Russia Today presenter Abby Martin lashed out at The Algemeiner in her show last week after blogger Lakkana Nanayakkara called her out on some of the more outrageous accusations she leveled against Israel during the Jewish State’s “Pillar of Defense” operation.
On her show, ‘Breaking the Set’ the host on the Russian Government funded network complains that Nanayakkara “writes that I accused Israel of war crimes, terrorism, and practicing an apartheid state through multiple reports I had made the week prior.”
“I am not going to sit here and dispute the claims made in this article,” she says going on, throughout the course of the segment, to heatedly accuse Israel of, among other things, targeting journalists, “unwarranted arrests,” “torture,” “psychological warfare,” “practicing apartheid,” “dropping white phosphorous on an open air prison,” and of conducting a “full on war against the media.” She cites such discredited anti-Israel activists as linguist Noam Chomsky and journalist Chris Hedges, as sources.
The animated host references the website of The Algemeiner’s parent Gershon Jacobson Foundation, which lists endorsements from Senator Joseph Lieberman, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gabriella Shalev, as proof that the paper is “Israel backed.” She also mentions a list of supporters of the Foundation which include Israel Bonds and Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, who’s involvement with The Algemeiner has only come in the form of advertising aimed at reaching the paper’s Jewish readers.
Martin also claims that the “U.S. corporate media” are “lackeys for U.S. Government,” and that “the U.S. Government has complete allegiance to Israel.”
“The RT Offices in Gaza were bombed by Israeli forces,” she claims, referring to an Israeli strike on an Islamic Jihad hideout situated on the second floor of a Gaza high rise that also housed members of the international media. She also accuses Israeli spokesman Alex Selsky of “basically insinuating that RT is fair game to be attacked because of the side we (RT) have taken in our coverage,” calling him “unacceptable and despicable,” admitting perhaps inadvertently that RT has taken a side in their coverage.
“And for any Israel backed media that attempts to smear my name, this show, and this network; keep this in mind, this is an opinion show and i’m entitled to my opinion, but the facts are the facts,” she concludes ironically.
The Russia Today network has been roundly criticized for its lack of objectivity as being under the auspices of the Russian Government. Former KGB officer and author Konstantin Preobrazhensky called it “a part of the Russian industry of misinformation and manipulation,” and a former adviser to Russian President Putin labeled it “the best Russian propaganda machine targeted at the outside world.”
An article for The New Republic quoted Michael Moynihan, former managing editor at Vice magazine and a former editor at Reason, who praised one of the network’s shows while adding that “the rest of the network is farcically slanted and not worth engaging.” “The news bit is psychopathic conspiracy mongering about Tower Seven, and the Russia coverage is absolutely appalling,” he said.
A former employee of Russia Today told The Algemeiner in July on condition of anonymity, that RT typically engages in the reporting of conspiracy theories, and looks to book guests that support these theories.
“During the interview process, RT told me they wanted to report ‘the other side’ of the story, the one American mainstream media wasn’t reporting. What that really meant was finding the side of a story which is anti-American and anti-Israeli,” the former employee said.
“The employee says he left RT after three months, following an editorial meeting in which the station manager shouted at a colleague for suggesting a story idea that was critical of Vladimir Putin, who at the time was Russia’s Prime Minister,” The Algemeiner reported.
A video of Martin’s Russia Today rant can be viewed below.