How Cold War-Hungry Neocons Stage Managed RT Anchor Liz Wahl’s Resignation

(Truthdig) – At the center of the intrigue is a young neoconservative writer and activist who helped craft Wahl’s strategy and exploit her resignation to propel the agenda of a powerful pro-war lobby in Washington.

The story began at 5:07 p.m. Eastern time on March 5.

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It was a full 19 minutes before Wahl resigned. Inside the offices of the Foreign Policy Initiative, a neoconservative think tank in Washington D.C., a staffer logged on to the group’s Twitter account to announce the following:

#WordOnTheStreet says that something big might happen on RT in about 20-25 minutes.”

Then, at 5:16, exactly 10 minutes before Wahl would quit on air, FPI tweeted:

“#WordOnTheStreet says you’re really going to want to tune in to RT: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/ #SomethinBigMayBeGoingDown”

Up until two minutes before Wahl’s resignation, FPI took to Twitter again to urge its followers to tune in to RT.  

And finally, at 5:26 p.m., at the very moment Wahl quit, FPI’s Twitter account broke the news: “RT Anchor RESIGNS ON AIR. She ‘cannot be part of a network that whitewashes the actions of Putin.’ ”

The tweets from FPI suggested a direct level of coordination between Wahl and the neoconservative think tank. Several calls to FPI for this story were not answered.

Just over an hour later, an exclusive interview with Wahl appeared at The Daily Beast. It was authored by James Kirchick, a 31-year-old writer whose work has appeared in publications from the neoconservative Commentary to the liberal Israeli paper Haaretz.

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Continued below the fold …

Former RT anchor explains her on-air resignation  -  March 5th, 2014 10:25 PM ET

Liz Wahl is an American who until today worked for the Russian state-owned news network RT. She announced her resignation on air and accused her employers of glossing over Putin’s actions in Ukraine. She told Anderson she decided the time was right because “the propagandist nature of RT came out in full force.”

RT responds to Liz Wahl’s resignation  -  March 5th, 2014 08:39 PM ET

Former RT anchor Liz Wahl just spoke with Anderson Cooper about her decision to resign on-air over the network’s coverage of the Ukraine crisis. RT just released the following statement on Ms. Wahl’s resignation.

“Ms. Wahl’s resignation comes on the heels of her colleague Abby Martin’s recent comments in which she voiced her disagreement with certain policies of the Russian government and asserted her editorial independence.  The difference is, Ms. Martin spoke in the context of her own talk show, to the viewers who have been tuning in for years to hear her opinions on current events, the opinions that most media did not care about until two days ago. For years Ms. Martin has been speaking out against US 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. But when someone makes a big  public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt.

We wish Liz the best of luck on her chosen path”.

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