The FCC is facing a quandary that is unprecedented in its 95 year history: What to do about American radio stations that blatantly and openly broadcast Radio Sputnik — a Russian-based broadcast network that pumps out pro-Russian and anti-American propaganda 24/7. So far, three FM stations in Kansas City, right in America’s heartland, are broadcasting Radio Sputnik. Apparently Russian disinformation is a ratings winner, despite all the controversy. And they pay for the privilege to broadcast — that’s a win-win for hard-pressed broadcast companies. Even one of the city’s sacrosanct jazz stations has switched over to rootin’ for Putin. And the way the FCC is set up, there’s nothing they can do about it. It’s perfectly legal.
Peter Schartel, owner of Alpine Broadcasting Corporation, who runs all three gushin’ Russian stations, says it’s merely a matter of free speech — and the fees he is paid to broadcast the skewed talk shows.
The only other city in America to broadcast Radio Sputnik is Washington D.C.
While the FCC remains powerless to prevent the spread of Radio Sputnik to any other station that wants to collect the fat fees Rossiya Segodnya (the Russian Broadcast Ministry) is offering, the National Security Administration does require station owners who run Radio Sputnik to register as agents of a foreign country.