RT host on Ukraine–Inspiring Independence (Updated)

Abby Martin has my nod for inspiring journalism for this unequivocal statement of editorial independence.

Speaking on her usual RT show in no uncertain terms, she condemned Russia’s use of state power to determine Ukraine’s political future. It is hard to imagine someone making so brazen a statement in the US media condemning, say, the Iraq War on the third day of the US invasion.


“RT toes a perspective of the Russian foreign policy, just as the entire [US] corporate media apparatus toes the perspective of the US establishment.”


For follow-up on how US dissidents or anti-invasion positions were handled in the US media, see, for example, Anthony DiMaggio’s thoroughly-researched book Mass Media, Mass Propaganda. On the same topic, see the below, where Phil Donahue discusses his firing on MSNBC for his having not toed the establishment line (further sources here):




For comments on Liz Wahl’s even more sensationalist resignation from the show in protest over its putative uneven coverage of the Ukraine crisis, see Jay Pinho‘s impressive critique. Among numerous points, Pinho argues that Wahl’s move is less about courage or integrity than self-promotion. For him, her manifesto “reads more like a checklist of patriotic cliches than a plausible justification for quitting one’s job on a live television show.” Moreover,

there is little courageous about Wahl’s pronouncement. And the timing, coming just two days after her colleague Abby Martin’s more measured criticism of Russian foreign policy — statements that did not, as it turned out, culminate in a melodramatic abdication of the anchor’s perch — is certainly interesting, to say the least. Perhaps strangest of all, however, is Wahl’s apparently sudden epiphany as to RT’s source of funding.

Glenn Greenwald has commented on the matter here, pointing out, among other things, the stunning hypocrisy of US officials:

Enthusiastic supporters of a wide range of other U.S. interventions in sovereign states, both past and present and in and out of government, are equally righteous in their newfound contempt for invasions – when done by Russia. Secretary of State John Kerry – who stood on the Senate floor in 2002 and voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq because “Saddam Hussein [is] sitting in Baghdad with an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction” and there is “little doubt that Saddam Hussein wants to retain his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction” – told Face the Nation on Sunday: “You just don’t in the 21st Century behave in 19th Century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext.”

… American invasions and occupations of nations halfway around the world are perfectly noble, but Russian interference in a part of a country right on its border is the supreme act of lawless, imperial aggression.

… Even now, how many American TV hosts on the major networks and cable outlets report on the types of American killings described in the first three paragraphs of this interview with Hamid Karzai, or the ongoing extinguishing of innocent human lives by President Obama’s drone attacks, or the pervasive chaos and suffering left in the wake of the NATO intervention in Libya that they almost universally cheered, or the endless brutality of the West Bank occupation and Gaza domination by the U.S.’s closest Middle East ally, or, for that matter, U.S./EU interference in the very same country that Russia is now condemned for invading?

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