UPDATE: Well that didn’t take long. RT, aka Russia Today, has censored its on-air host Abby Martin’s blistering critique of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. Whodathunk the Kremlin wasn’t in favor of free speech? Sigh.
Abby Martin, a Washington, DC-based (and presumably American) presenter at the Russian government propaganda organ, RT (aka Russia Today), made an impassioned on-the-air plea on her show yesterday against Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.
“Just because I work here at RT, doesn’t mean I don’t have editorial independence,” Martin said. “And I can’t stress enough how strongly I am against any state intervention in a sovereign nation’s affairs. What Russia did was wrong…. I will not sit here and apologize or defend military action.”
One hopes Martin doesn’t have family in Russia, or they might be finding their home “liberated” by the domestic equivalent of the KGB right about now.
Russia Today is one of the lead propaganda organs of the Russian government. It’s slick, and it’s as apologist about Russia as Fox News is about the Republican party. The difference being, of course, that Fox News isn’t the official network of the United States government. To call RT (the network calls itself RT instead of its former name “Russia Today,” presumably to help obscure its true mission) anti-American is an understatement.
So it’s curious that any American would go work for a TV network dedicated to bolstering a dictator. It’s even more curious that an American working for a Russian dictator would be outraged that her boss is acting like, you know, a dictator. But that’s what happened yesterday when Martin spoke out, on the air, about her opposition to the Russian invasion of Crimea. See video below.
Look, it’s all well and good that Martin spoke out. But I think she’s got some issues if she’s working for RT and calls herself a journalist or an American. And in fact, Martin is a bit of a 9/11 Truther, which begins to answer the question of why any American would work for Russian state propaganda.
In a broadcast last August, Martin criticized MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and defended the “countless millions of people around the world who are unsatisfied with what the government told us happened [on 9/11], and why.” The “truther” rant begins around 2 minutes and 40 seconds into the broadcast.
Among other things, Martin says at 4:54, “is it really too hard to believe the fact that Bush and his cabinet turned a blind eye to let the attacks happen, or even ensure that they happen?”
Yes, Abby, it is.
Again, this is happening on Russian state television: 9/11 trutherism. Which tells you all you need to know about RT and Martin both. (Oh, and the NYT delves into Martin’s “truther” background even further – she’s nutters.)
So, while I’m glad that Abby Martin had the backbone, or scruples, or something to speak out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, if she had any journalistic scruples you’d think she wouldn’t be working at Russia Today to begin with. And in a few hours, she just might not be.