WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

'Russia Today' D.C. correspondent quits live on-air

I've posted blogs before about how the Russians (and the Chinese) have sought to expand their media platforms here in the United States -- without reciprocal accomodation for the Voice of America/Radio Liberty/Radio Free Asia on THEIR soil.

For example, the Voice of Russia is now available 24/7 in New York and Washington. (VoR began hiring U.S. journalists in Washington.)

At the same time, RT - the first Russian 24/7 English-language, news channel - has been expanding its presence. Its website includes news from around the United States not necessarily getting very much coverage in U.S. mainstream media. (Kind of the reverse of what Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Radio Free Asia/Radio Marti do in targeting their respective countries.)

It was probably inevitable with the biggest post-Soviet crisis between East and West: A D.C. correspondent for RT announced her resignation on-the-air Wednesday, accusing the network of whitewashing the actions of Vladimir Putin. (Give RT a little credit: At least some producer didn't pull the plug on her in the middle of a sentence!)

Here's an account from The NEW YORK DAILY NEWS:


Liz Wahl later told The DAILY BEAST she had been contemplating a resignation for some time; tried her best to be 'objective' under the circumstances; but felt the wrath of her superiors...


As far as RT, it's doing its very best offering the Russian perspective on Ukrainian developments. Here's a rather succinct summary of the arguments...


More analysis from a Russian perspective with Dr. Mikhail Molchanov, Professor of Political Science at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada; Author, POLITICAL CULTURE & NATIONAL IDENTITY in RUSSIAN--UKRAINIAN RELATIONS; Co-Editor, UKRAINE's FOREIGN & SECURITY POLICY...

Audio Here

Meanwhile, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty reports on the Russian "disinformation" campaign...


Posted at 7:27am on March 6, 2014 by Allan Loudell

<- Back to all Allan Loudell posts

Comments on this post:

Thu, Mar 6, 2014 8:26am
I guess Larry King is fine with Vlad since he's still working for Russia Today.

Allan Loudell
Thu, Mar 6, 2014 8:52am
I'm afraid I've always thought of Larry King as a media whore.

Never understood his appeal.

When then-Mutual Radio was trying to sell the original Larry King overnight show to potential affiliates, I remember persuading the general manager of a Memphis radio station NOT to take his show!

I disliked King's entire approach: Barking the names of cities for each caller; his gruff voice & attitude; and apparent (even then) lack of preparation with his guests.

So different from the erudite Chicago talk-show hosts I had grown up to.

Allan Loudell

Thu, Mar 6, 2014 9:23am
Actually I enjoyed RT's perspective. Instead of taking it as truth, I would take it as the truth inside the Russian mind. It was primarily through their coverage that one was able to figure out what the Russians were thinking.

It may have become more one-sided over the past two days.

I was very impressed on Monday when she took live time to denounce the Russian involvement... The immediate comparison was over how many U.S. jounalists quit over having to demonize the Iraqis and all Muslims in order to drum up support for the Iraq invasion... None.

I thought RT handled the embarrassment rather well, when they tweeted, "since she expressed on air that she was not fully cognitive of all the issues in Ukraine, we have decided to transfer to Ukraine to allow her that opportunity."

Hilarious... rather well done, actually...

It would be nice if Americans had half the fortitude as she, and quit every time their bosses told them to report something all knew was not true...

Fox News would be all over the Craigslist's help wanteds.

Allan Loudell
Thu, Mar 6, 2014 9:32am

I do go to RT's website several times a week (along with the Voice of Russia, Moscow Times, etc.)

No different from the time, as a kid, I listened to Radio Moscow on shortwave, just to see what "the other side" was saying! (Also listened to Radio Kiev, Radio Vilnius, and Radio Tashkent -- in English)

I do think your perspective on U.S. coverage of Iraq is misleading, however, when you say that American journalists were expected to demonize the Iraqis, let alone Muslims.

The psychology of that time was rather interesting. Remember, the neo-cons kept saying that we were demonizing the Iraqis if we assumed they were not capable of a democracy. Put in another way, the United States sought to build resilient, democratic institutions in Germany and Japan after WWII; was it not arrogant and even ethnocentric to assume the Iraqis were not capable of democracy?

(What the neo-cons grossly underestimated, however, was that Germany and Japan were much more modern nation-states, and didn't suffer the profound ethnic/religious divide of Iraq. Furthermore, a Shi'a-dominated, democratic Iraq would naturally tilt towards Iran, and wouldn't necessarily be any more inclined to establish a normal relationship with Israel!)

As far as U.S. media coverage - and I've noted this before - the Iraq war had both pro- and anti-war factions on the Right AND the Left.

Of course, we had stupid, petty skirmishes at the time. As when FOX anchors wore U.S. flag lapels, and anchors on the traditional networks generally did not. And then we'd waste airtime and/or column inches to a "debate" on what I regarded as a senseless, manufactured issue!

Allan Loudell

Thu, Mar 6, 2014 6:20pm
Ha. You bring it all back.. and some things never change, particularly with Fox.

I agree, that probably my recollection of the demonization of Iraq was not accurate. What I was thinking was the lack of elaboration of what it would take to subdue the Iraqis, and on that topic, the Neo-Cons got a clean slate to offer only their view, without a hard going-over by the press, and I think despite the largest public demonstrations I've ever seen in America - those which were against our going to war - only on C-Span in the Senate did those anti-involvement questions ever get explored, and of course, very few Americans ever saw them. There was the internet at the time, but not much of one. Even I was a newbie to it then; I think anything other than html took absolutely forever to load across a modem plugged into one's ground line.. and so, the mainstream media were all one had.

However, in Iraq there was a lot of love for the U.S. invasion, up until the moment Brenner came in and said... the U.S. is taking 80% of the profits off all Iraqi oil until we pay off the war... That weekend, the first bomb went off...

Had we treated Germany and Japan in similar fashion, their conversions to democracy might have been equally as difficult. As an example, East Germany had to be subdued by force. I know a lot of East Germans were carted away and presumably killed. Compared to the Russians, the West Germans had a benevolent master.

Fighting one's oppressor is the natural extension of human action, unless of course, that oppressor is holding the door open to a very bright future...

Thu, Mar 6, 2014 10:34pm
Don't expect too much from Putin if we penalize the rich Russians. They don't like Putin; he doesn't like them. Putin is currying favor with the nationalistic Russians, probably still high off of Sochi. Unlike America, which worships wealth, and whose government kowtows to wealth, wealth in Russia has always been disliked. It certainly didn't work well for Czar Nicholas or Alexandra.

What no one has really focused on, is that Russia's equivalent of our Senate voted unanimously for military action in the Ukraine.. This isn't the old Soviet Duma which was appointed by one party. These are representatives elected by real people with at least 4 different parties... and accountable to real people in their districts. They knew what they were doing.

Which means, a substantial majority of Russians are behind this... It will take general sanctions to apply pressure to all of Russia before political pressure affects Putin, and the net result of that after the give-and-take settles down, would mean Europe would go without gas. If they do, it means a solid third of America's natural gas must go to Europe... Most likely from the Bakken Shield near us, piped underground to terminals on either the Hudson and Delaware rivers... Guaranteed if Wilmington's port had been sold to Kinder Morgan, ships would be lined up waiting to be filled..

So penalizing the rich Russians who own foreign assets helps Putin with his core constituency which actually would enjoy seeing them suffer some discomfort at the hands of the West, and drive them back to his camp out of necessity, if for no other reason.

But at this point, it is something and really all we can do.

Fri, Mar 7, 2014 8:54am
An article in the Washington Post does a good job showing how Russia, the West and the E.U. view Ukraine and gives insight into the history of the Ukraine. Below is an excerpt from the article…but the full article’s link is posted at the bottom of my post.

“Far too often the Ukrainian issue is posed as a showdown: whether Ukraine joins the East or the West. But if Ukraine is to survive and thrive, it must not be either side’s outpost against the other — it should function as a bridge between them.

The Ukrainians are the decisive element. They live in a country with a complex history and a polyglot composition. The Western part was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1939, when Stalin and Hitler divided up the spoils. Crimea, 60 percent of whose population is Russian, became part of Ukraine only in 1954, when Nikita Khrushchev, a Ukrainian by birth, awarded it as part of the 300th-year celebration of a Russian agreement with the Cossacks. The west is largely Catholic; the east, largely Russian Orthodox. The west speaks Ukrainian; the east speaks mostly Russian. Any attempt by one wing of Ukraine to dominate the other — as has been the pattern — would lead eventually to civil war or break-up. To treat Ukraine as part of an East-West confrontation would scuttle for decades any prospect to bring Russia and the West — especially Russia and Europe — into a cooperative international system.”
~Henry Kissinger


Add your comment:
Attention: In an attempt to promote a level of civility and personal responsibility in blog discussions, we now require you to be a member of the WDEL Members Only Group in order to post a comment. Your Members Only Group username and password are required to process your post.

You can join the WDEL Members Only Group for free by clicking here.
If you are already a member but have forgotten your username or password, please click here.

Please register your post with your WDEL Members Only Group username and password below.

Copyright © 2014, Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.   Terms of Use.
WDEL Statement of Equal Employment Opportunity and Outreach