Liz Wahl, a respected news anchor with the U.S. network RT – or "Russia Today" – gave a dramatic statement live on air yesterday, informing viewers that she is quitting in protest over the fact her Kremlin-funded news outlet "whitewashes" the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, Liz Wahl, who is based out of RT’s studio in Washington, D.C., began her televised resignation by referencing her co-worker Abby Martin, who also made recent headlines with strong words in reproof of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.
“Indeed as a reporter on this network I face many moral and ethical challenges,” Wahl said.
Wahl gave some background on her family, leading up to her decision to quit. The anchor’s grandparents came to the United States during the mid 1950s Hungarian Revolution – a nationwide revolt against the government of the People's Republic of Hungary and its Soviet-imposed policies – and said she is fortunate to have grown up in the U.S.
“I'm the daughter of a veteran,” she continued. “My partner is a physician at a military base where he sees every day the first-hand accounts of the ultimate prices that people pay for this country. That is why personally I cannot be part of [a] network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin.”
She ended her broadcast with: “I'm proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth. And that is why after this newscast I am resigning.”
In a later interview with MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, Wahl said her work was repeatedly suppressed and tainted, and that in her opinion, RT's mission was “to try to make America look like the bad guy and make excuses for Putin.”
“I morally, ethically feel like I cannot be part of this network and I feel like the American people should know what this network is about."
NBC News gave a statement to Buzzfeed that said Wahl was trying to become an “overnight sensation,” much like Abby Martin.
“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 statement said. “But when someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt.”