Ex-RT Anchor Liz Wahl: US Media Has Liberal Bias

Wednesday, 02 Apr 2014 11:45 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Liz Wahl — the American journalist who made global news when she resigned as anchor of RT [Russia Today], saying it was little more than a propaganda machine — says the U.S. media has a liberal bias.

"I think there is [a liberal bias in the media]. But there's a pressure for media to be biased in general. People like to hear opinions," Wahl told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"I think we've shifted away from reporting the facts and reporting stories. It's more about opinions," she said Wednesday.

Wahl created a stir when on March 6 she slammed her government-controlled employer for its distorted coverage of Russia's military push into Crimea, then quit her job while on the air.

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Story continues below video.

Wahl, who grew up in Connecticut, joined RT — a multilingual, Russian-based TV network — in Washington, D.C, in 2011.

"I thought it was an opportunity to come to D.C. and cover important stories, national and international stories," Wahl said. "But the longer I was there, the more I realized what the network was really about, especially now in light of current events . . . I mean, Russian propaganda is what it comes down to."

She said RT provided blanket coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City as a way of criticizing capitalism.

"It was our top story, we covered it non-stop, all day — even as . . . it was winding down. We just were obsessed with covering this story . . . And you're wondering, why are the Russian managers pushing this?" she said.

"What they were trying to get at was to shine the spotlight on the U.S. and make it seem as if it was kind of the impending collapse, inevitable collapse of a capitalistic world power, and, of course, that's ridiculous."

Wahl said that while her own political views were far from those pushed on RT, she had tried to use the position as "an opportunity" to cover important news stories.

"I was hired as a reporter, not as a propagandist. So, I said that I would stick to that and as time went on . . . I saw things that . . . disturbed me," Wahl said.

"Most disturbing was the way they would sugar-coat actions of dictators.

"I was assigned to cover when Muammar al-Gaddafi died . . . and I was supposed to shine a light on how the U.S. was once best friends with [him]. Sen. John McCain once dined with him. So, it's kind of strange."

Wahl isn't sure what journalism has in store for her next.

Asked by Malzberg where she planned to work, she replied:

"I’m exploring my options. Are you offering me a job at Newsmax?"

"Would you be interested in coming to Newsmax?" Malzberg asked.

"Maybe, maybe. I'm exploring my options now," Wahl said.

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