A Russian broadcast station is condemning an anchor's recent resignation over its coverage of Ukraine as a "self-promotional stunt."
Liz Wahl of the Washington bureau of the Kremlin-funded Russia Today TV station stepped down Wednesday during a live broadcast after criticizing the station's coverage of Russia's decision to send troops into Crimea.
"Personally, I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government, that whitewashes the actions of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin," said Wahl. "I'm proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth and that is why, after this newscast, I'm resigning."
Wahl's public announcement came a day after the station offered to send Washington-based anchor Abby Martin to Crimea to "better her knowledge" after she criticized what she called Russia's decision to send troops to Crimea. Martin later explained that she declined the offer.
The station condemned Wahl's decision and said it does not compare to the Abby Martin situation because Martin "spoke in the context of her own talk show."
The response continued: "For years, Ms. Martin has been speaking out against U.S. military intervention, only to be ignored by the mainstream news outlets – but with that one comment, branded as an act of defiance, she became an overnight sensation. It is a tempting example to follow.
"When a journalist disagrees with the editorial position of his or her organization, the usual course of action is to address those grievances with the editor, and, if they cannot be resolved, to quit like a professional," the station published on its website. "But when someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt."
The statement ended, "We wish Liz the best of luck on her chosen path."
Reaction on Wahl's Facebook fan page appeared to be mixed.
"Saw what you did on TV yesterday. … You are my new hero," wrote one follower.
Wrote another, "In my opinion you are an opportunist to make a name for yourself."