Peter J. Lavelle (born September 1, 1961) is an American journalist, and host of CrossTalk, on the English-language TV channel RT, a Russia-funded global multilingual television news network. Lavelle, originally from Beverly Hills, California is now based in Moscow. Prior to CrossTalk, Lavelle hosted RT's programs IMHO and In Context. Lavelle also hosted a monthly business program on RT called On the Money which ended in May 2014.
Lavelle received a B.A. in International Economic Relations, an M.A. in European history, and completed Ph.D. courses in Studies in European Economic History from the University of California, Davis. He was a Fulbright Research Fellow at the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland. He has been living in Eastern Europe and Russia for over 25 years while working as a lecturer at the University of Warsaw, a market researcher for Colgate-Palmolive, and an investment analyst for brokerage firms, including Russia's Alfa-Bank.
Lavelle has contributed articles to a number of publications including Asia Times Online, The Moscow Times, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, United Press International, The National Interest, and Current History. Lavelle also was the author of Untimely Thoughts, an electronic newsletter.
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In 2008, Stephen Heyman wrote in The New York Times that Lavelle was one of RT's journalists who "said they were earnestly trying to tell Russia's story", and that Lavelle said, "No one is telling me what to say."
In an August 2010 online interview, Peter Lavelle characterized his journalism as "dissent" in the American tradition, which he claimed is being forsaken in the land of its birth. He denies allegations of Kremlin spin-doctoring, saying RT's main aim is to "ask our audience one basic thing: Question More".
In 2010, the chairman of the U.S. government's Broadcasting Board of Governors, Walter Isaacson stated that his organization needs to fight its "enemies", defined as Iran's Press TV, China's CCTV, and RT. Peter Lavelle responded that Isaacson "doesn't have anything to do with journalism" but was a promoter of a "media war" designed to push "the US foreign policy agenda" onto a world that is increasingly skeptical about it.
In 2012, regarding Julian Assange's World Tomorrow interview program for RT, Lavelle told the Christian Science Monitor that "we liked a lot of the WikiLeaks revelations. It was very much in sync with what RT has been reporting about the Arab Spring, and about the duplicitous policies of the US and its allies all along". He called it a "soft power coup for Russia".
In October 2014, Lavelle was at a Valda Club meeting in Sochi between domestic and foreign journalists and Vladimir Putin. He was reported as telling the Russian President that he was "the most popular man in modern history" and "looked upon as a saviour of sorts" by much of the world's population. In June the previous year, Putin visited RT's headquarters in Moscow. "Opinion polls show that the opposition in Russia is very small", Lavelle told him. "What kind of opposition would you like to see?"
- Fred Weir, Russia gives WikiLeaks' Julian Assange a TV platform, Christian Science Monitor, January 25, 2012.
- James Painter, The boom in counter-hegemonic news channels: a case study of Telesur, (undated, circa 2006), Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University. Archived March 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- "About RT". RT. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- "Pravda.ru Interview: Some "Untimely Thoughts" from an Outsider Looking in". Center for Defense Information. 2003-07-18. Archived from the original on 2009-09-06. Retrieved 2009-01-25.
- Peter Lavelle Biography, RT.com website, retrieved on September 20, 2012.
- On the Money webpage at RT.com.
- Peter Lavelle Biography, at FutureBrief.com, retrieved on September 20, 2012.
- Ioffe, Julia (September–October 2010). "What Is Russia Today?". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
- Stephen Heyman, "A Voice of Mother Russia, in English", The New York Times, May 18, 2008.
- "Interview with Peter Lavelle (Russia Today)". Da Russophile. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
- "RT as Public Enemy? Top US media boss ready to fight 'enemies'". Russia Today. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
- Walker, Shaun (October 24, 2014). "Vladimir Putin blames US for Islamist terrorism and Ukraine conflict". The Guardian. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
- Walker, Shaun (June 11, 2017). "Fawning interviewers give President Vladimir Putin easy ride on Kremlin TV chat show appearance". The Independent. Retrieved September 14, 2017.