Here's Why An Anchor Quit Russia's Propaganda Network Live On The Air
While she gave part of the reasoning for her resignation - that she was tired of being "part of a network that whitewashes the actions" of Russian President Vladimir Putin - there's much more to the story.In an interview with The Daily Beast, Wahl reveals that, while the almost-comical coverage of Russia's incursion into Ukraine by RT is one part of her reasoning, this simply was the last straw for the Kremlin-backed and funded network with the motto of "Question More."Advertisement
"In order to succeed there you don't question," she told The Beast's James Kirchik. "In a way you kind of suppress any concerns that you have and play the game."
Interesting enough, Wahl brings up France's military incursion into Mali as one example that unlike Russia's move into Crimea, faced rather critical coverage from the network. One man who had lived under Sharia law and saw atrocities told Wahl - who thought it was one of the best interviews she had ever done - that he was thankful the French had come to his country's rescue.From The Beast:
That story, however, didn't fit the RT narrative, which portrays every Western military intervention as an act of imperialism while depicting Russian ones as mere humanitarian attempts at "protecting" local populations, as the network constantly describes Moscow's role in Crimea. Needless to say, Wahl's interview with the thankful Malian never aired. "I was told after that it was a 'weak' interview," Wahl said.Wahl's on-air resignation wasn't the only sign of dissent within the ranks at RT. Andrew Blake, a web producer for RT who has appeared on the network with Wahl, tweeted in support of her actions. That also follows the on-air remarks of anchor Abby Martin, who said last night that she would "not sit here and apologize or defend military aggression."
Obviously, RT wasn't very happy with Wahl's statement and live resignation. In a statement to BuzzFeed, the network dismissed it as a "self-promotional stunt."
"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," RT told BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray. "But when someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt."Go read the full interview with Liz Wahl at The Daily Beast >Advertisement