TV Host Resigns On-Air Due to ‘Bias Coverage’ of Ukrainian Crisis
Liz Wahl, a TV anchor for Russia Today (RT), came under harsh criticism after announcing her resignation during a live broadcast.
Wahl, who worked at the Washington bureau of the international multilingual Russian-based TV Russia Today, expressed her disagreement with the station's coverage of the standoff between Russia and Ukraine, as USA Today reports.
She explained she could not be "part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin" and was stepping down as she was "proud to be American" and believed in disseminating the truth.
Her public statement came short after RT offered Abby Martin, another of its anchors, to send her to Crimea to "better her knowledge" on the situation there. The reason was that Martin had condemned Russian actions toward Crimea while being on air.
RT was quick to react to Liz Wahl's decision, saying that Martin had spoken "in the context of her show" and explaining she had become "an overnight sensation" with her actions, giving "a temping example to follow".
On its website, the television expressed its belief that, "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."
Consequently, RT explained, Wahl's action could be described as "nothing more than a self-promotional stunt."
Russia Today, which is officially funded through Russia's Federal Agency for the Press and Mass Communications, has attracted over the years many European and American journalists and activists critical of their governments.
Among them are the iconic CNN host Larry King, who started his own RT show in 2013, and the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.
RT is also widely known as a platform where US and European politicians are often invited to express their dissenting views.