A former Breitbart News reporter, Lee Stranahan, has announced that he is launching a new radio show for Sputnik, a news organization owned and operated by the Russian government.
“I’m on the Russian payroll now, when you work at Sputnik you’re being paid by the Russians,” former Breitbart investigative reporter Stranahan said. “That’s what it is. I don’t have any qualms about it. Nothing about it really affects my position on stuff that I’ve had for years now.”
In a string of Twitter posts on Wednesday, Stranahan promoted his new radio show called “Fault Lines with [Garland] Nixon and Stranahan.” Stranahan promises that the show, which launches Monday, will be “original, provocative and entertaining.”
Stranahan’s new position comes as the latest twist in the increasingly atomized world of niche alternative media, which has seen a sharp increase in influence and prominence since Trump took office.
Stranahan reportedly quit Breitbart last month, after, according to his claims, he was prevented from covering the White House. He said the advantage of working for Sputnik is the freedom that comes from working with a Russian propaganda network . . . that is until he tries to talk about the Ukraine.
He says that he is not too concerned about the idea of working with a Russian government outlet, and opposes stories that claim Trump is too close to the Russians.
“I think the whole narrative trying to tie Trump to Russia is a huge problem,” Stranahan said, calling it “bogus.”
While his new show starts airing next week, Stranahan says he is also considering offers from two other companies to cover the White House.
“There’s no restrictions on what I can say, what I can do, anything like that,” Stranahan said. “I’m not easily controllable.”
Breitbart News, Stranahan’s former employer, has begun to revamp its image, hiring reporters from the mainstream media, during the early days of the Trump administration. It is known to have been a major pro-Trump outlet during the campaign and Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, was previously the company’s chairman.
Reportedly, numerous sites like Breitbart, Infowars, and several others like Sputnik are being examined by the FBI as part of the Democrat’s witch hunt into Russian influence on the election.
“Rather than be coy about it, ‘yeah I’m on the Russian payroll,'” Stranahan told followers on Periscope later on Wednesday. “That affects me in no way.”
Stranahan may be in for a surprise when he does attempt to “say anything.” Just this week, the Russian government banned “offensive” images of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The image is the 4,700th banned image.