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Friday, 21 March 2014

How Liz Wahl Worked with Bill Kristol’s Neocon Think Tank to Plan Her Resignation from RT


Journalists Rania Khalek and Max Blumenthal have published a story on the resignation of Russia Today anchor Liz Wahl. It strongly suggests that a fellow for the neoconservative think tank Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) played a key role in Wahl’s decision to leave the network a couple weeks ago.

The story, published at Truthdig, highlights how Wahl’s act of protest against RT earned her multiple invitations to appear on major news or television programs. It led to some journalists taking the time to do exposés on the network. But what the news media did not probe was the fact that FPI’s Twitter feed had hyped Wahl’s resignation before it even happened with tweets like “#WordOnTheStreet says that something big might happen on RT in about 20-25 minutes.”

Jamie Kirchick, an FPI fellow (and also Daily Beast contributor), was the first to publish an exclusive. It turned out, as Kirchick admitted, “Wahl initially reached out to me in August, after I launched my own impromptu protest on RT against Putin’s homophobic repression. Wahl felt morally compromised working for the network, she told me, but wasn’t yet prepared to quit.”

“We stayed in touch periodically over the past 6 months, and I always encouraged her to follow her conscience in making a decision about her professional future,” he said.  “The network’s absurd coverage of Russia’s invasion, Wahl told me earlier this week, was the last straw.”

What Khalek and Blumenthal delve into is how FPI, where Kirchick works, was launched by William Kristol, Dan Senor and Robert Kagan. It “grew directly out of the Project for a New American Century that led the public pressure campaign for a unilateral US invasion of Iraq” after 9/11. They outlined Kirchick’s history of working with well-connected neoconservatives committed to lobbying for war.

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