Russia Today is the Kremlin’s news agency in the West. It’s pro-Russia, generally anti-American. It’s also Larry King’s employer, for whatever that’s worth. While King hasn’t said anything about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, another Russia Today newsreader did.
In an off-message tirade, Abby Martin, a Washington-based American news anchor for Russia Today, shocked mostly pro-Russian viewers by announcing she “cannot stress enough” how strongly she felt about presence of its troops in Crimea, saying “Russia was wrong”.
The host addressed the camera in unscripted remarks at the end of the station’s Breaking the Set segment, saying: “Just because I work here, for RT, doesn’t mean I don’t have editorial independence and I can’t stress enough how strongly I am against any military intervention in sovereign nations’ affairs.
“I will not sit here and apologise or defend military aggression,” she went on.
Martin added that she is not well-versed on Ukrainian history or the “dynamics of the region,” and that seems to have been Russia’s cue to announce that it was offering her the opportunity to learn all about that up close.
[I]n Russia Today’s official statement released on Tuesday afternoon it said: “Contrary to the popular opinion, 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.
“In her comment Ms. Martin also noted that she does not possess a deep knowledge of reality of the situation in Crimea. As such we’ll be sending her to Crimea to give her an opportunity to make up her own mind from the epicentre of the story.”
Martin says she isn’t going to Crimea. Which may mean that she’s out of a job.
Before anyone gets too excited about an American working in America having the guts to stand up to Putin, Martin describes the US government’s take on 9-11 as “propaganda.”