Russians say renegade TV host is “misled,” try to ship her off to Crimea

The Russians tried to ship renegade RT (aka Russia Today) television host Abby Martin off to Crimea yesterday, after Martin let loose with an on-air blistering attack on the Russian invasion and occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula.

RT, which serves as a quite anti-American mouthpiece of the Kremlin, told the UK’s Channel 4 that Martin was “mislead by American mainstream media” (so Martin doesn’t even watch her own network?), and that they would help her learn the truth by shipping off to the war zone on the outskirts of Russia.

In a sign of a potential fissure between Martin and her Putin-serving bosses, Martin told Buzzfeed that, despite RT’s claims to the contrary, she had no intention of going to Crimea, as she didn’t want a “vetted PR experience.”

abby-martin-2

Russia Today’s Abby Martin.

Martin added, to the Telegraph, “I am not going to Crimea despite the statement RT has made.”

Ouch.

Martin seemed undaunted yesterday, repeating her criticism of Russia’s military intervention to Buzzfeed, telling the publication that Russia’s “pretext to use military force to protect an ethnic people in a different land” was “bizarre.”

In her previous on-air segment, which was aired on RT’s American propaganda channel, Martin noted:

“Just because I work here at 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. What Russia did was wrong…. I will not sit here and apologize or defend military action.”

Martin’s off-message broadside somehow got left off of Russia Today’s official YouTube channel.

Glenn Greenwald praised Martin as an example of what more US media should do.  Glenn provided some cases of American media figures who, after they were critical of US wars, either lost their jobs or were demoted.  The thing is, those American reporters and/or anchors made their criticism of US policy in English on American television, while Martin made her criticism of Russian policy in a language most Russians don’t speak, and on a TV network broadcast in America, but not in Russia.

While Martin’s Kremlin overlords can’t be thrilled with her anti-war freelancing, they’re a lot more forgiving when it happens outside of the Russian public eye.  Take Russia’s response to a TV show host who came out on the air last year – he was immediately fired.

Yet Russia Today had no problem having an openly gay “culture” correspondent last year.  The correspondent, who was British, even tweeted me a few times, claiming that he had even come out on the air with no repercussions.  When I asked him if he had come out in Russian during a broadcast aired in Russia, rather than in English in an American broadcast, of RT, he demurred.

I’m not going to defend any punishment that American networks gave correspondents or hosts who were critical of any particular American military venture.  But I think it’s a seriously flawed false-equivalence to suggest that the independent American media comes anywhere close to RT in terms of its rah-rah propaganda ethos.  The only American network that comes even close to RT in its obsequiousness to its political overlords is Fox News.  And no one in their right mind considers Fox real journalism anyway.

I like Glenn, he does good work, but on this one, we’re going to disagree.  I have about as much respect for Abby Martin, an American working for a Kremlin propaganda outfit, as I do gay reporters who write for the Washington Times, the Moonie-founded ultra-right-wing gay-hating “paper” here in DC. It’s nice if a rare employee speaks out, but if they had any actual scruples they wouldn’t be working for these outfits in the first place.

Below is Martin’s full on-air criticism of her Russian bosses. And by the way, she’s a full-blown 9/11-truther as well.


(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Steve

    You don’t have to believe me or rely on what people tell you. Look it up yourself!

    Maddow ran a substantive piece on the new anti-gay laws around the time of the Olympics’ opening–Monday or Tuesday of that first week. I think it was her lead piece (i.e., 15-20 minutes). This should not be hard to find. It was followed, the same night, by an in-depth Chris Hayes piece about how visitors’ computers were being hacked as soon as they arrived. They sent a computer expert to Sochi, set a trap, etc.

    So, yeah, I did see this as a test of MSNBC, and was surprised, and pleased, that they “took on their own network” in addressing these issues. But they did–on these and I believe other occasions–and your categorical assertion that they did not is wrong. (I have no idea what NBC itself did or did not cover. I didn’t watch.) Maddow et al. are not the equivalent of Fox “reporters.”

  • Mellow Jessica

    I have about as much respect for Abby Martin, an American working for a Kremlin propaganda outfit, as I do gay reporters who write for the Washington Time

    God what a douchebag, the author of this piece. Hopefully Abby Martin doesn’t even know he exists.

  • Bill_Perdue

    I never watch NBC/Fox and I’m still for boycotting MSNBC because they’re homophobic bigots. People who post here complained that they were silent on the subject of the Putin’s bigot laws. Just as “Human Rights Watch (HRW) notes that before Sochi was chosen for the 2014 games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other stakeholders, including American multinational sponsors of the Winter Olympics, as well as NBC Universal, which has the broadcast contract, carefully tracked the path of the legislation… .” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/how-olympic-sponsors-and_b_3731878.html via JMG

    If they tell me different, that MSNBC commentators took on their own network, then I’ll believe you.

  • Steve

    Nonsense. Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow devoted considerable air time to just this subject, before and during the first days of the Olympics. I was pleasantly surprised, actually, given the vested NBC interests. They proved me wrong. Apparently, you didn’t watch.

  • Marina Ch

    Poor girl working on kremlin bosses

  • Bill_Perdue

    agreed.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I mean generally when we’re discussing with each other here, or on Twitter or wherever.

  • Bill_Perdue

    “Oh I wasn’t talking about being nice to Putin!” I agree, but I’ll add the Obama regime and other Democrat/Republicans to the list of people who I’m not nice when describing.

  • Bill_Perdue

    “Oh I wasn’t talking about being nice to Putin!” I agree, but I’ll add the Obama regime and other Democrat/Republicans to the list of people who I’m not nice to.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Define ‘started it.’ I’m not sure offering Ukraine the chance to join the EU, or begin the process of joining it, counts as ‘starting anything,’ other than a brave new world where we actually help countries develop, and tie them together more economically, so that we hopefully mitigate conflicts in the future.

    And I’m pretty sure the EU trade agreement didn’t include any NATO missiles anywhere :)

    Not to mention, Ukraine gave up its nukes under OUR guarantee that we’d defend its sovereignty. That didn’t work out too well for them.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    That was 2003 and I didn’t have a blog, so that’s why I didn’t blog about it :)

    And if you’re looking for me to defend George Bush generally, and his lies about Iraq in particular, you’ve come to the wrong Web site ;-)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Oh I wasn’t talking about being nice to Putin! I mean that here, amongst ourselves, if we disagree about something, we can, I hope, post our disagreements and discuss them, even vehemently, without having to suggest that the person you’re arguing with is an idiot, a phobe, clueless, etc. Some people are, fair enough. But a lot of times, especially online – less so among our commenters – there’s a knee-jerk “you suck” response to someone disagreeing with you on a topic that you care about. And unless they’re disagreeing about slavery being a bad thing, I think it’s not a bad to idea to try to engage them, rather than denigrating them. That’s my general point.

    I will say, someone told me recently, and I can’t recall who, that they were so imperssed at how civil, and interesting, our commenters were compared to the majority of sites out there.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    LGF is left wing now, I’m pretty sure. They sort of flipped a few years back.

  • Bill_Perdue

    “where we can disagree politely, like human beings who respect each other and believe that there actually still is a time and place for civil discourse where, rather than slinging personal attacks, we actualy talk about things, give examples of why we disagree about issues, rather than simply treat each other like scum.”

    Thanks. I agree with that 100% and I’ve copied it and, with your permission, will quote it and attribute it when appropriate with one caveat – civil discourse is not really possible when we’re describing the Bush, Obama and Putin regimes and their respective political apparatchiks and party leaders. There is nothing remotely civil about their wars, their attacks on working people, their racism, misogyny, homophobia and their attacks on civil liberties.

  • Bill_Perdue

    How would you compare Greenwald to the reporters at MSNBC who refused to report on Putin’s bigoted antigay laws to protect the profits of NBC garnered by their coverage of the Sochi games. How are they different from reporters at Fox?

  • Bill_Perdue

    In addition to business owners, lawyers, and scabs two other classes of Americans are infamous for prostituting their professions – politicians of both parties and large numbers of reporters who cover up bigotry, racism and the rest.

    MSNBC and Fox are the worst examples of news organizations that are mindless mouthpieces for the right. NBC was aware of the progress of the Russian bigot law as early as 2006: “Human Rights Watch (HRW) notes that before Sochi was chosen for the 2014 games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other stakeholders, including American multinational sponsors of the Winter Olympics, as well as NBC Universal, which has the broadcast contract, carefully tracked the path of the legislation… .” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/how-olympic-sponsors-and_b_3731878.html via JMG

  • 2karmanot

    Wrong

  • 2karmanot

    Cracked-pot spills the beans.

  • smkngman3

    What’s crazy is your response. I expect better but…..

    Where were you when almost every media outlet in the country provided cover for the invasion of Iraq? Yellow cake, mushroom clouds, nuclear parts found under a rose bush or Saddam responsible for 911. Judith Miller vs Gary Webb. NYTimes and the WP? Did you run out and buy your duct tape and plastic?
    Do you actually buy, ““You just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests,”as Kerry said?

    BTW,

    Pope Francis Suggests Support For Civil Unions

  • wearing out my F key

    Abby Martin may be “mislead” on a host of subjects – 9/11 truther, fluoridation is a plot to poison the water supply and brainwash Americans/Freemasons control the media… kind of a mixed bag of craziness, huh?

    Funny though, over at Little Green Footballs, Charles Johnson thinks this is Putin using “propaganda (including) a show of dissent, to make the disinformation seem more credible”. He also thinks Glenn Greenwald is a tool. Different axes to grind, but left and right, we can all reflexively hate Vladimir Putin, right?

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/43135_In_Which_Glenn_Greenwald_Praises_a_9-11_Truther_as_a_Hero_of_Journalistic_Independence

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Oh I don’t know. Look, I’ve said publicly that I’m no fan of Snowden. But I think Glenn himself did important work on that.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    A planet where we can disagree politely, like human beings who respect each other and believe that there actually still is a time and place for civil discussion where, rather than slinging personal attacks, we actualy talk about things, give examples of why we disagree about things, rather than simply treat each other like scum. I know, it’s crazy. :)

  • nicho

    Just as you have to toe the party line to work in the US mainstream media. To read the media, including AmericaBlog, you would think that Putin started the whole mess. The mess was started by the neoliberals in Washington — yes, you, Barry — and in Bonn. Putin acted only when he was faced with the prospect of having NATO missiles 50 feet from the Russian border. Putin is far from a laudable character, but I’d really like to see the media, including Americablog, call out Obama for starting the putsch in the Ukraine.

  • smkngman3

    “But I think it’s a seriously flawed false-equivalence to suggest that
    the independent American media comes anywhere close to RT in terms of
    its rah-rah propaganda ethos. ”

    What planet do you live on?

  • nicho

    Of course, in the US, corporatist media personnel are allowed to criticize the “official” government story at will. Bwahahahahaha. They don’t get sent to Crimea. They just never work again. Or they have an unfortunate and unexplained automobile accident some night.

  • FLL

    And even that would be comparatively fortunate. In the 1940s, Stalin sent almost the entire Tatar population of Crimea off to Siberia, deliberately killing half of them through disease and malnutrition in the process. When it comes to Russian dictators, the fun just never stops.

  • Baal

    It’s been a while since Glenn did any good work, and to call him a journalist at this point is not quite accurate.

  • S1AMER

    Don’t be too sure she’s a “renegade.” I’m guessing you have to be pretty reliable at toeing the party line to get her job, so there’s the very good chance she was allowed (encouraged?) to say what she said (on a TV channel viewable only outside Russia, by the way) to “prove” such a thing as freedom of expression and of the press exists in Putin’s Russia.

  • Phil

    If she were living in Russia, they WOULD send her off to Crimea.

  • HeartlandLiberal

    Abby Martin will learn that in Russia, the news writes you.

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