sincerest from of robbery.

just me opinion

Posted by: ALberto | Dec 6 2016 22:24 utc | 25

I think b should keep harassing RT until they either admit their ripoff and make good or offer some type of compensation. Sure the internet is about borrowing but not without acknowledging the authors.

"ProPornOT", good one :-)

@24: If they order you to censor yourself, I would take my conclusions. I know principles don't buy you bread but at least you live with a healthy conscience.

Posted by: Olbe | Dec 6 2016 22:30 utc | 26

I have sent a letter to the Russian Embassy in Ottawa telling them about RT Germany's theft of the Moon of Alabama article referenced in today's post. I asked them to refer my memo to the appropriate authorities in Russia's Department of Communications for action. I like to think they do not condone this kind of behaviour. Fred

Posted by: Fred | Dec 6 2016 22:51 utc | 27

They've reedited the page, now there's to read: "Wie das Onlineportal Moon of Alabama darlegte, stürzten sich vor allem BBC, Newsweek, Daily Mail und Express gierig auf die vermeintliche Skandalisierungsvorlage."

Posted by: Samson | Dec 6 2016 22:58 utc | 28

"ProPornOT", good one :-)

It's even more apt than you might imagine:

Posted by: Oddlots | Dec 6 2016 22:59 utc | 29

@24 Antispin

And the name of the 'left-opinion' site? Protecting censors is no way to fight censorship.


I think it's good that you've exposed for their slimy operation. The whole Russian news propaganda network has the slimy feel of Russian gangsterism to it, at least around the edges. There are lots of wild articles from RT and Sputnik that detract from their operations. I follow Southfront and Novorossiya myself. They seem higher quality. They stay focused and don't try to cover the universe. Quantity is no substitute for quality. Quality is what you have. Quantity - and sleaze - are what the big 'outlets' - including RT - have.

What issues forth from the 'outlets' is 'the narrative' - a sort of glorified rumor of what might be happening, of what the powers that are would have 'us' all believe might be happening. The Russians are trying to build an alternative of the very same thing.

The source of quality reportage and analysis lies in individuals, like yourself, not in propaganda mills like RT or the NYT, or bezos' blog.

I think that people who are interested in what's really going on no longer spend much time with the large gauge 'outlets', they read moa and blogs like it - are there any, really, like it?

As far as making a buck doing what you do ... I don't know about that. I send what I can, 1€/month, rounded up to a 20€ note for your birthday - but are a thousand of us going to do that? to even provide enough to keep you alive? I think it's a question of don't quit your dayjob, or whatever it is that's sustained you thus far. I hope the drive to continue that's kept you going for so long continues to keep you going in the future. So thanks for keeping on. And thanks for the well-deserved swipe at the RT 'news' empire.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 6 2016 23:36 utc | 30

Great news. It looks like the SAA has taken almost all of the remaining "rebel" areas of eastern Aleppo. See my post, which is comment 122 in the Syria Roundup: East-Aleppo Siege Nears Its End thread. (I hope this cross-reference kind of post is allowed. I think this is very important news.)

Posted by: Robin | Dec 6 2016 23:44 utc | 31

b. For some time you have been the leading light on Syria - the go to place - like Saker on Ukraine. As you have said people will take your stuff. But this does not detract from the brilliant work that you have done and continue to do.

Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 6 2016 23:45 utc | 32

wtf? You want a message out there - or you want to be precious about your 'intellectual property rights?' Are you paying royalties to Billmon for this site?

Posted by: DM | Dec 7 2016 0:12 utc | 33

@29 oddlots

that's a very good article on the whole situation from john helmer.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 7 2016 0:34 utc | 34

Well, b, I regard you as a journalist. Plagiarism is important to counter simply from an individual perspective, but your chosen purview always struck me as revealing the larger media for their shabby work, as a public service act for its own sake. And I can't think of many journalists whose craft I admire above yours.

Keep shedding light on the dying media and its untrustworthy ways. I'll continue to come here as part of my handful of top sources for facts and analysis, as well as for the excellent information shared through the high standard of commenting you attract.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 7 2016 0:37 utc | 35

Just a pat on the back, B, no money. You're doing a phenomenal job of research and analysis. I was 1st turned onto MoA by a commenter in Zero Hedge.

Posted by: vegun | Dec 7 2016 0:43 utc | 36

@31 robin

there's no news there. just links to ... your employers?

Posted by: jfl | Dec 7 2016 0:52 utc | 37

AntiSpin, concerning but needs names. Who exactly are you protecting here?

Posted by: Jonathan | Dec 7 2016 0:55 utc | 38

Your audience is getting bigger and bigger.

Posted by: Tim | Dec 7 2016 1:00 utc | 39

Just exactly who does RT think they are? The Chinese?

Posted by: ALberto | Dec 7 2016 1:11 utc | 40

go ahead.Your articles are between the most insteresting in internet.I´ll not read more pepe escobar: poor vision,and now plagius.The inmediat future will be to blind all the alternative webs, thanks to Merkel and some in USA.

Posted by: martino from barcelona | Dec 7 2016 1:37 utc | 41

I just sent them an email requesting they behave ethically and pay MoA. RT De sucks.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 7 2016 2:35 utc | 42

consider it a left handed compliment.

Posted by: Robert McMaster | Dec 7 2016 3:07 utc | 43

There's got to be more to this astonishing story than meets the eye.
RT has been attempting to establish itself as an ethical alternative to the Reptilian Western MSM. However, behaving unethically isn't going to enhance RT's reputation for ethical reporting.
At present it would appear that RT doesn't mind becoming known as Ripoff Today.
Keep hounding them, b.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 7 2016 3:18 utc | 44

Very regularly do I read. Rarely do I post. But this case is disturbing to me.

You are an amazingly talented researcher with brilliant analysis. And your range of knowledge/insight is equally amazing. I wish you were more aptly recognized and rewarded for your skills and efforts.

Posted by: ASD | Dec 7 2016 3:22 utc | 45

Overheard on US PBS TV World News December 6, 2017 approx 10:15PM EST the Syrian government is in the process of driving ISIS out of Aleppo with the aid of US fighter plane air support strafing and bombing.


Posted by: ALberto | Dec 7 2016 3:35 utc | 46


My guess is, since your English is perfect, he assumed you were American and did not know German so what were the chances you actually knew German and would notice the RT German site?

In all seriousness, you deserve enormous credit for the work you have done over the past 10 plus years. I hope they own up to there mistake (or more like serious lapse of ethical conduct), give you the appropriate attention and direct ever more traffic here.

Posted by: Lysander | Dec 7 2016 3:53 utc | 47

RT you bums!!! Pay B, he would do this for a minimal amount even, but you seem to be cheap greedy bastards who like to act like you can't rub two damn nickels together!!!
This is a disgrace on your part RT. A lot of people read MoA and would even CEASE to watch RT if it becomes known that you are stepping on the little guy like this.
You RT are part of Russia's "soft power", if you act like HARD arses then you WILL PAY FOR IT LATER!!!

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Dec 7 2016 3:57 utc | 48

Thought experiment.
When I first read b's complaint about the behaviour of RT Deutsch toward MoA, I was immediately reminded of the BBC's fake German News Service, Deutche Welle, and couldn't help wondering "How German (and/or Russian) is RT Deutsch?"

Imo, Deutche Welle is as "German" as Bangers & Mash, or Fish & Chips. Could RT Deutsch be similarly handicapped?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 7 2016 4:33 utc | 49

How can plagiarism be involved, you are a dispenser of fake news. If only you did not practice yellow journalism you would have a leg to stand on. Lesson learned: follow the party line, comrade! Life can be made short. Journos are often lazy, especially if they are not indi. Poor fellow had a dateline and a hangover all at the same time. It will cost him dearly.

Posted by: Lawrence Smith | Dec 7 2016 6:25 utc | 50


You've got 12cm of blank right side-bar space to be running flash ads for the Bürgermeisters and I'm sure nobody at MoA would censure you, or pay any attention to those ads, especially if that frees up your finances to go deeper into being an RU propaganda rag, lol. (kidding)

If the US Congress passes the RU Anti-Propaganda legislation and Trump may (or may not) sign it, then MoA will be blocked in the USA. So now, right now when annual advertising budgets are being made and contracts signed, get that right sidebar filled up on their ad calendars, and start a Tor mirror site, so we aren't left cutoff and bereft here in the Outer Colonies of EU.

I think MoA tends to ignore the forest for the trees in focusing on war pron, but if that's what the patrons want, then MoA will inevitably face government censure and shutdown soon. Ergo, get busy with the right sidebar. Light that bitch up with ads.

Posted by: chipnik | Dec 7 2016 8:42 utc | 51


I got a full copy of the PBS script: "PBS TV World News December 6, 2017 10:15PM EST The Syrian government is in the process of driving ISIS out of Aleppo with the opposition of the aid of US fighter plane air support strafing and bombing the Syrian government forces."

Posted by: chipnik | Dec 7 2016 8:49 utc | 52

Welcome to the club. It happens the same with me on my Facebook. But on my case it happens with certain commentators on my country's national TV.

Posted by: Teixeira | Dec 7 2016 8:54 utc | 53

Being plagiarized is the way to know when you are right. Nobody praises me except when they copy my quotes.

Posted by: Yuyo | Dec 7 2016 11:06 utc | 54

"Escobar has copied from me for his pieces on several occasions"

Glad you've noticed. But it was an Escobar article I read several years ago on the Asia Times website (and which referenced you explicitly within the article) that was the reason I discovered you. Since then, I have enjoyed immensely being in your company when all around me in the Western mainstream media were descending into madness on Syria.

You are in a catch 22 situation. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. To be compensated by RT would be seen as being in the pocket of the Kremlin and give ammunition to be used against you by those in the pocket of the US state department. To keep quiet, whilst others gain credit and payment for your work must be galling. I don't envy you, but I do appreciate you.

There's a media war, b, and you're in the middle of it.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Dec 7 2016 11:29 utc | 55

@48 Fernando Arauxo

It's not really about the money ... it's about RT stealing b's work and putting it under someone else's byline. It's just so sleazy, and slimy, and cheap. I guess that's the image the Russian Federation is trying to project now ... they're just as sleazy, and slimy, and cheap as the West ... sleazier, and slimier, and cheaper, in fact. And they won! Damn it. Uncontested Champions!

Posted by: jfl | Dec 7 2016 12:46 utc | 56

Your audience is getting bigger B. It's the price of success and all that. We will always support you, financially included. Keep up the good work

Posted by: Skeletor | Dec 7 2016 13:01 utc | 57

mischimischi | Dec 6, 2016 3:15:14 PM | 8
I'm with you mischimischi, b really, really, really needs to put up a copyright statement somewhere on the site and at the end of each article even though it might be against his principles. Until then, anybody can copy his content and claim it's in the public domain.

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 7 2016 13:23 utc | 58

Interesting comments attached to this piece

US seeks to free trapped officers from death trap Aleppo City ...

It doesn't works quite like that, AMHants. Syria is allowing safe passage for Syrian citizens who are opposition militants and want to leave Aleppo. Syria does the checks to ensure the person is actually a Syrian citizen. There is no such amnesty for foreign militants, who are never allowed to leave except in a box. Foreign militants will be killed or taken into custody (and then tried and killed), period.

The U.S. is crapping its pants about all the trapped CIA contractors like Blackwater/Academi/XE. I doubt there are actual U.S. military stuck there (but who knows). Normally, the U.S. has the host country sign agreements that exempt all U.S. troops and contractors from any local laws. In Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. troops and contractors cannot be prosecuted for breaking ANY Iraqi or Afghani laws, no matter how egregious or horrible the crime. The agreement says that the U.S. will take care of any law enforcement on its own personnel itself. If Iraqi/Afghani authorities arrest a U.S. military/contractor, they have to turn them over to the U.S. with a description of the crime. It's up to the U.S. to investigate or prosecute, and of course they never do.

What the U.S. has been trying to negotiate is a 'Get out of jail free' card after-the-fact for their hired homicidal thugs. Syria basically said 'Screw you - they're dead men now' and Russia laughed and agreed. Without a transition to a Clinton administration, the Obama regime can't do much of anything. U.S. neocons are terrified. They fear that a few head-choppers will escape and take retribution on their back-stabbing neocon asses for abandoning them.

Posted by: ALberto | Dec 7 2016 13:42 utc | 59

Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 6, 2016 11:33:53 PM | 49

When I first read b's complaint about the behaviour of RT Deutsch toward MoA, I was immediately reminded of the BBC's fake German News Service,..

You disappoint me Hoarsewhisperer, when I read that part of your comment I thought you were going to mention the British black propaganda radio stations Gustav Siegfried Eins, Soldatensender Calais/West, Das wahre Deutschland, Wehrmachtssender Nord, Sender der Europäischen Revolution and Kurzwellensender Atlantik rather than a BBC wannabe like Deutsche Welle.
BTW, will this antipathy to propaganda mean that Congress will stop funding VoA, RFE/RL, etc.? I think not.

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 7 2016 13:45 utc | 60

Agency just pay to autor. Editor couldn't check where autor get his words(especially if you count "rephrasing"). Even if MoA himself was wrote for RT, there still no way to know is it his idea and words or he get it from reddit commentaries(for example). Especially in the case of Escobar - he write articles for a lot of sites. Such cross-pollination is inevitable currently.
If MoA want to be payed by RT(or any other agency) he need to offer his services.

Posted by: zzz | Dec 7 2016 13:50 utc | 61

I am outraged, I watched RT today like I usually do and I felt so dirty. RT, you SUCK!!

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Dec 7 2016 14:17 utc | 62

Samson | Dec 6, 2016 5:58:37 PM | 28

Putins "Witz" war todernst – und entlarvt die Halbbildung unserer "intellektuellen Eliten"

Well there's the next anti-Putin smear - that headline'll end up as "Putin jokes about war".

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 7 2016 14:44 utc | 63

I understand the anger,but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.(as someone paraphrased).
Truthdig is only pissed because they were and are fully on board the zio propaganda train,and were angry at their inclusion.I drive by there everyday to look at the idiocy,believe me.Just like Truth Out,garbage divide and conquer from zion.
Some of the comments are good,and its entertaining to see them see right through Juan Cole's BS,Scheer's,and the whole of TO(which I stopped visiting,it was too disgusting.).

Posted by: dahoit | Dec 7 2016 14:45 utc | 64

@59 "What the U.S. has been trying to negotiate is a 'Get out of jail free' card after-the-fact for their hired homicidal thugs."

I doubt if we'll see any actual Americans being marched through the streets of Aleppo. Maybe just a few sorry looking Chechens and Uighurs with black eyes, a Saudi or two if we're lucky..

Posted by: dh | Dec 7 2016 14:49 utc | 65

>>>> Fred | Dec 6, 2016 5:51:59 PM | 27
You can't steal an idea only the words that express that idea, so while reprehensible, RT's behaviour is not theft unless they copied blocks of text. RT quite often uses articles from other media sources as hooks to hang their own interpretation on so it's nothing out of the ordinary for them and with no statement about crediting the site if you use its content, they had nothing to go on. B really needs to include copyright and usage statements on his website.

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 7 2016 14:59 utc | 66

Even though I am as pro-Russian as they come, I was never enamored with RT, simply because it is the Russian equivalent of the BBC. RT is (Russian) establishment media; it is not alternative media. Another reason I am instinctively not inclined to treat RT as a preferred source of information is that their reports often just uncritically regurgitate what Western corporate media are saying.

As an ethnic Russian, I am appalled that RT is treating b in this deplorable fashion. Russian culture requires all actions to be ethically guided.

Slightly off-topic: a Russian news site I have a higher regard for is TheDuran. Since yesterday, Google's DNS server (IP address is not resolving that. I wonder if this is a trial balloon by Google to see if it can get away with suppressing "fake news" in this way? If this were a technical glitch, I think the problem would have been fixed by now.

Demian is now known as Adalbrand

Posted by: Adalbrand | Dec 7 2016 15:02 utc | 67

that piece was your worst one; funny, of all they could've used, they used your weakest piece in years

Posted by: scottindallas | Dec 7 2016 15:10 utc | 69

Does this mean MoA readers need to add their same comments to the RT Deutsch article so it is inclusive?

Posted by: Curtis | Dec 7 2016 15:14 utc | 70

PropOrNot need to retract defamation and you must insist on this, especially in view of that nasty legislation on Russian propaganda. This is an opinion site discussing events - FREE speech!

The plagiarism is bad; either they hire you or pay; period. Write Putin's press secretary if necessary, write the regulating agency:

write a journalist at RT that you trust and respect.

Don't give up.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 7 2016 15:18 utc | 71

Website of Russian Regulatory Authority:

Posted by: Circe | Dec 7 2016 15:20 utc | 72

Contact info. bottom of page:


Posted by: Circe | Dec 7 2016 15:26 utc | 73

This is nasty work any way you look at it. I'm sorry to see this being done to you B.

As a side note, I have not liked Sputnik policy since it came online after Ria, who I did like at one time. RT lost me and was taken from my 'news to check out' list over a year ago. I just got sick of how they report and what they report.

Posted by: rouge | Dec 7 2016 15:30 utc | 74

What's the difference between the Moon of Russia and the Moon of Alabama?

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 7 2016 15:40 utc | 75

Interesting. Well good luck, and thanks for your untiring here at MoA. I'm not a big fan of RT anymore. I think they were better at one time but now seem to have fallen into the usual MSM propaganda and bs trap. I rarely go there anymore.

Posted by: RUKidding | Dec 7 2016 15:45 utc | 76

Doesn't this type of thing just frost your balls. This being said the point is well taken that the Russian press is not above publishing the work of western journalists in contradiction to the western establishment's vitriolic attacks on western non MSM news and editorial outlets as being knowing accomplices or stooges of Russian publishers, as Russian state propaganda repeating stations. It is a tangled world that independent news journalists must navigate and I give them, and here at MoA, full credit for getting it 'right' the vast majority of the time. So take a well deserved bow and know the public appreciates everyone's tireless efforts in publishing the truth or as much of it as can be discerned.

Posted by: BRF | Dec 7 2016 15:46 utc | 77

And thus RT degenerated into a tube of Moon of Alabama's propaganda.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 7 2016 15:47 utc | 78

>>>> ALberto | Dec 7, 2016 8:42:53 AM | 59
From past experience, I suspect that the Americans would have had a quiet word with the Russians and any American special forces would have quietly left Aleppo in the back of a Russian armoured vehicle by now. The Russians would expect reciprocity in the future and get it.
More likely that any special forcs private military contractors (PMC) in Aleppo are working for the United States's bankers in Syria, the regimes in Qatar and Saudi Arabia so that the US has deniability. So ask yourself, do the Russians trust the Qataris and Saudis, and do the Qataris and Saudis have anything the Russians want? Normally, I'd say no to both questions, but the Russians want a hike in oil prices so it's anybody's guess what has happened to any GCC SF and PMCs working in Aleppo...............

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 7 2016 15:48 utc | 79

Truthfully I am flabbergasted that nobody here is familiar with how "journalism" really works. Because of my bizarre lifestyle (it's less so nowadays) I have actually lived with real journalists. They're virtually all sociopaths, and they could not care less about the "truth".

They are constantly plagiarizing each other because this is simply their job. This has always been happening and will continue to happen since this is the very bedrock of their culture. They will (privately) laugh at you if they read this article. Actually, if they are plagiarizing people working in their own form of media, they will work harder to cover it up slightly. And maybe add a bit of extra hogwash just for kicks.

It would be astonishing if they suddenly abandoned these traditions.

Posted by: blues | Dec 7 2016 16:14 utc | 80

>>>Circe | Dec 7, 2016 10:18:06 AM | 71

either they hire you or pay; period.

They not need to, because in real world they do not have such obligations.

Write Putin's press secretary
Website of Russian Regulatory Authority:

This as ridiculous as to write to Obama about bad service in Iran mcdonalds.
"but they are Kremlin mouthpiece and mcdonalds is private enterprise"
For real people in reald world this do not matter and people has they own things to do.

Posted by: zzz | Dec 7 2016 16:14 utc | 81


For real people in reald world this do not matter

It seems to matter to b. And he appears real and also has things to do besides being put in a position to protect his work; intellectual property.

I guess it's not serious to the one plagiarizing i.e. stealing, another's work.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 7 2016 16:43 utc | 82


What's the difference between the Moon of Russia and the Moon of Alabama?

Vodka & Whiskey (Corn Squeezins)?

Posted by: ALberto | Dec 7 2016 17:05 utc | 83

Almesryoon reported that a map of an airbase it said was located near the Libyan city of Benghazi which will be transferred to Russia in exchange for arms supply, Monday.

According to Western reports, General Khalifa Haftar’s recent visit to Moscow along with his talks with Russian officials revolved around the need to import weapons in return for granting Moscow logistical and military privileges inside the Libyan territories.

Posted by: ALberto | Dec 7 2016 17:11 utc | 84

If only we could get the NYTimes, WaPoo, MSNBC, CNN et al to plagiarize you as well...we'd have a shot at a more peaceful world!

To be clear; content stealing is wrong, but among the "scribes" it's how they make their living

Posted by: S Brennan | Dec 7 2016 17:27 utc | 85

>> Circe | Dec 7, 2016 11:43:29 AM | 81
It's not what I mean when I said it didn't matter. I mean you need to adress you issues not acording your world view but according to how things work. In this example you adress your issue to people who has nothing to do with it. Editorial policies of german studio of RT has nothing to do with their official duties.

About issue it self if get mich traction may result in dressing down of autor of this article by his supervisor and maybe they will stop working with him, no one like these who create such problems and looks like he is not outstanding much.

About b, they alredy give him credit in article other than that they do not have much obligations.

Posted by: zzz | Dec 7 2016 17:32 utc | 86

>>>zzz | Dec 7, 2016 12:32:45 PM
Bold is not emphasis, it's screwed tags, sorry about that.

Posted by: zzz | Dec 7 2016 17:35 utc | 87

For those who frequent MoA are you familiar with Lotte Lenya's recording of the song?

The "Alabama Song" was written as a poem in idiosyncratic English for Bertolt Brecht by his close collaborator Elisabeth Hauptmann in 1925[1] and published in Brecht's 1927 Home Devotions (German: Hauspostille), a parody of Martin Luther's collection of sermons. It was set to music by Kurt Weill for the 1927 play Little Mahagonny (Mahagonny-Songspiel) and reused for Brecht and Weill's 1930 opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny), where it is sung by Jenny and her fellow prostitutes in Act I. Although the majority of all three works is in German, the "Alabama Song" retained Hauptmann's English lyrics throughout.

Brecht and Weill's version of the song was first performed by the Viennese actress and dancer Lotte Lenya, Weill's wife,[2] in the role of Jessie at the 1927 Baden-Baden Festival's performance of Little Mahagonny. The first recording of the song—by Lenya for the Homocord record label—came out in early 1930 under the title "Alabama-Song";[3] it was rerecorded the same year for the Ultraphon record label for release with the 1930 Leipzig premiere of The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, despite Lenya not being a member of that cast.[4] She continued to perform and record the song throughout her life, including for her 1955 album Lotte Lenya Sings Kurt Weill (Lotte Lenya singt Kurt Weill), released in the United States under the title Berlin Theater Songs.[3]

Note to RT - I believe that Lotte Lenya's recording is public domain.

Posted by: ALberto | Dec 7 2016 17:39 utc | 88

East Aleppo could be liberated by tomorrow. All that's left of occupied East Aleppo is 15% mostly around Sheikh Sa'eed, an area the SAA captured and then lost to a counterattack a week ago. Was this done of purpose to provide an area that has been cleared of civilians for the terrorist hold-outs and their camp followers to make their last stand? They won't hold out for long.
Meanwhile down in Damascus, the IDF used surface-to-surface missiles to attack a Syrian airbase rather than launching air-to-surface missiles from aircraft flying over Lebanon or Israel. Does this mean that the Israel Air Farce will no longer operate in Syrian airspace. I wonder why........

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 7 2016 17:56 utc | 89

It's a little bit of a dilemma situation. They surely want to have stuff like the one we can read here on their site but they also don't want to sound unreliable when "Moon of Alabama" is the author (no disrespect). I am not condoning their 'theft' of your ideas and works.

Posted by: wj2 | Dec 7 2016 18:00 utc | 90

Hmmm. Israel now conducting bombing raids on the airport near Assad'a palace. The gift that keeps on giving...

b, so sorry to hear that two of my daily news sources are in conflict. You should be able to expect attribution at the very least!

@Alberto... The song was also covered by The Doors.

Posted by: chuckvw | Dec 7 2016 18:20 utc | 91

>>>> chuckvw | Dec 7, 2016 1:20:41 PM | 90

Israel now conducting bombing raids on the airport near Assad'a palace.

According to the reports, it was not a bombing raid but conducted with surface-to-surface missiles. A very big difference for Israel which has flown unopposed over Syria for decades. If the IAF can't operate over surrounding countries, Israel has real problems.

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 7 2016 19:11 utc | 92

It's not close to Assad's palace.

Does surface to surface means it has traveled in open space from the Israeli occupied Golan to Damascus?? how is that possible?

Posted by: Mina | Dec 7 2016 19:22 utc | 93

The Haaretz headline says, "near Assad's palace".

Posted by: chuckvw | Dec 7 2016 19:28 utc | 94

You can check googlemap, Mezze airport is not close to the presidential palace

Posted by: Mina | Dec 7 2016 19:33 utc | 96

@90 The song was also covered by The Doors.

To my ear Lotte's rendition has more soul. No disrespect to the Lizard King but his version was intentionally souless and dark. His father Admiral Morrison managed an Aircraft Carrier bombing Vietnam's grass huts back to the Stone Age.

Just my opinion

Posted by: ALberto | Dec 7 2016 19:34 utc | 97

Yet another proof that Assange has been kidnapped to Mars by some alien pizzaiolos

Posted by: Mina | Dec 7 2016 20:53 utc | 98

We, the readers, will spread this plagiarism issue.(I will)
Pls don't consume yourself in this. This destroys us inside (Once, the 2 biggest coffee brands of my country stole my project and after 15 years they still profit with it. I got nothing. ) So I know what I'm talking about!!
- Be Pragmatic: keep working in your posts.
- Demande documented proves of @Propornot of your association with a Propaganda Sponsor. If they can't, they can't target you as an Fake News site, payed by a foreigner Government. If it will be possible in a legal process, even better, do it.
- Write to RT boss.

Remember: plagiarism is the new NORMALITY. This the reality. So, the way is: to do the right connections, bcs world works as Bourgeois salon, like in Marcel Proust times. SO: do a list of the sites were you liked to see our posts publiched and PAYED and send them a proposition of colaboration.

Once again: think about other way that you could project your work under a protected form, avoid the plagiarism dimension, bcs THEY don't care.

Posted by: g | Dec 7 2016 21:15 utc | 99

'legitimate Russian state propaganda organization, Russia Today, is stealing our content without proper attribution and without any compensation.'

this sounds like someone is unhappy with russia as it presently is constituted

but calling RT state propaganda is straight out of US State dept or EU FM propaganda depts. And echoes proPORNot
its also ironic to be concerned about 'MY WORK " while claiming russia is not socialist enough!

Posted by: brian | Dec 7 2016 21:32 utc | 100

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