Russian Newsreader Tatyana Limanova Makes Insulting Gesture At Obama

Online footage of the incident involving news anchor Tatyana Limanova went viral in both Russia and the West causing REN TV, her employer, huge embarrassment. Russian TV anchor and award-winning journalist Tatiana Limanova was recently taken off the air after giving the finger following the mention of U.S. President Barack Obama's name in a live newscast.

Award-winning REN TV presenter Tatiana Limanova allegedly made the gesture while reading Obama's name during a Nov 14 news item on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference. Online footage of the incident has since gone viral.

She was looking down as she spoke about how Russian president Dmitry Medvedev would be assuming the head of the conference as part of the rotating chairmanship. "This does not diminish her guilt and cannot be considered an excuse. The REN-TV management views this action as the gravest violation of on-air discipline and a demonstration of unprofessionalism," the channel said, according to RIA Novosti.

"On 14 November during the 'News 24' programme the presenter Limanova made an unacceptable gesture that was a synonym for an offensive expression," it said in a statement. Given the timing of the segment, Ms Limanova may have thought that she was off camera when she 'flipped the bird', considering there was a cut-away video segment shortly following her move.

The spokesman said Limanova thought she was reading the news off-screen by the time she raised the finger, according to Reuters, which noted that it is uncertain if the anchor's duties would change after the incident. The channel, which is broadcast to 120 million people, claimed the gesture was intended for her colleagues in the studio rather than for President Obama.

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