Russia Today Journalist Abby Martin Speaks Boldly Against Russian Military Intervention

 

Journalist Abby Martin closed her show “Breaking The Set” on the English version of Russia Today with harsh words in opposition of Russia’s invasion of Crimea:

“I wanted to say something from my heart about the on-going political crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s military occupation of Crimea. Just because I work here doesn’t mean I don’t have editorial independence. I can’t stress how strongly I am against any state intervention in a sovereign nation’s affairs. What Russia did was wrong. I admittedly don’t know as much as I should about  Ukraine’s history or the cultural dynamics of the region. What I do know is that military intervention is never the answer. And I will not sit here and apologize or defend military aggression.”

Martin also calls out the media for spreading misinformation. She ends by calling the Ukrainian people the real losers in this potential Cold War reset.

My heart goes out to the Ukrainian people who are in the middle of a global power chess game. They are the real loser here.

Russian government-backed Russia Today released a statement to Huffington Post UK, saying that Russia does not censor its journalists: “We respect her views, and the views of all our journalists, presenters and program hosts, and there will be absolutely no reprimands made against Ms. Martin. In her comment Ms. Martin also noted that she does not possess a deep knowledge of reality of the situation in Crimea. As such we’ll be sending her to Crimea to give her an opportunity to make up her own mind from the epicentre of the story.”

Martin said that despite Russia Today’s statement, she will not be going to Crimea.

abby tweet

Iraq War Parallel

Journalist Glenn Greenwald pointed out the hypocrisy of the American media, regarding both Russia’s occupation of Crimea and America’s own invasion of Iraq in 2003:

Greenwald wrote: Enthusiastic supporters of a wide range of other U.S. interventions in sovereign states, both past and present and in and out of government, are equally righteous in their newfound contempt for invasions – when done by Russia. Secretary of State John Kerry – who stood on the Senate floor in 2002 and voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq because “Saddam Hussein [is] sitting in Baghdad with an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction” and there is “little doubt that Saddam Hussein wants to retain his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction” – told Face the Nation on Sunday: “You just don’t in the 21st Century behave in 19th Century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext.” The supremely sycophantic Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer – as he demanded to know how Russia would be punished – never once bothered Kerry (or his other Iraq-war-advocating guests, including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Washington Post columnist David Ignatius) by asking about any of that unpleasantness (is it hard at all for you to sermonize against invasions of sovereign countries given, you know, how often you yourself support them?)

At the time, two American journalists, Phil Donahue (MSNBC) and Peter Arnett (NBC),  were fired for  statements about the Iraq War that were similar to Martin’s.

MSNBC’s rising star Ashleigh Banfield was demoted and then fired after she delivered a stinging rebuke of misleading pro-war TV coverage by U.S. outlets, while Jessica Yellin, at MSNBC during the time of the war, admitted in 2008 that “the press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war that was presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president’s high approval ratings” and that executives would change stories to make them more pro-war.

In 2003, journalist served as flag-waving invasion encouragers: A study released by Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting stated the network news disproportionately focused on pro-war sources and left out many anti-war sources. According to the study, 64 percent of total sources were in favor of the Iraq War while total anti-war sources made up 10 percent of the media (only 3 percent of US sources were anti-war). The study stated that “viewers were more than six times as likely to see a pro-war source as one who was anti-war; with U.S. guests alone, the ratio increases to 25 to 1.”

The push for aggressive military intervention by the main stream media is ongoing in America. Ben Swann was the leading journalist who exposed the truth about Syrian rebels and their connection with al Qaeda. While the main stream media pushed a war with Syria, new media organizations questioned the narrative and questioned the claims of the Obama administration regarding Syria and the chemical weapons attack.

Martin demonstrated what true independent journalism should do. Martin had the courage to “break the set,” go beyond politics, and focus on the people suffering in Ukraine.