Barack Obama’s opinion polls might be showing signs of recovery in America, but he seems to be a pretty unpopular with Tatyana Limanova, a newsreader for REN TV, a privately owned Russian channel. The feisty newsreader gave the President the finger as she reported on the report on the Asian-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit held in Hawaii earlier this month, where she advised the station’s viewers that the position had been held by Obama.
“Before, this post was held by Barack Obama,” she read, before looking up at the camera, lowering her eyes again and raising her middle finger. REN TV maintain that the gesture was aimed at members of the production team and not at the leader of the free world, but channel bosses took no chances and fired her after the video went viral.
“On 14 November, on the News 24 programme, anchor Limanova, on live TV, allowed the use of an inappropriate gesture (a synonym for an obscene expression),” the channel said in a statement on Thursday. “This gesture was addressed to members of the production team, had no subtext, and was not linked to the information Limanova was reporting at the time.”
The channel decided to fire her anyway, stating: “Since this does not detract from her guilt and is not an excuse, the leadership of the REN TV channel considers this act a gross violation of discipline and a manifestation of unprofessionalism.”
The row came a day after US-Russia relations faced their latest test when President Medvedev warned the US over its missile defence plans – a move said to have “spoiled Thanksgiving” for the Americans.