A Washington-based news anchor for the Russia Today television network quit her job on air on Wednesday, telling viewers she could not be part of a Russian government-funded station "that whitewashes the actions of Putin."
Citing on-air comments earlier this week by another U.S.-based Russia Today presenter, Abby Martin, that Russian intervention in Ukraine's Crimea region was "wrong," Liz Wahl told viewers that "as a reporter on this network, I face many ethical and moral challenges."
"My grandparents came here as refugees during the Hungarian revolution, ironically to escape the Soviet forces," Wahl said, adding she was "very lucky to have grown up here in the United States."
Wahl added she was the daughter of a military veteran and her partner was a doctor at a military base "where he sees everyday the first-hand accounts of the ultimate prices that people pay for this country."
"And that is why personally I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin," she said.
"I'm proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth and that is why after this newscast, I'm resigning."
Wahl told The Daily Beast:
“When I came on board from the beginning I knew what I was getting into, but I think I was more cautious and tried to stay as objective as I could.” Yet repeated attempts by her superiors at the network to censor her work and distort the truth ultimately convinced Wahl that, to keep her integrity intact, she would have to depart.
Russia Today could not be reached for comment. The multilingual news and information network broadcasts in more than 100 countries.
(Editing by Jan Paschal)