Fierce Wireless, May 16, 2019
The New York Times (NYT) article this week claiming Russia is behind the 5G cancer concerns
in the U.S. has received pushback from a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) columnist.
Earlier this week, NYT published a story with the headline “Your 5G Phone Won’t Hurt You. But
Russia Wants You to Think Otherwise.” The story outlined how RT, the Russia-backed and U.S.-
the based television network has been peddling 5G cancer fear-mongering stories, making
claims that 5G causes brain cancer, infertility, autism, Alzheimer’s and other health disorders.
NYT reports RT has run seven such programs this year, including pieces entitled “5G Apocalypse”
and “Experiment on Humanity.” The NYT article claims that disinformation in these news
segments has spread across Facebook, YouTube, and TV news channels, and those news outlets
almost never mention RT’s Russian origins.
Anna Belkina, RT’s head of communications in Moscow, told the NYT in an email, “Unlike many
other media, we show the breadth of debate.” But, U.S. officials have accused RT of being the
Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet.
Yesterday, WSJ columnist Holman Jenkins, who serves on the paper’s editorial board, entered
the debate, countering the NYT report as an oversimplification. And, he accused the NYT of
pandering to U.S. wireless carriers that want to debunk any healthcare concerns about 5G.