News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, March 7, 2022

From Reston, With Love: The Moscow-South Reston Propaganda Connection Is Back In The News

It seemed insignificant when we first posted news that a Russian-funded radio station was broadcasting on the FM dial thanks to a Reston company way back in ought-seventeen, but weirdly, current events have caught up to our plastic fantastic planned community and its vibrant media landscape. Give us some Cold War redux blockquote, BFFs at the Washington Post:

For a few seconds every hour, WZHF-AM interrupts its round-the-clock schedule of talk to air a curious disclaimer: “This radio programming is distributed by RM Broadcasting on behalf of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, Moscow, Russia. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.”
The cryptic notification masks a larger story. WZHF, a former Spanish-language station 11 miles east of the White House in Maryland’s Capitol Heights, is the flagship of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s effort to harness America’s radio airwaves to sell the Kremlin’s point of view. Despite periodic legal and political challenges, and the imposition of sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, the station has stayed on the air, broadcasting its Kremlin-approved message....
Under a separate lease agreement, WZHF’s signal is carried on FM radio in the Washington area by a company called Reston Translator. “I’m a fervent believer in the First Amendment,” John Garziglia, the company’s principal owner, said in an interview. “Under the First Amendment, we should be seeking more information, not less.”
To be fair, as we noted back in more innocent times, literal Reston propaganda was used to demoralize and destabilize the Eastern Block, so we guess... we're even now?

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