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"A big public show"... Russia Today hits back after anchor quits live on air

“I’m proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth” the newscaster said. Her bosses say she should have “quit like a professional”, in private.

IT’S THE SECOND time this week that of RT’s presenters has openly criticised Russia’s military actions — but this time the Kremlin-funded news network isn’t staying silent on the issue.

Washington-based RT America presenter Liz Wahl announced live on air yesterday that she was stepping down, saying she couldn’t work for a broadcaster that was “whitewashing” Moscow’s intervention in Crimea.

RT, which is broadcast in over 100 countries, has come in for harsh criticism over its partisan coverage of the developing crisis since last weekend.

Wahl told viewers:

“I’m proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth — and that is why, after this newscast, I’m resigning.”

(RT America)

Wahl’s move came just days after another presenter, Abbey Martin, made headlines worldwide for her blistering attack on Russian policies.

At the end of her ‘Breaking the Set’ programme on Monday, Martin signed-off with a fierce statement of independence, describing Vladimir Putin’s actions as “wrong” and saying “military intervention is never the answer”.


RT issued a statement this morning drawing a contrast between the two journalists’ actions — and saying that while Martin made her comments in the context of her own talk show, Wahl’s off-script tirade came amid a regular news broadcast.

“Ms Martin spoke in the context of her own talk show, to the viewers who have been tuning in for years to hear her opinions on current events – the opinions that most media did not care about until two days ago.

“For years, Ms. Martin has been speaking out against US military intervention, only to be ignored by the mainstream news outlets – but with that one comment, branded as an act of defiance, she became an overnight sensation.”

And regarding Wahl:

“When a journalist disagrees with the editorial position of his or her organization, the usual course of action is to address those grievances with the editor, and, if they cannot be resolved, to quit like a professional.

But when someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt.”

However, apparently there are no hard feelings…

“We wish Liz the best of luck on her chosen path.” [That's nice, isn't it?]

Wahl later told The Daily Beast: “It actually makes me feel sick that I worked there.”

“When I came on board from the beginning I knew what I was getting into, but I think I was more cautious and tried to stay as objective as I could.”

Meanwhile, Martin’s been back on air since in her regular slot — she began her show on Tuesday saying it was a “sad commentary” that only her comments against Russian policy were picked up in the wider media, considering her long-standing opposition to military intervention of any kind.


Read: “Military intervention is never the answer”: Russia Today presenter goes rogue live on air

Read: “Frightening and dangerous”: Taoiseach hopeful Ukraine crisis can be solved through diplomacy

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