CNN's Cuomo Slams Russia Today Journalist for Crash Coverage

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 12:07 PM

By Melanie Batley

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CNN's Chris Cuomo slammed a journalist of Russia Today, the Kremlin-funded television network, for attempting to distance Russia from the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine.

Russia Today's Peter Lavelle repeatedly argued that the United States had no hard evidence to tie Russia to the downing of MH17.

"The U.S. government condemned Russia before the bodies were even off the ground," Lavelle said. "What kind of logic is that? U.S intelligence has no idea what it's talking about. Or it knows what happens and it doesn't want the world to find out what really happened," Lavelle said.

The remarks prompted outrage from Cuomo.

"Here's the difference between you and me, Peter. You are obsessed with clearing Russia from culpability. Why should you carry water for Russia when you're supposed to be a journalist?" Cuomo asked.

"You have to live with what you do for a living," Cuomo said to conclude the interview.

Last week, Russia Today correspondent Sara Firth announced she quit her job, saying the station's anchors "do work for" Russian President Vladimir Putin and lied on-air to the public about the Ukrainian plane crash.

Firth, who has been with Russia Today since 2009, told BuzzFeed that the organization's coverage of the crash was "the total disregard to the facts. We threw up eyewitness accounts from someone on the ground openly accusing the Ukrainian government [of involvement in the disaster], and a correspondent in the studio pulled up a plane crash before that the Ukrainian government had been involved in and said it was 'worth mentioning.'"

"I couldn’t do it anymore," Firth said. "Every single day we're lying and finding sexier ways to do it."

Earlier this year, RT anchor Liz Wahl announced her resignation on air saying the network was not objectively covering Putin and Russia's occupation of Ukraine.

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