Russia’s government-funded news channel blasted an American news anchor Thursday for criticizing President Vladimir Putin and resigning on its air, calling the move a “self-promotional stunt.”
Liz Wahl, who is based in Washington, said Wednesday she could no longer be part of RT, a “network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin.”
Her comments came days after Abby Martin, also an American anchor at RT, slammed Russia for its response to the Ukrainian crisis.
“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 refugees during the Hungarian revolution, ironically to escape the Soviet forces,” Wahl said.
“I have family on the opposite side, on my mother’s side, that see the daily grind of poverty,” she continued. “My partner is a physician at a military base, where he sees every day the firsthand accounts of the ultimate prices that people pay for this country.
"I’m proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth and that is why, after this newscast, I’m resigning.”
In a statement released Thursday, RT called Wahl’s move a “self-promotional stunt.”
“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 channel said. “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.”
Two days earlier, Martin said she would not “sit here and apologize or defend military action” in Ukraine, according to the Washington Post.
“I can’t stress enough how strongly I am against any state intervention in a sovereign nation’s affairs,” Martin added.