This video, clipped by the Daily Beast on Wednesday, shows something quite remarkable: Liz Wahl, an American anchor at the Russian network RT's D.C. bureau, quitting live on air:
According to Wahl, she came to her decision following the apparent Russian intervention in Crimea and Ukraine. RT, an international television news organization funded by the Russian state and formerly known as Russia Today, has been accused of portraying a pro-Kremlin slant on the situation in Crimea.
Wahl, an American who says she is of Filipina-Hungarian descent, isn't the first RT host to criticize the station's coverage. Yesterday, Abby Martin, a host on RT America's "Breaking the Set," ended the show with a monologue that clearly criticized Russia's actions in Ukraine. "What Russia did is wrong," Martin said.
RT later released a statement saying that they respected Martin's views and she would not be reprimanded. Martin was initially praised by many, though later people were a little less sure of her virtue: The New Republic pointed out that she had formed a "9/11 truther group in San Diego" before her RT job.
Don't count on an exodus yet, but it certainly seems clear that Wahl was inspired by Martin, and others may be inspired by Wahl. RT probably shouldn't have been surprised by Wahl's decision, however: At the time of writing, these are her two most recent tweets:
Just spoke to grandparents who came to US as refugees escaping Soviets during Hungarian revolution. Amazing to hear amid new Cold War fears— Liz Wahl (@lizwahl) March 5, 2014