Former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond is set to host his very own talk show on the Russian-state owned broadcaster, Russia Today (RT). ‘The Alex Salmond Show’ will be a weekly chat show inspired by his sold-out one-man comedy show Alex Salmond… Unleashed. It will cover current affairs, politics, showbiz, sport and will feature interviews with guests. The show will air every Thursday night.
He has been condemned by many other politicians and former colleagues for joining the propaganda-driven channel. Willie Rennie, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats has described Salmond as “a former first minister who fancies himself as the Michael Parkinson of [Vladimir] Putin’s propaganda channel”.
Nicola Sturgeon, Salmond’s successor and leader of the SNP has also criticised him: “I am sure Alex’s show will make interesting viewing – however, his choice of channel would not have been my choice,” she said, “Of course, Alex is not currently an elected politician and is free to do as he wishes – but had I been asked, I would have advised against RT and suggested he seek a different channel to air what I am sure will be an entertaining show. Neither myself nor the SNP will shy away from criticising Russian policy when we believe it is merited.”
Jackson Carlaw, the deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said “It’s clear that Alex Salmond’s moral compass now points towards Vladimir Putin’s corrupt regime in the Kremlin. It beggars belief that a man who led Scotland for seven years should be reduced to a puppet of Russia’s deeply damaging propaganda unit.”
RT is known for being very controversial. Anchor Liz Wahl quit live on air saying “personally I can’t be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin. I’m proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth and that is why, after this newscast, I’m resigning.” RT responded with a statement: “When a journalist disagrees with the editorial position of his or her organisation, the usual course of action is to address those grievances with the editor, and, if they cannot be resolved, to quit like a professional. But when someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt.”