Abby Martin, a lesser-known American media personality who hosts her own show on the Russia-funded cable news channel RT America, spoke out Monday against her effective employer's invasion of Ukraine.
"Just because I work here for RT doesn’t mean I don’t have editorial independence, and I can’t stress enough how strongly I am against any state intervention in a sovereign nation’s affairs," Martin said at the end of her program. "What Russia did is wrong."
"I will not sit here and apologize or defend military aggression," Martin said.
Her commentary comes one day after an image of the RT website made its way around the Internet, appearing to show a news story that painted a rosy image of the upheaval in Ukraine. "“Tea, sandwiches, music, photos with self-defense forces mark peaceful Sunday in Simferopol (Ukraine)," read the headline.
Update: An RT spokesperson told The Nation magazine:
Contrary to the popular opinion, RT doesn't beat its journalists into submission, and they are free to express their own opinions, not just in private but on the air. This is the case with Abby's commentary on the Ukraine.
We respect her views, and the views of all our journalists, presenters and program hosts, and there will be absolutely no reprimands made against Ms. Martin.
In her comment Ms. Martin also noted that she does not possess a deep knowledge of reality of the situation in Crimea. As such we'll be sending her to Crimea to give her an opportunity to make up her own mind from the epicenter of the story.