Brave? Foolish? Somehow part of Vladimir Putin's master plan? Whatever it was, Abby Martin's closing to-camera on Monday night's edition of Breaking the Set, a show she hosts for the American Russia Today, didn't mince words.
"I can't stress enough how strongly I am against any state intervention in a sovereign nation's affairs," she stated. "What Russia did is wrong."
Martin prides herself on "speaking the truth as I see it," but how she sees it usually coincides a little more closely with how her employers — state-owned RT and, therefore, the Kremlin — see it, too. Her apparent foray off-message has won her praise from Western commentators, including the patron saint of whistleblowers, Edward-Snowden-scoop-breaker Glenn Greenwald.
Others, however, saw a cynical ploy by RT to boost their much-lacking credibility. After all, the network's consistently anti-Western coverage, ranging from the hysterical to the absurd, has led to accusations — convincing ones — that it's nothing more than a Kremlin mouthpiece. Allowing one of its star anchors to go off-script — and then not firing her for it, as RT has not — does make the network's bosses look, you know, not entirely autocratic.
Indeed, Martin was full of praise for her network's editorial independence the following evening when she began her show by addressing the fall-out from her remarks. "I speak out against military intervention every single day on this show, and I have been speaking out against the US's involvement in Ukraine since the beginning," she said. And the reason she's free to do so? Because her government-funded employer is independent from "the corporatocracy" that keeps American media gagged, of course!
The upshot is, Martin (who, by the way, also has some pretty wacky ideas about 9/11) won't be losing her job. She has turned down at least one assignment, however: a reporting trip to Crimea, suggested by her bosses in the wake of her comments. "I respectfully declined," she said, without elaborating further.