WATCH: Russia Today anchor Liz Wahl quits on air
Russia Today, the government-owned English-language news channel, has again become the news instead of just reporting it.
Days after one host decried Russian intervention in the Ukraine’s autonomous region of Crimea, another took to the airwaves Wednesday and gave up her job.
“As a reporter on this network I face many ethical and moral challenges,” Washington D.C.-based anchor Liz Wahl said on Wednesday during a live broadcast.
Wahl, who appeared to be reading from a prepared statement, said she was the grandchild of Hungarian refugees who fled to the United States to “escape Soviet forces” during the Hungarian Revolution. She added she was the daughter of a U.S. veteran and the partner of a military doctor who “sees every day the firsthand accounts of the ultimate prices that people pay for this country.
“And that is why, personally, I cannot be a part of a network funded by the Russian government, that whitewashes the actions of Putin,” Wahl said, while a banner reading “Ultra-nationalists take centre stage during Ukraine chaos” remained at the bottom of the screen.
Wahl referenced Abby Martin’s rant before her surprise resignation, which concluded with Wahl saying, “I’m proud to be an American who believes in disseminating the truth, and that is why after this newscast I’m resigning.”
Just two days earlier, Martin had lashed out at the Russian intervention in Crimea, saying “military intervention is never the answer and I will not sit here and apologize or defend military aggression.”
“What Russia did was wrong,” she said Monday at the end of her program “Breaking the Set” on Russia Today America. She also said all media coverage of the crisis has been “rife with disinformation. ”
“Contrary to the popular opinion, RT doesn’t beat its journalists into submission, and they are free to express their own opinions, not just in private but on the air. This is the case with Abby’s commentary on the Ukraine,” Russia Today said Tuesday.
Unlike Wahl, Martin did not hand in her resignation.
Russia Today confirmed the program is only available in English, not Russian. But Chief Press Service Specialist Anna Belkin said Martin’s speech had been widely covered in Russian-language media.