Tags: liz wahl | russia today | anchor | quits

Liz Wahl: Russia Today Anchor Quits On-Air Over Ukraine Coverage

By Michael Mullins   |   Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 11:07 AM

Liz Wahl, an American anchor for Russia Today, quit on-air Wednesday after voicing her opposition to the way in which her network covered the recent Russian military intervention in the Ukraine.

"As a reporter on this network I face many ethical and moral challenges, especially me personally coming from a family whose grandparents came here as refuges during the Hungarian revolution, ironically to escape the Soviet forces," Wahl told viewers.

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"Personally, I cannot be part of a network funded in part by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin," Wahl continued. "I'm proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth, and that is why, after this newscast, I am resigning."

Wahl's public resignation was preceded by an on-air critique of the Russian network by another anchor, Abby Martin, who on Tuesday criticized Moscow's intervention in the Ukraine and how the network was covering it, The Hollywood Reporter noted.

"I can't say enough how strongly I am against any state intervention in a sovereign nation's affairs," Martin reportedly said at the close of her Russia Today show "Breaking the Set."

"What Russia did is wrong. Military intervention is never the answer, and I will not sit here and apologize or defend military aggression," Martin continued. "Furthermore, the coverage I have seen of Ukraine has been truly disappointing from all sides of the media spectrum and rife with disinformation."

Russia Today responded to Wahl's resignation in a statement to CNN on Wednesday.

"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 read. "But when someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt."

"We wish Liz the best of luck on her chosen path," Russia Today concluded.

In contrast to Wahl's broadcast, Martin's show is apparently heavily editorialized and she has in the past expressed similar anti-war sentiments in opposition to U.S.-led wars in the Middle East, according to Russia Today.

In an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan following her resignation, Wahl was asked by the British journalist, "If you feel this strongly then why would you join RT America to start with, seeing as it has got a history of being favorable toward Putin"?

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"I didn't know exactly the extent of the propaganda that is this machine," Wahl responded. "I thought that the Cold War was over and maybe I didn't realize that there would be this much of an infringement on the editorial ... as much pressure."

"I think the management knew that I wasn't comfortable. I have been contemplating quitting for a long time," Wahl added.

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