John M. Becker

Gay Reporter Challenges Anti-LGBT Law on Russian TV

Filed By John M. Becker | August 22, 2013 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Bradley Manning, gay propaganda, gay propaganda law, James Kirchick, Russia, Russia Today, Vladimir Putin

kirchick_RT.jpgRussia Today (RT), an English-language television network owned and funded by the Russian government, invited American reporter James Kirchick to be part of an on-air panel yesterday discussing the sentencing of Bradley Manning.

But Kirchick, a gay conservative, didn't want to talk about Manning. Instead, when his segment began he put on a pair of rainbow suspenders and informed the host that he'd be talking about Russia's barbaric crackdown on LGBT people instead.

"Being here on a Kremlin-funded propaganda network," Kirchick said, "I'm going to wear my gay pride suspenders and I'm going to speak out against the horrific anti-gay legislation that Vladimir Putin has signed into law."

The startled host tried to get Kirchick to talk about Manning, but to no avail: he spent more than two minutes slamming the law, assailing Russian homophobia, and excoriating the RT Network for their complicity in Putin's hate-fueled policies.

RT eventually cut off the interview.

Watch, after the jump.

The network was so furious with Kirchick for his on-air challenge to Russia's anti-gay laws that they reportedly decided to cut off his transportation from the studio:

Zack Ford at ThinkProgress points out that although Kirchick was not technically correct in his assertion that RT hasn't covered the "gay propaganda" law, the coverage the network has given has mostly been used to defend the measure. And in true state-owned fashion, Russia Today even has a "facts and myths" page on its website telling readers that it's really not so bad for LGBTs in Russia after all.

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