Margaret Thatcher aide slams NYT as Russian 'propaganda machine'

EXCLUSIVE: ‘It’s a video the Kremlin would put out’: Former Margaret Thatcher aide slams ‘left-wing propaganda machine’ New York Times for ‘hatchet-job’ video ‘full of lies’ with ex-Russia Today star on Liz Truss’ appointment as British PM

  • New York Times published video by Jonathan Pie, a fictional broadcast journalist
  • The character was created by English comedian Tom Walker and he has appeared on the Kremlin-backed Russia Today
  • In the video he mocks Liz Truss’ appointment as British Prime Minister 
  • He blames conservatives for the majority of issues in the UK, even the weather
  • Ex-Thatcher aide Nile Gardiner called the Times a ‘left-wing propaganda machine’ that is in ‘steep decline’
  • He told the video is full of ‘lies and disinformation’ and is a video that is now typical of the ‘anti-British’ Gray Lady 

A former aide for Margaret Thatcher has called the New York Times a ‘left-wing propaganda machine’ for using a former Russia Today star in an ‘opinion’ video on Liz Truss’ appointment as the British Prime Minister and what it means.

The video from fictional broadcast journalist Jonathan Pie, formerly of the Kremlin-backed TV network, claims conservatives have destroyed everything in Britain, including the weather, and mocks Truss as the next leader.

‘Unfortunately, Boris’ main achievement in office was to set the bar so low that anyone can now become Prime Minister – even Liz Truss,’ Pie says during the clip published in the Opinion section of the website.

It is one of the many videos the Times has run in the last six months of Pie ranting about Boris Johnson and blaming conservatives for the issues facing Britain.

‘This is typical anti-Brexit, anti-British programming from the New York Times,’ Nile Gardiner, now Director of Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, told

‘It’s the kind of video of Kremlin would put out about Britain,’ he added. ‘It’s a deeply unpleasant propaganda video and bears no relation to reality.

 ‘This video is full of outright lies combined with some real nastiness and unpleasantness. It’s a hatchet job video basically that paints a completely false picture of the United Kingdom.’

Gardiner said the video is full of ‘deep-seated unpleasantness’ about Truss and a direct attack on Margaret Thatcher. Pie says the Iron Lady ‘hated’ the working class, a claim Gardiner calls ‘complete nonsense’. 

English actor and comedian Tom Walker created a satirical journalist character named Jonathan Pie who did a piece for the New York Times labeled as ‘opinion’ where he tore into conservatives for ruining everything in Britain

‘The New York Times is a newspaper in steep decline and it’s become a left-wing propaganda vehicle,’ Gardiner told 

English actor and comedian Tom Walker created the character Pie to be a satirical version of a journalist. He was hired by the Gray Lady for a video under their ‘opinion’ banner to ridicule conservatives and the replacement for Boris Johnson.

The Times has been widely criticized for running the video – and not just by Gardiner.

Sunday Times correspondent Josh Glancy referenced Pie saying you ‘can’t get in or out of the country because of airline staff shortages and queues at the border’, and wrote on Twitter: ‘This is categorically untrue. Does fact-checking not apply @nytopinion when it’s a banterous British comedian being snide about the UK?

‘This is typical anti-Brexit, anti-British programming from the New York Times,’ Nile Gardiner, now Director of Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, told

‘Trying to imagine @thetimes comment pages publishing videos of a third rate US comedian doing a skit about January 6 and the erosion of American democracy.

‘Britain is in a rough spot and British newspaper standards often fall short of US standards. But publishing this kind of garbage is just inexcusable for the NYT, the world’s most influential and self-serious newspaper.’

‘Delicious though harmful,’ wrote Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of the progressive magazine The Nation.

Walker, as his Pie character, starts off the video by joking that he won’t say ‘gas prices’ for the American media outlet because it is ‘petrol’ and it’s a ‘liquid’.

Pie is then asked about the state of the nation in Britain. He says: ‘Well I mean it’s just s***. Everything is s***.’

‘Look, look, I’m a proud Brit, but let’s face facts. Sorry there’s no other word for it, it’s just s***.’

‘In a few weeks, our gas and electricity bills are going to triple. In January, they are going to triple,’ he continued.

A columnist for Britain’s The Times Iain Martin tweeted of the media: ‘World’s worst newspaper.’

Pie goes on to say in the satirical comedy video how prices are rising so high in the United Kingdom that families are struggling to afford to eat.

‘Our trains aren’t running, our airports are a nightmare, you can’t get out of our country because of staff shortages and queues at border patrol,’ he said in the straight-to-camera shot with some cut aways to real footage.

‘Our rubbish is piling up, our health system is on life support, even the bloody weather doesn’t work.’

Pie didn’t mince words when speaking about former PM Johnson and his replacement Truss.

Specifically he slammed Johnson for remaining in power until a successor was chosen just to still take a summer vacation – and then making ‘front-page news just for showing up to work.’

Some criticized the work from The New York Times as being indiscernible from Russian propaganda.

One Twitter user wrote: ‘Thought this was enemy propaganda for a minute. We’re having a poor crop of politicians, just like the US. We’re not remotely falling apart at the seams.’

Political correspondent Tom Harwood questioned in his own post: ‘Russia Today or the New York Times? Genuinely impossible to tell now.’

‘For god’s sake, NYT,’ wrote freelance journalist Andrew Connelly. ‘You could go to literally any pub and get infinitely better, more entertaining and accurate analysis of the UK than this mirthless, lazy, ex-Russian state media schtick.’

British political commentator Tom Harwood said it was hard to discern if the video was produced by Russia Today or the New York Times

Journalist Andrew Connelly added that you could ‘to into a pub’ to find a ‘more entertaining and accurate analysis of the UK’

One user said he would be canceling his New York Times subscription 

Another user said the Times should change their name to Russia Today.

‘Your hatred of the UK is so irrational you’ll hire an ex propagandist for Russia Today to besmirch this country,’ one Twitter user wrote.

Walker previously has done work for Russia Today, now more commonly referred to as RT – but he insists he has cut all ties with the controversial network.

RT is a state-operated Russian television network funded by Moscow. It operates on free-to-air channels to audiences outside Russia in multiple languages, including English, Spanish and Arabic.

From his Johnathan Pie account on Twitter, Walker defended himself from a 2016 criticism that he’s a Putin shill.

‘I never worked for RT,’ he insisted, ‘they used to license my content which they never censored but I no longer have any ties with RT. ok?’

Other users said the New York Times is above Pie’s comedic work.

‘In this cost of living crisis it’s good of you to give us a quick fire way to cut bills by cancelling my NYT subscription,’ journalist Benjamin Butterworth tweeted.

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