Yeah, I agree, Lavelle might be pushing it a little too far this time. But it's certainly an amusing discussion to follow: is the "American empire" slowly finding itself at the point where USSR was in the 1980s (economically, militarily, and ideologically)?
A side note: it's funny that such a discussion is almost completely absent in the mainstream media here. Why? Despite being somewhat extreme, the guest speakers do make some good points throughout. Several months ago I had a post on the issue of absence of real diversity in the US media discourse, which, inevitably leads to a resistance to any "politically incorrect" (read: unorthodox) messages that might be out there.
Lavelle's mission is, apparently, to break those boundaries and go beyond what he calls "Western media hegemony." Good point. After spending days on a paper about the need of a post-modern approach to international and cross-cultural communication, this all just makes perfect sense (to me, at least).
Yes, this is how a multitude of people (the exact number is and will remain unknown) perceive the United States out there, in the world, and the better informed the Americans are about these perceptions, the better they can address the public diplomacy challenge. After all, it is supposed to be a dialogue and a two-way street...
As for RT's "success" in promoting Russia's public diplomacy, I will get to it in a separate post some time in the near future. Stay tuned to Global Chaos, and follow RT on YouTube: just for fun (amusement and many laughs are guaranteed, trust me)!