By The Hill. A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a radio station in Washington, D.C., must register as a Russian foreign agent.
U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenburg ruled in favor of the Justice Department in finding that RM Broadcasting, which airs Sputnik International 24/7 from Moscow, is a foreign principal, WTOP reported.
RM, a Florida-based company owned by an American named Arnold Ferolito, argued in a lawsuit that it was only buying and reselling airtime to Rossiya Segodnya, a Russian government-owned news agency.
RM in 2017 agreed to broadcast the agency’s communications continuously without edit until 2021, the AP reported. (Read more from “Judge Rules D.C. Radio Station Must Register as a Foreign Agent” HERE)
Judge Rules DC-Based Radio Station Register as Russian Agent
By WTOP. The station airs Sputnik International broadcast from Moscow.
The ruling enforces the Foreign Agents Registration Act, originally adopted by Congress in 1938 to combat Nazi propaganda.
In her opinion, Rosenburg writes that while RM’s owner, an American named Arnold Ferolito, contended the station simply buys and resells airtime to the creators of Sputnik International, it’s required to do much more, including its own programming.
Though Ferolito acknowledged selling airtime to Rossiya Segodnya, the Russian Federation government-owned news agency, and contends “this commercial transaction in no way created an agency relationship,” the judge sided with the Justice Department’s argument based on FARA.
“FARA is a disclosure statute that requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities,” according to the definition on the DOJ’s website. (Read more from “Judge Rules DC-Based Radio Station Register as Russian Agent” HERE)