Russia Today US anchor Liz Wahl quitted on the air Wednesday afternoon, saying the Kremlin-funded network “whitewashes” the actions of President Vladimir Putin.
Liz Wahl, who works out of the network’s Washington, D.C. offices, began her televised resignation by referencing co-worker Abby Martin, who made headlines by denouncing Russian intervention in Ukraine earlier this week.
“Indeed as a reporter on this network I face many moral and ethical challenges,” Liz Wahl said.
Liz Wahl said that her grandparents came to the US during the Hungarian Revolution to escape Soviet forces, and she feels lucky to have grown up in America.
“I’m the daughter of a veteran,” she continued.
Liz Wahl quitted on the air, saying the RT network whitewashes the actions of President Vladimir Putin
“My partner is a physician at a military base where he sees every day the first-hand accounts of the ultimate prices that people pay for this country.
“That is why personally I cannot be part of [a] network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin.
“I’m proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth. And that is why after this newscast I am resigning.”
A day before she quit, Liz Wahl had tweeted sympathy for Abby Martin, who was offered a posting in Crimea after she criticized Russia on the air.
Abby Martin still has a job.
RT said in a statement to Buzzfeed that Liz Wahl was trying to become an “overnight sensation” like Abby Martin.
“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,” the statement said.
“But when someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt.”
[youtube 55izx6rbCqg 650]
[youtube ZolXrjGIBJs 650]
[youtube YzkchqB7cz4 650]
Vladimir Putin has abolished Russia’s state-owned news agency RIA Novosti.
In a surprise decree published on the Kremlin’s website on Monday, President Vladimir Putin announced it would be replaced by a news agency called Russia Today.
Russia Today will be headed by journalist and keen Kremlin supporter Dmitry Kiselev.
The state-owned Voice of Russia radio station has also been closed. The decree was effective immediately.
Sergey Ivanov, the head of the Kremlin administration, has told journalists in Moscow that the news agency is being restructured in order to make it more economical while increasing its reach, Interfax reports.
He was quoted as saying that the agency, which is being dissolved and reorganized as International News Agency Russia Today, needs to make “more rational use of public money” and that it has to be more effective.
Vladimir Putin announced Russia’s state-owned news agency RIA Novosti would be replaced by Russia Today
“Russia pursues an independent policy and robustly defends its national interests. It’s not easy to explain that to the world, but we can and must do this,” Sergey Ivanov said.
During Vladimir Putin’s time as Russia’s leader, RIA Novosti has tried hard to produce balanced coverage for Russian and international audiences.
Although state-owned, RIA Novosti has reflected the views of the opposition and covered difficult topics for the Kremlin.
Dmitry Kiselev is known for his ultra-conservative views, including recently saying that gay people should be banned from giving blood, and that their hearts should be burnt rather than used in transplants.
Reporting on its own demise, RIA Novosti noted in its news report that “the move is the latest in a series of shifts in Russia’s news landscape, which appear to point toward a tightening of state control in the already heavily regulated media sector”.