Liz Wahl

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Liz Wahl
Liz Wahl on RT America (cropped).png
Wahl in 2012
Born (1985-05-27) May 27, 1985 (age 37)
EducationFairfield University
Occupations
  • Journalist
  • correspondent
  • activist
Political partyDemocratic

Liz Wahl (born May 27, 1985) is an American journalist.[1][2][3][4][5] She was a correspondent for the Russian government-sponsored RT television network from 2011 to 2014 but left the network following a harshly critical on-air resignation that went viral.

Early life[edit]

Wahl was born at the U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay[6] in the Philippines to a Filipina mother[6] and a Hungarian American father. She was raised in Connecticut. She graduated from Fairfield University.[7] Her paternal grandparents were refugees from Hungary, who fled the on-coming Soviet invasion during the Hungarian Uprising.[5][8] Wahl cited her grandparents' experience as a factor in her public denunciation of RT and the network's coverage of the Russo-Ukrainian War.[5]

Career[edit]

RT America[edit]

Liz Wahl on RT America, 16 March 2012

Wahl worked at the United States branch of RT since 2011.[9] She and colleague Abby Martin began criticizing RT’s coverage of the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation on-air on March 3, 2014.[3] On March 5, 2014, Wahl went off script and resigned her job during her live segment while denouncing her employer RT.[10] Wahl stated "I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin."[11]

The video of Wahl's resignation immediately went viral on the internet, with millions of hits on YouTube. She appeared on three major American cable news outlets – CNN,[12] Fox News, and MSNBC – was also invited to appear on The View, and the shows of Anderson Cooper, and Stephen Colbert[13][14] for additional interviews.

Then RT Breaking the Set host Abby Martin criticised Wahl’s on-air resignation, which she said was a publicity stunt engineered by Bill Kristol's Foreign Policy Initiative think tank.[15][9] Barbara Walters initially voiced criticism of Wahl, saying she should not be treated like a hero,[16][17] but Walters has since recanted and praised Wahl's efforts.[18]

Politico published Wahl's tell-all firsthand story where she detailed her early career, how she was recruited to RT, her frustrations working for the Russian-funded network.[5] Wahl's contact, James Kirchick, admitted to having foreknowledge of her resignation but denied suggestions that he had orchestrated the event, stating that Wahl did what she did out of her own volition and that she initially reached out to him months earlier following his own on-air protest on the network against anti-gay legislation in Russia.[19] Wahl told David Weigel writing for Slate that her detractors were behaving as though her contact with Kirchick were part of a conspiracy. It began following his unexpected criticism of Russia's anti-gay laws during his appearance on RT.[20]

Post-RT career[edit]

Wahl has reported for Newsy.[21] Wahl spoke at a peace conference in the Hague and addressed the Parliament of Canada on foreign interference in the digital era.[9]

In January 2019, Wahl announced her candidacy in the 2020 election for the United States House of Representatives in Texas's 23rd congressional district. She ran as a Democrat.[9][22][needs update]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ James Kirchick (March 5, 2014). "Exclusive: RT Anchor Liz Wahl Explains Why She Quit". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  2. ^ "Russia Today Anchor Liz Wahl Quits Live On-Air". The Hollywood Reporter. March 5, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Katy Watson (March 6, 2014). "Russia Today TV presenter Liz Wahl quits on air". BBC News. Retrieved March 13, 2014. For the second time American presenters on the Russian backed TV station Russia Today have gone off script to voice their personal concerns about Russia's occupation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
  4. ^ Peter Edwards (March 6, 2014). "Russia Today anchor Liz Wahl quits job on-air in protest". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014. She also noted that her partner is a physician who treats American soldiers on a daily basis.
  5. ^ a b c d Elizabeth Wahl (April 8, 2014). "I was Putin's Pawn". Politico. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Controversial Fil-Am news anchor Liz Wahl talks to The FREEMAN". The Philippine STAR.
  7. ^ Wahl, Liz. "Liz Wahl". Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  8. ^ "Liz Wahl, Russia Today anchor, quits her job on air". CBC News. March 6, 2014. Archived from the original on March 7, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014. My grandparents came here as refugees during the Hungarian revolution, ironically to escape the Soviet forces," Wahl said, adding she was "very lucky to have grown up here in the United States.
  9. ^ a b c d Estrada, Jade Esteban. "Liz Wahl, the Cable News Anchor Who Resigned On-Air, Wants to Bring a Global Perspective to District 23". San Antonio Current. Archived from the original on September 14, 2019. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  10. ^ Taylor, Adam. "RT journalist quits live on air, citing Russian intervention in Crimea". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ RT Anchor Quits on Air, retrieved March 22, 2022
  12. ^ Russia Today anchor resigns on-air, retrieved March 22, 2022
  13. ^ Greg Botelho (March 6, 2014). "Anchor quits: I can't be part of network 'that whitewashes' Putin's actions". CNN. Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  14. ^ "VIDEO: Stephen Talks Obama's Appearance on 'Between Two Ferns' on COLBERT". Broadway World. March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 14, 2014. On last night's The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, Obama appears on "Between Two Ferns," Liz Wahl discusses her resignation from Russia Today, the NSA hires an advice columnist, and Maria Shriver talks "Paycheck to Paycheck." Check out highlights from The March 12th broadcast below!
  15. ^ van Zuylen-Wood, Simon (May 4, 2017). "At RT, News Breaks You". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  16. ^ Hallie (March 7, 2014). "Barbara Walters Is Not Impressed With Former RT Anchor Liz Wahl". New York magazine. Retrieved March 14, 2014. Walters's co-hosts gave some push back, but Babara held her ground, declaring, "I think what she did is fine — it's a personal choice, but don't make her a hero for protesting. She is working for the government."
  17. ^ James Crugnale (March 7, 2014). "Barbara Walters Rips Russia Today Anchor Who Quit: She's Not 'A Hero' (Video)". The Wrap. Retrieved March 14, 2014. Barbara Walters has no sympathy for former Russia Today anchor Liz Wahl. The veteran ABC news correspondent took to "The View" Thursday to address the RT anchor's recent on-air resignation, in protest of the Russian government's pro-Putin propaganda on the network.
  18. ^ The View (April 8, 2014). "Liz Wahl on The View". The View. Archived from the original on May 16, 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  19. ^ Jamie Kirchick (April 8, 2014). "Defending Putin's Propagandists". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  20. ^ Weigel, David (March 19, 2014). "An Afternoon With Liz Wahl, the Reporter Who Quit RT and Hasn't Heard the End of It". Slate. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  21. ^ Wahl, Liz. "Truthers: When Conspiracy Meets Reality". Newsy. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  22. ^ Bowden, John (January 3, 2019). "Ex-RT anchor who quit live on air announces bid for Texas GOP lawmaker's seat". TheHill.

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