RT anchor resigns in protest over coverage of plane attack in Ukraine

posted at 11:21 am on July 18, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Russia Today’s (RT) London correspondent, Sara Firth, resigned in protest on Friday over her network’s coverage of the attack on a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine. The network veteran of five years cited her respect for the truth when announcing her decision to leave the Kremlin-funded news network.

“Firth described the Malaysia Airlines flight crash coverage as ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back for me’ and handed in her resignation this morning,” read a report in the U.K. based Press Gazette.

“Yesterday when the story broke you get the kick in your stomach when you’re going to get the facts and it’s this huge story,” she told Press Gazette.

“And I walked into the newsroom and they were running an eye-witness account of God-knows who the person was blaming the Ukrainian government, and it is such a volatile situation.”

“And it’s the level of disrespect for the facts that really bugs me.

When confronted about her decision by an insulted colleague, Firth stood by her claim that RT is an organization dedicated to the dissemination of “lies.”

Firth is not the first RT correspondent to resign in protest over that organization’s coverage of an event which obscured the truth in order to shield Russia from criticism. In March, network correspondent Liz Wahl resigned live on RT’s air over that network’s coverage of Moscow’s invasion and subsequent annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

UPDATE: RT has responded to Firth’s allegations and defended their coverage of the downed Malaysian airliner:

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What a world we live in. Russia’s journalists have more integrity than ours.

faraway on July 18, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Inspiring to see what it looks like when a journalist has integrity and courage. Wish we had more of that here.

SoRight on July 18, 2014 at 11:23 AM

She’s just figuring this out now?

MikeHu on July 18, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Waiting to see type of thing from a “reporter” at MessNBC.

MechanicalBill on July 18, 2014 at 11:24 AM

I wasn’t aware there were any RT anchors left after the whole Crimea brouhaha. I’m happy to be corrected

rogaineguy on July 18, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Sorry but that’s not courage. I’m sure she’ll be just fine.

jephthah on July 18, 2014 at 11:24 AM

She’s just figuring this out now?

MikeHu on July 18, 2014 at 11:23 AM

No, clearly she’s not. She just had enough of fighting it. “We are asked on a daily basis…”

makattak on July 18, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Has the MSNBC-fart-Einsteinian-scumhag resigned, yet?

Schadenfreude on July 18, 2014 at 11:25 AM

This year was the fifth of Firth at RT and she just now realized it?

Flange on July 18, 2014 at 11:27 AM

We are asked on a daily basis..

So what’s the difference between RT and CNN or MSNBC? That’s everybody’s M.O. nowadays.

HotAirian on July 18, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Better late than never.

What a world we live in. Russia’s journalists have more integrity than ours.

faraway on July 18, 2014 at 11:22 AM

That’s not hard.

formwiz on July 18, 2014 at 11:30 AM

So what’s the difference between RT and CNN or MSNBC? That’s everybody’s M.O. nowadays.

HotAirian on July 18, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Whom they are lying and obscuring for.

makattak on July 18, 2014 at 11:30 AM

be safe, madam. vlad doesn’t take too kindly to those who call him out
[!!!!]

ABreitbart on July 18, 2014 at 11:30 AM

She’s just figuring this out now?

MikeHu on July 18, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Sometimes it takes being ordered to speak a lie to bring it all home. She may not previously have been put into that position.

But what she did was the honorable thing to do. And, given whom is doing it, it’s a powerful thing to do.

unclesmrgol on July 18, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Putins spin machine even spin this one.
It smells to the high heavens.
I think we may have another Hitler on our hands. Any human being who can blow up innocent people should not be in a position of authority.

Putin is a mad man.

weedisgood on July 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM

From a domestic standpoint, the Twitter exchange with Firth has probably put Polly Boiko on the short list of future MSNBC show hosts or Obama White House press secretaries, if she ever opts to leave her current job. They can appreciate her type of concern about reporting the truth.

jon1979 on July 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM

“And it’s the level of disrespect for the facts that really bugs me.”

Well with the state of “journalism” today..she might reconsider her profession.

HumpBot Salvation on July 18, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Whom they are lying and obscuring for.

makattak on July 18, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Same species of bear – Eastern Marxist Bear, or Western Marxist Bear

faraway on July 18, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Imagine that,….InTegrity!!!!

canopfor on July 18, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Wake me up when the Larry the Cable Guy impersonator resigns.

corona79 on July 18, 2014 at 11:35 AM

The Sharyl Attkisson of Russian media. I’d like to see a few more quit our state run media.

forest on July 18, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Polly Boiko@Polly_Boiko

@ukTanos what am i spreading?

Sara Firth @Sara__Firth
Follow
@Polly_Boiko @ukTanos Lies hun. We do work for Putin. We are asked on a daily basis if not to totally ignore then to obscure the truth

Don’t go work for MSNBC or CNN. The same is true there except you have to substitute “Obama” for “Putin”.

Bitter Clinger on July 18, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Whom they are lying and obscuring for.

makattak on July 18, 2014 at 11:30 AM

The Democrats. If they had reported properly on Obamacare, we wouldn’t be in this “we have to pass it so you can see what is in it” mode — everyone would have known what was in it long before it came to a vote.

But, instead, their coverage was “those evil Republicans want to deny everyone healthcare”.

Now, with children dying trying to enter the United States, it’s the mean Republicans causing the problem, rather than the invitation offered to them by President Obama should they make it across the river.

unclesmrgol on July 18, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Great courage. We will never see it here from the mid-stream media.

However, don’t be surprised if she turns up with a mysterious death due to Polonium poisoning.

txdoc on July 18, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Our journalists just die in flaming car crashes, or early heart attacks.

faraway on July 18, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Imagine that,….InTegrity!!!!

canopfor on July 18, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Stunning – good for her.

jake-the-goose on July 18, 2014 at 11:47 AM

So what’s the difference between RT and CNN or MSNBC? That’s everybody’s M.O. nowadays.

HotAirian on July 18, 2014 at 11:28 AM

The difference is Russia’s media is told to lie. Ours does it willingly.

old school on July 18, 2014 at 11:49 AM

I can’t say that I blame her. She prolly just wanted the opportunity to express “ideology with the purpose of educating, training and organizing the masses” and got upset when she had to repeat stuff she knew was simply propaganda.

ericdijon on July 18, 2014 at 11:54 AM

If America had a Sara Firth, she would have resigned long ago. Most American’s have absolutely no clue how corrupt the Fifth Column Treasonous Media is. The worst part is, it isn’t just that they lie, it’s the more substantive lies of omission. When the mainstream media in mass decides that a story isn’t important enough to report on, that is a lie of omission. That is precisely how Obama got elected.

oscarwilde on July 18, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Sorry but that’s not courage. I’m sure she’ll be just fine.

jephthah on July 18, 2014 at 11:24 AM

That’s what I was going to say. Who do they think they’re kidding with that subtitle? She says she has huge respect for many there, but that they work for Putin and are asked to spread lies on a daily basis. Give me a break.

Fenris on July 18, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Sorry but that’s not courage. I’m sure she’ll be just fine.

jephthah on July 18, 2014 at 11:24 AM

I don’t know that to be true. People who cross Putin tend to have mysterious ghastly permature deaths. Poisoning with plutonium for leaving the state security service, poisoning with dioxin for opposing Putin in Ukraine (survived but disfigured and brain damaged), beaten to death in elevator for a reporter on Russian abuses in Chechnya etc.

KW64 on July 18, 2014 at 11:57 AM

On the upside, Jay Carney has just found the job opening he’s always wanted.

Kevin71 on July 18, 2014 at 11:59 AM

And yet we had a Hot Air poster here yesterday linking to a RT page on the incident. And when I pointed out to him/her what RT was, he then went stupid on me and started throwing other wacko conspiracy theories at me.

he should resign.

Walter L. Newton on July 18, 2014 at 12:01 PM

On the upside, Jay Carney has just found the job opening he’s always wanted.

Kevin71 on July 18, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Thread winner. Ed… lock this thread.

Walter L. Newton on July 18, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Has the MSNBC-fart-Einsteinian-scumhag resigned, yet?

Schadenfreude on July 18, 2014 at 11:25 AM

She got promoted to host of NBC’s Meet the Press.

BOR did a segment on her last night with Bernie Goldberg. Goldberg tore her a new orifice. BOR, though normally insufferable, didn’t attack her, but just condescendingly diminished her as someone who really didn’t deserve to be on the air in the first place. After listening to BOR, you couldn’t help coming away with the sense that she barely had the competence to purchase items from a list at the grocery store. I don’t know how she could show her face after that.

BuckeyeSam on July 18, 2014 at 12:02 PM

“what am i spreading?”

“lies hun”

lol. perfect! i respect this reporter a lot. hope she doesn’t have to face any consequences for doing this sort of thing.

Sachiko on July 18, 2014 at 12:04 PM

hope she doesn’t have to face any consequences for doing this sort of thing.

Sachiko on July 18, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Oh, there will be consequences, there are always consequences for doing the right thing. Hopefully though, she will both survive those consequences and thrive as well.

oscarwilde on July 18, 2014 at 12:08 PM

It took her 5+ years to have an attack of conscience and decide to tell the truth?

Raquel Pinkbullet on July 18, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Haven’t we already seen this movie starring Liz Wahl?

sharrukin on July 18, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Dear Sara (funny how a lot of strong women are named Sara), that would be your prezzy you saw on TV blaming the Ukranians for the shoot down. Ours only said it could be a tragedy.

Kissmygrits on July 18, 2014 at 12:13 PM

She probably received a better offer elsewhere and decided to go out with a bang to rake up karma points with the “other world”. After five-odd years of the media continuous licking of Obongo’s butt, journalistic integrity goes under the same chapter with tooth fairies and oceanfront properties in Colorado.

Rix on July 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM

The network veteran of five years cited her respect for the truth when announcing her decision to leave the Kremlin-funded news network

…imagine if the network people did that here…we would have no network news!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 18, 2014 at 12:26 PM

She signs her own death warrant.

Many others in Russia have died for their reporting, tossed down ten or twenty flights of stairs, defenestrated, or simply shot going into their ‘secure’ apartment buildings from the inside.

Her time is now limited and on the run as Putin has demonstrated he can reach out and poison you or push you out of an aircraft just about anywhere you go.

She has more courage than entire networks in the US that dedicate themselves to repeating lies and slander for free and on their own accord with no threats upon them or their families. Networks of cowards he fear telling the truth because it would demolish their petty dreams… just their dreams… not their lives.

ajacksonian on July 18, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Not surprised at all that Noah was quick to point this out.

Say, how much RT do you watch, Noah?

BobMbx on July 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM

She probably received a better offer elsewhere and decided to go out with a bang to rake up karma points with the “other world”. After five-odd years of the media continuous licking of Obongo’s butt, journalistic integrity goes under the same chapter with tooth fairies and oceanfront properties in Colorado.

Rix on July 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM

This being RT, you can be sure they do not hold O in high regard.

BobMbx on July 18, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Hope she doesn’t let anyone poke her with an umbrella.

Marcola on July 18, 2014 at 12:34 PM

She signs her own death warrant.

Like Liz Wahl did?

Many others in Russia

ajacksonian on July 18, 2014 at 12:26 PM

She’s in London.

sharrukin on July 18, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Is RT the new Pravda?

sadatoni on July 18, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Is RT the new Pravda?

sadatoni on July 18, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Its a pro-Russian site much like many US media outlets are pro-leftist.

sharrukin on July 18, 2014 at 12:41 PM

But look at that jaw! She could suck a dink and eat a spaghetti dinner.

ezspirit on July 18, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm can ANYONE please ‘splain for me HOW “truth” and “Kremlin funded news outlet” fit into the same sentence??

Katfish on July 18, 2014 at 12:42 PM

One MUST watch RT if one want’s to be up on world news. Why, as a result of watching RT, I know that Russian automobile insurance companies won’t pay for damage to your car if you cannot prove that you weren’t at least partly responsible.

As a result, Russia is the leader in youtube postings of dashcam videos showing why Russia is probably ahead of parts of New Jersey in terms of jerk-off drivers.

And that’s why I know the Russians are coming — my local Fry’s electronics store just started selling dashcams which write protect their memory cards in the event of an accident.

unclesmrgol on July 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Any human being who can blow up innocent people should not be in a position of authority.

weedisgood on July 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM

So Obama should resign too.

RickB on July 18, 2014 at 12:51 PM

“And it’s the level of disrespect for the facts that really bugs me.”

Well with the state of “journalism” today..she might reconsider her profession.

HumpBot Salvation on July 18, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Something with more integrity, like prostitute?

Closet Optimist on July 18, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Something with more integrity, like prostitute?

Closet Optimist on July 18, 2014 at 12:55 PM

That would be “sex worker”.

Make a note.

BobMbx on July 18, 2014 at 1:03 PM

When confronted about her decision by an insulted colleague, Firth stood by her claim that RT is an organization dedicated to the dissemination of “lies.”

Noah Rothman, that’s not a completely accurate depiction.

Polly Boiko was responding to ukTanos, not confronting Sara Firth about Sara’s decision to quit.

It was Sara Firth who confronted Polly Boiko about Polly’s response to ukTanos.

The relevant tweet is https://twitter.com/Sara__Firth/status/490070995831910401

Tanos ‏@ukTanos

@Polly_Boiko How do you sleep at night, taking money to spread Putin’s lies? All those dead children on that plane.

Polly Boiko ‏@Polly_Boiko 8h

@ukTanos what am i spreading?

Sara Firth ‏@Sara__Firth

@Polly_Boiko @ukTanos Lies hun. We do work for Putin. We are asked on a daily basis if not to totally ignore then to obscure the truth

More complete coverage at: http://twitchy.com/2014/07/18/whoa-did-russia-todays-sara-firth-just-admit-she-is-paid-to-peddle-pro-putin-propaganda/

ITguy on July 18, 2014 at 1:11 PM

I don’t know how she could show her face after that.

BuckeyeSam on July 18, 2014 at 12:02 PM

She was an accountant at MSNBC, before this post.

Schadenfreude on July 18, 2014 at 1:13 PM

When confronted about her decision by an insulted colleague,

For clarification, Noah, you’re acting like this tweet, posted at 5:05 AM – 18 Jul 2014, was somehow in response to this tweet, posted at 7:53 AM – 18 Jul 2014.

That’s simply not true.

ITguy on July 18, 2014 at 1:19 PM

What a world we live in. Russia’s journalists propagandists have more integrity than ours “journalists”.

faraway on July 18, 2014 at 11:22 AM

That clarifies it a bit, I think.

GWB on July 18, 2014 at 1:25 PM

@Polly_Boiko @ukTanos Lies hun. We do work for Putin Obama. We are asked on a daily basis if not to totally ignore then to obscure the truth. 4:50 AM – 18 Jul 2014

fixed it!

Herb on July 18, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Courage?

More like opportunism.

wyntre on July 18, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Courage?

More like opportunism.

wyntre on July 18, 2014 at 2:02 PM

How exactly is it “opportunism” to quit your job on principle, without any other job opportunity in sight?

ITguy on July 18, 2014 at 2:34 PM

She’s in London.

sharrukin on July 18, 2014 at 12:36 PM

And looks enough like Diana Rigg in her twenties to play Emma Peel in a “re-imagined” version of The Avengers (non-Marvel, that is).

Can she act?

Oh, right, she’s a journalist. Same thing, only requiring less applied IQ.

/methinks lovely lady is a bit too intelligent for her present profession

cheers

eon

eon on July 18, 2014 at 2:45 PM

What a world we live in. Russia’s journalists have more integrity than ours.

faraway on July 18, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Bizzaro World…she won’t be hired by MSNBC, CBS, NBC, CNN either…

right2bright on July 18, 2014 at 3:10 PM

I really get sick and tired of the whole holier-than-thou attitude that some conservatives take when something like this happens. It’s always, “You’re just figuring this out now?” or “You should have done it sooner”. Please, just shut up. Everyone of us have made bad decisions before and realized they needed to make things right. Sometimes you stomach things because you need to survive, but it becomes too much. Maybe she should have done it sooner; regardless, she should be applauded for taking a stand.

Indefatigable on July 18, 2014 at 4:00 PM

The network veteran of five years cited her respect for the truth when announcing her decision to leave the Kremlin-funded news network

.

Really?

jnelchef on July 18, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Bravo, Sara! Your integrity is admirable. Hope you find employment quickly.

As my daughter likes to point out,

“Truth has no agenda.”

oldleprechaun on July 18, 2014 at 10:27 PM

Carney is on his way to Russia.

Jpalm32 on July 19, 2014 at 6:38 PM