Culture House Daily

Was Liz Wahl’s on-air Russia Today resignation brave or self-serving?

6 March 2014

It’s hard not be cynical about these TV presenters on Russia Today making such bold on-air declarations against their network. The eye-catching Liz Wahl sensationally quit RT yesterday saying she would no longer work for a channel that ‘whitewashes’ President Putin’s actions (see video above), and she is being widely lauded.

‘I’m proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth,’ she said. ‘And that is why after this news cast I’m resigning.’ Liz was going one step further than her colleague Abby Martin, who had said the day before that Russia’s invasion of Crimea was wrong. Lots of other journalists are saying that they are both very brave. Maybe they are. But if these ladies were such passionate believers in journalistic integrity and American values, one wonders why they took a job at the Moscow-funded propaganda channel in the first place? RT has called Wahl’s act a ‘self-promotional stunt’ and you can see what they mean. It could prove to be a smart career move. Who would bet against her soon landing a well-paid gig at Fox News?

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The thing to remember about media people is that we are pretty whorish, as a rule. If the balance of hard and soft power were somehow to shift dramatically East I wouldn’t be too surprised to see western TV anchors jump the other way.

Imagine Kay Burley declaring live on Sky News that she had always had qualms about the Murdoch empire’s ethical standards. Or Emily Maitlis announcing that the BBC’s failure to defend traditional family values had long troubled her. Or Channel 4’s Paul Mason telling viewers that he had always been part of an international anti-capitalist conspiracy to undermine … I’ll stop there.

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  • drevilatwork

    people in the west have almost no ideea what it is to live in ukraine today. and much less how it was to live in a communist country in the 80’s. Her decision camefroman internal strugle and anyone that doubts that is completly unaware of the situation. real communism can not exist for longer than a few years. Pure Capitalism will destroy any country in a matter of 10 years. As it is ALL succesful Countrys are a 50-50 mix of socialism and capitalism. Pure capitalism has no laws that are supposed to protect the common man. Pure Socialism or communism should not have money of any kind. just two reasons that clearly show that non of them can really work on theyr own more than a few years.

  • Dean Jackson

    If you want to know the latest concerning the Communists’ “Long-Rang Policy” (LRP), the “new” strategy all Communist nations signed onto in 1960 to defeat the West with, then watch RT. However, in order to fully appreciate how RT’s reporting provides you with up to the minute news on the latest operations/amendments to Communist strategy, you’ll need to read KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn’s books, “New Lies for Old” and “The Perestroika Deception”, the only Soviet era defector to still be under protective custody in the West:

    The following is an excellent brief three-page introduction to Golitsyn and his significance in understanding Communist long-range strategy:

  • allymax bruce

    Wahl, & Martin were both agent-placates; just a matter of time before they ‘got-out’, or turfed out.
    I’d go further than that, and say Abby martin’s Oliver Stone interviews, along with her Jesse Ventura interview was ‘agent-placated too.

  • Rockin Ron

    Regarding the Ukraine crisis, I am not sure we should be making light of the situation — we are talking about a potential World War III here. Did you know ‘Ukraine’ literally means “borderland”? Given that and the fact that
    the striking similarities with Hitler and the Sudetenland/Anschluss/Peter the Great/ Stalin and the Tartars/Genghis Khan, we should always be wary about unleashing ethno-nationalist forces. In today’s global multi-polar word, it’s simplistic to think in terms of East versus West. We have to remember that Sevastopol is of great strategic importance for Putin, especially given the ongoing Syria crisis. We may have forgotten about it, but basically what we are seeing in Ukraine is the return of geography.
    I agree Putin is danger of over-playing his hand but, in the end it will come down to the energy markets. We must also not forget the influence of religion. The Orthodox have a different way of looking at these things.

    • allymax bruce


    • pedestrianblogger

      Excellent bluff, Ron.

    • Nicholas C

      What exactly is the different way the Orthodox have at looking at these things, Ron?

      • Rockin Ron

        Until the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks (1453), Byzantium was the unquestioned intellectual centre of the Orthodox Church. Far from being monolithic, Byzantine theological thought was often polarized by a Humanistic trend, favouring the use of Greek philosophy in theological thinking, and the more austere and mystical theology of the monastic circles. The concern for preservation of Greek culture and for the the political salvation of the empire led several prominent Humanists to adopt a position favourable to union with the West. The most creative theologians (e.g., Symeon the New Theologian, died 1033; Gregory Palamas, died 1359; Nicholas Cabasilas, died c. 1390), however, were found rather in the monastic party that continued the tradition of patristic spirituality based upon the theology of deification.

  • Daniel Maris

    Self serving given how many journos Putin has had put in prison or have been murdered under his regime – all the while she was taking his money.

  • Daniel

    Two journalists stood up against the war in Iraq in the US. Donahoe and Arnett. They were both fired.

    Abby Martin has not been fired by RT America.

    • allymax bruce

      Should be.

  • andagain

    Was Liz Wahl’s on-air Russia Today resignation brave or self-serving?

    It can hardly boost her chances of getting a better job if she denounces her employer live on air. So I’m going with “brave”.

  • post_x_it

    I’m waiting for the day that the other Liz gets up at the end of the Queen’s Speech and says, “I’ve had it, I didn’t write any of this s*** and I’m resigning!”

  • dalai guevara

    She had to READ what she believed were her beliefs? AAAAhahaha!
    What a show – we wish RT all the best with increasing their viewing figures by attracting the brainwashed. Britain will be very receptive indeed, I see a huge market and so on. Pure comedy.

  • Jonathan Barton

    To the author of this piece – if you are going to describe RT as a “Moscow-funded propaganda channel” then please, at the very least show a little balance, and tell it how it is. The American and British media are entirely about propaganda, and feeding particular stories and emotions to the public. Just because they are the media in your own country, don’t for a moment think they are any less manipulative or devious than any media company in any other country.

    • post_x_it

      BBC journalists are generally at liberty to criticise government policy without having to resign at the same time.

      • saffrin

        BBC journalists are employed by Labour party placement.
        If the BBC isn’t 100% pro-EU/Labour bias, my name is Napoleon.

        • dalai guevara

          Oi Naps (that’s your name from this day on), both Andrew Marr and Neil with disagree with your lefty stance.

      • Daniel Maris

        Or be killed. I think at the last count 130 journos had been done away with under Putin’s rule.

        • post_x_it

          Exactly. People’s sense of perspective is incredibly warped sometimes.
          Of course there is the case of Andrew Gilligan who got on the wrong side of Campbell and paid the price, but this sort of thing is hardly common in this country. And he’s alive and well and his career has recovered, albeit outside the BBC.

          • JabbaTheCat


        • JabbaTheCat

          The list of the murdered journalists can be found here…

      • Colonel Mustard

        Don’t make me laugh. At liberty and very free with the criticism when the government is Conservative led. Not so keen on the criticism when the government is Labour but happy to be fed BS and disseminate it on behalf of Labour whether in government or opposition.

    • Daniel Maris

      Shameful. You do know what happens to journalists who criticise Putin or expose corruption in Russia don’t you?

      • Jonathan Barton

        What’s shameful is people who don’t actually bother to read a comment properly before responding. I didn’t, for a moment, criticize journalists at all. All I said (if you actually read it) is that it would be nice to see a more balanced view of the world by the media, not so entirely one-sided.
        Please – if you are going to call my actions shameful – actually try and answer the point made, not one made in your head.

      • Daniel

        Liz Wahl works at RT America, based in Washington DC. The only danger she’s in is being locked up by Obama for leaking secrets or failing to reveal sources.

      • Fergus Pickering

        We can wait and see what happens to this little lady, can’t we?

    • Colonel Mustard

      Well said.

  • Noa

    Now she’s off the Wahl?

    And did she call him ‘Pu-in?’

    • anncalba

      Yep, heard her on the Today programme this morning, nearly choked on my early morning cuppa when she said “Pu-in”. If she can’t even prounounce the name of the Russian leader, well…….

  • D Whiggery

    “Who would bet against her soon landing a well-paid gig at Fox News?”

    The US propaganda channel that doesn’t need government funding because Americans lap it up regardless.

    • Mike Purves

      “Goddamit Liz, if you don’t get outa that Russki gig of yours, my military career ain’t going nowhere. Hey, why dontcha kick up a big fuss about resigning, you’ll get plenty media coverage and the networks will see it, onwards and upwards, gal….”

    • MP

      Liz Wahl used to be an intern at….Fox News!

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