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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 23 June 2021

Journalist confronts Russian TV hosts over 'anti-gay laws'

James Kirchick was on the Russia Today to speak about Bradly Manning’s but instead labelled the channel a “Kremlin funded propaganda network”.

A GAY AMERICAN journalist confronted Russian news anchors live on air about they country’s ‘anti-gay laws’ yesterday.

James Kirchick was on the English language Russia Today (RT) network to speak about Bradly Manning’s sentencing but when the news anchor went to him for comment, Kirchick used the opportunity to attack channel, labelling it a “Kremlin funded propaganda network”.

Kirchick began his protest by putting on a pair of rainbow braces and quoting a line from American playwright and gay activist Harvey Fiersten that “being silent in the face of evil is something that we can’t to do.”

When the news anchor attempted to steer Kirchick back to the subject they wanted to discuss, the Ha’aretz and the New York Daily News columnist was unperturbed:

I’m not really interested in talking about Bradley Manning. I’m interested in talking about the horrific environment of homophobia in Russia right now. And to let the Russian gay people know that they have friends and allies and solidarity from people all over the world. And that we are not going to be silent in the face of this horrific repression that is perpetrated by your paymasters, by Vladimir Putin. That’s what I’m here to talk about.

“You have 24 hours a day to talk about what’s going on in the United States and to lie about what’s going in Russia. I’m going to take my two minutes and tell people the truth,” he added.

Kirchick has garnered widespread praise for his efforts including, he says, receiving standing ovation from a Swedish television station and a note of support from the Estonian president. Stephen Fry, who recently called for a boycott of next year’s Winter Olympics in protest against the law, also tweeted in support.

Kirchick however insisted he had done nothing brave:


Read: Protest to take place at Russian embassy in Dublin over ‘anti-gay laws’>
Read: Poll: Should Ireland boycott Winter Olympics over Russian ‘anti-gay laws’?

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Rónán Duffy

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