REN TV, a privately owned channel controlled by associates of Vladimir Putin, the prime minister, said on Thursday it had decided to take her off air calling her actions "unacceptable" and "unprofessional".Shame. She got REN TV a hell of a lot of free publicity and it seems a harsh kind of thank you to blow her out, especially if the middle finger really was aimed at the crew at a point when she thought she wasn't on screen. The BBC would probably have promoted her even if it was unambiguously intended for the presi... oh, wait. No, that'd be the last president, wouldn't it?
"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.
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.
"It had no subtext and was not linked with the news that Limanova was reading at that moment," it said.
Nonetheless, it said it had been left with no choice but to fire her.
"A decision has been taken that T Limanova cannot and will not continue to work on the REN TV channel as a presenter," it said.
Anyway, someone hire Tatyana Limanova and make her Europe correspondent. She could raise fingers all day long and most of the continent wouldn't argue.