Russia Today: A few grains of salt and it's a decent feed.

One of my favorite past times when I can spare a few minutes is having a look at the world through the eyes of the Kremlin...and that means tuning in to / logging on to Russia Today. Yet my friends recoil in horror at this, dismissing it as a tool of the Russian criminal elite that strives to push the Russian view of world affairs - how can I waste my time with this? Don't I know it's biased?

Well of course it is. Blatant, obscene, Russo-myopic propaganda masquerading as unbiased news coverage. But that doesn't mean you should ignore it: quite the opposite.

The reality is Russia Today is a very valuable portal for information that is simply not available elsewhere. Yes, it does strive for pro-Russian bias, but it provides a platform for those who are regarded as "conspiracy theorists", where you can get information that is not available elsewhere. All entities of certain power have dirty secrets that they like to hide and that their enemies want to publicize. The challenge is not to ignore it, but digest it and sift the fact from fiction...not an easy task. But one that will give you a true perspective and understanding of what is really going on in the world.

Naturally, I'm hardly going to see a scoop on Putin taking a $25 million payoff for awarding oil concessions to his favorite drilling firms, or find out about the FSB payoffs to local mafia to intimidate or liquidate troublesome journalists; but there are other sources for that.

In many ways, Russia Today is simply the Russian answer to Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Take it with a grain of salt - maybe a tablespoon - but by all means learn from it.