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March 5th, 2014
11:44 PM ET

Anchors Away: Russian TV hosts speak out against own network, one quits while on-air

With a global news cycle currently dominated by unrest in Ukraine, and the corresponding Russian involvement, this week has seen a pair of television personalities steal a bit of the headlines themselves.

The first such journalist is Abby Martin, host of "Breaking the Set" on Russia Today America (RT), a network funded by the Russian government. Distressed by her company's blind support of Russian military action in Ukraine, Martin concluded her program on Monday with an impassioned denouncement of the presence of Russian troops in the Ukranian peninsula of Crimea, land that was controlled by the Soviet Union until its breakup in 1991.

"Military intervention is never the answer," Martin stated on RT. "And I will not sit here and apologize (for) and defend military aggression."

In telling Piers Morgan that her program offers editorial freedom, and that she's experienced support from her network since the incident, Martin suggested that other media outlets aren't allowed the same leeway:

"You guys are beholden to advertisers, that you can not criticize. That's why I work for a station that I can criticize," said Martin, before Morgan quickly took issue with such a claim.

"Well, hang on, hang on, hang on. I'm free to say whatever the hell I like. No one's ever told me I can't criticize advertisers or corporate entities," he boasted. "That conversation has never happened in the three years I've been on air at CNN."

Martin surmised that perhaps others aren't nearly as fortunate.

"Piers, fair enough. But I think a lot of people deal with self-censorship across the media spectrum."

Showing an ability to poke fun at his own situation, Morgan offered a rather comical quip:

"Well I certainly don't. That's probably one of my problems," he said, with a coy smile.

Meanwhile, on the heels of Martin's outspoken commentary, on Wednesday, colleague Liz Wahl joined her fellow RT host in speaking out. Referring to her network as one that is "promoting a Putinist agenda", Wahl spoke of her own personal moral and ethical dilemmas. And then, in a shocking move, she abruptly resigned while still on the air.

Joining "Piers Morgan Live" Wednesday night, Wahl elaborated on that decision:

"I believe in the truth, trying to seek the truth and disseminating the truth," she said. "What's become very clear, especially in the face of this crisis in Crimea, is that the objective of RT has been to promote Putinist propoganda, to promote the conflict as [Vladamir] Putin wants us to see it. And to bash the U.S., and to make us look like we're the bad guys."

Stay with CNN on television and on-line for the latest on the situation in Ukraine, and for the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. kaineanthony

    Reblogged this on kaineanthony Issues and commented:
    Television these days steal more than Headline but contents and ideas.

    March 6, 2014 at 6:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. lorelei

    Who would take this woman seriously she has a booger hanging from her nose!

    March 7, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • bitty31985

      People with the ability to think for themselves and not listen to everything the government shovels down their gullet listen to her.

      March 11, 2014 at 5:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rusty777

      She's got a nose ring, not a booger in her nose. I feel both women showed courage, integrity and an unwillingness to compromise the truth. I, for one, would listen to a woman who speaks honestly (tells it as it is) and doesn't let fear or intimidation by others silence her.

      March 15, 2014 at 6:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Evebrown

    OMG!!! What a bunch of BS!! I guess she wants her 15 minutes of fame!!!

    March 7, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • bitty31985

      Do some research; your government and their mainstream media mouthpieces are BS.

      March 11, 2014 at 5:14 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. bitty31985

    How dare you try to use her for your propaganda CNN!! Personally I think this is going to bite you in the butt. More people will watch her now and I am glad for it. Abby Martin has more talent, truth and passion in her pinky finger than your entire staff combined. You serve corporate interests that fit your needs.

    March 11, 2014 at 5:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
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    I Would like to see FORMULA 1 Organizers to pull out of the RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX.
    Once you start moving in on your Neighbor Ukraine. Then Formula 1 Grand Prix races have no buissness in RUSSIA.

    March 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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