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Why did 'proud to be an American' news anchor work at 'Russia Today' in the first place?

News anchor Liz Wahl made headlines Wednesday for a dramatic on-air resignation from the state-owned Russia Today (RT) cable news channel, saying she could no longer “be a part of a network that whitewashes the actions of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin.” If whitewashing was the problem, why did she work there in the first place?

Credit: Russia Today Credit: Russia Today

Anyone familiar with RT knows it's owned by the Russian government. It's generally understood to have a pro-Russia bias, and understandably so.

"I think I didn't know exactly the extent of the propaganda that is this machine (RT)," Wahl said on CNN when asked by Piers Morgan why she had accepted a job there from the start. "I thought that the Cold War was over and maybe I didn't realize that there would be this much of an infringement on the editoial-- as much pressure. I guess I wasn't expecting that."

Wahl went on to say she "tried to make the most of the situation" and that she's "done work that I'm not proud of doing."

"I've been contemplating quitting for a long time," she said.

RT released a statement on Whal's resignation, calling it "nothing more than a self-promotional stunt."

Abby Martin, another American anchor at RT, has also criticized Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. She has not resigned. An RT spokesperson said of her commentary that the channel's journalists are "free to express their own opinions."

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