MOSCOW – A Russian TV network said Thursday it fired a popular newscaster who appeared to give U.S. President Barack Obama the middle finger after reading his name during a live broadcast.
In footage from Nov. 14 that has become an Internet hit, award-winning senior newsreader Tatyana Limanova can be seen reading an item about Russian president Dmitry Medvedev assuming the chairmanship of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
Obama hosted the APEC annual summit in Hawaii less than two weeks ago.
Limanova then said the post "has previously been held by Barack Obama," before raising her left arm and displaying her raised middle finger.
REN TV, the largest private network in Russia, said Limanova was in fact gesturing to her camera crew and had no idea at the time that she was still live on air, AFP reported.
"REN TV management considers this a gross violation of on-air discipline and unprofessionalism," the station said in a statement.