|Martin: Honest but still employed|
How did RT react to Martin's brave honesty? In typical Russian fashion, they said they would send Martin off to Crimea to get a "better understanding" of situation on the ground.
|Liz Wahl: Honestly Quit|
My girl @AbbyMartin: Russia Today Host Abby Martin Goes Spectacularly Off-Message In #Ukraine Broadcast http://t.co/n8A2LPIFX4
Wahl was thinking carefully about her own next move.
On Wednesday, she shocked viewers by quitting live on air, saying that she could no longer work for a network "that whitewashes the actions of Putin. I'm proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth, and that is why, after this newscast, I am resigning." More, with video of Wahl's resignation.
Watch the full March 4 episode of Breaking The Set
She finished with this: "All we can do now is hope for a peaceful outcome for a terrible situation and prevent another full blown cold war between multiple super powers. Until then I'll keep telling the truth as I see it. Have a good night everyone, I'll see you back here to break the set tomorrow."
What Martin said about her lack of knowledge about Ukraine came back to bite her. Russia Today's official statement, released on Tuesday afternoon, said "RT doesn’t beat its journalists into submission, and they are free to express their own opinions, not just in private but on the air. This is the case with Abby’s commentary on the Ukraine. We respect her views, and the views of all our journalists, presenters and program hosts, and there will be absolutely no reprimands made against Ms. Martin."
|Martin's public defiance: Facebook, Tuesday afternoon|
No reprimands, RT said -- other than ripping her out of the comfort of New York and whisking her off to a war zone. Would RT put Abby Martin up in decent hotel in Crimea? It would be awful to think of her, a sophisticated New York gal, bunking in Russian barracks with a bunch of drunken, smelly Cossack cabbage eaters. But she's not going to Crimea.
Abby Martin has made her refusal public on both Facebook and Twitter. Abby Martin has the best furrowed-brow look of righteous indignation in all of news broadcasting. She is courageous and outspoken, and not afraid to use these qualities for resisting RT editors or their Kremlin overlords. Today she seems more powerful than Pussy Riot in concert.
Hi @Josiensor, thanks for your article. But I am not going to Crimea despite the statement RT has made. Please update accordingly.
— Abby Martin (@AbbyMartin) March 4, 2014
"The footage has since gone viral," reports The Independent (UK), "with some surmising that Martin's moment of defiance could be met with some severe punishment by her employers. However, sharp-eyed viewers may have noticed that she was reading from the auto-cue and, therefore, presumably had permission from producers of the show to express her beliefs." Really?
Reading from the auto-cue? Josie Ensor at The Telegraph (UK) disagrees, calling Martin's remarks "unscripted." Whatever, who cares? Scripted or not, they were her words. Martin said that "the coverage I have seen of Ukraine has been truly disappointing from all sides of the media spectrum and rife with disinformation." It is, therefore, ironic that Ensor called Martin's calm and rational commentary a "tirade," which is defined as "a long, angry speech of criticism or accusation." Martin's calm commentary lasted a mere 75 seconds. Ensor's exaggerated characterization of Martin's comment, then, is actually disinformation and at least a little bit disappointing.
@AbbyMartin @Josiensor Good call on not going to Crimea. I'd hate to see the next headline on RT, "Abby Martin killed by Ukranian fascists".
— Johan (@JohanIsHere) March 4, 2014
Russian TV Host Who Slammed Moscow Says She Won't Go To Crimea NPR
Outspoken Russia Today Anchor Declines to Be Sent to Crimea ABC
Liz Wahl, unemployed, says quitting RT not 'a self-promotional stunt' Politico
Russian news website hacked, word "Russian" replaced with "Nazi" ITProPortal
Abby Martin Blasts Rachel Maddow for 9/11 Comments - YouTube