As RT, formerly known as Russia Today, continues to whitewash and skew Russia’s military occupation in Crimea, some of the network’s own anchors have had enough.
Liz Wahl resigned from her show on RT America on Wednesday, citing her exasperation over having to push a Putinist bias.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wahl Resigned on Live TV
Wahl ended her almost three-year career with RT live at the end of her news cast on Wednesday by resigning on air. Watch the clip above.
Wahl cites the experience of her grandparents who fled the Hungarian revolution to avoid Soviet forces, as well as a number of specific situations in which the network censured her critique of Russian military intervention in Crimea.
2. RT Anchor Abby Martin Condemned Russia on Air Earlier This Week
Earlier this week, another popular RT America host, Abby Martin, used the end of her show to voice her critique of Russian intervention in Crimea. Unlike Wahl through, Martin did not resign from the show, but instead used her platform on RT to rightfully point out that her denunciation of Russian military intervention made her a star in the U.S. media, while her critique of America’s wars in the middle east got her ignored.
3. RT Has Been Avoiding Reporting on Russian Aggression
RT America is a popular network among American progressives for their willingness to report on issues that may make the U.S. look bad to the international community; drone warfare, NSA surveillance, the proliferation of the natural gas industry, etc. However, when it comes to reporting on Russia, they strongly support the Putin regime and the right-wing Russian agenda.
4. She Quit After the Message Became Overly Distorted
In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night, Wahl explained the kinds of self-censorship, actual censorship, and bias that went into her career at RT. She tells Cooper that the message of RT is to promote a Putinist agenda and to routinely bash U.S. politics.
RT’s reporting style on American issues attract reports and readers like Wahl and Martin interested in American-centric issues that U.S. media does not often cover, such as the Chelsea Manning trial, NSA surveillance, and anti-government protests.
5. RT Published a Response to Wahl’s On-Air Resignation
RT published a response to Wahl’s resignation saying that it is the responsibility of journalists who “disagrees with the editorial position” to bring up the grievance with an editor or to “quick like a professional.” They also praise Martin, a journalist known for voicing her opinions, for a brief critique rather than a dramatic on-air resignation.
However, in RT’s opinion section, dubbed “op-edge,” the publication slammed Wahl and calling the media frenzy her resignation ensued “schadenfreude.”