East met West in a fiery way Wednesday morning.
CNN “New Day” host Chris Cuomo interviewed Russia Today anchor Peter Lavelle, asking him straight away why Russian President Vladimir Putin had not condemned the shooting down, and subsequent mishandling of, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 by pro-Russian rebels.
Lavelle immediately dodged, claiming that Putin could not control rebel actions, and a nearly 12-minute shouting match was underway.
An apparent audio delay only made things worse.
“You seem to be acting like a representative of Russia,” Cuomo eventually says, seemingly exasperated with Lavelle’s consistent evasions and attacks on the U.S. government.
“Great, character assassination, we went to character assassination in five minutes,” Lavelle interrupts.
Russia Today, the news outlet owned by the Russian government, has faced criticism in the past for having a blatantly pro-Russian bias, and several RT journalists have quit dramatically in recent months, saying they were forced to act unethically and whitewash Russian actions.
“Here’s the difference between you and me, Peter. You are obsessed with clearing Russia from culpability,” Cuomo says. “Why should you carry water for Russia when you’re supposed to be a journalist?”
“You carry water for the U.S. State Department,” Lavelle spit back, calling Cuomo’s questions stupid
According to Lavelle, western journalists are “denying the agency of people in eastern Ukraine. You just think they’re puppets of Russia. That’s simply not true.”
A frustrated Cuomo fired off a parting shot: “You have to live with what you do for a living.”
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