A reporter was removed from Russian TV on Wednesday afternoon for protesting the Kremlin’s recent passing of an anti-gay propaganda law.
James Kirchick, who writes for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, was booked to appear on a segment to discuss the sentencing of Private Bradley Manning. However, the correspondent used his time on the show to protests Russia’s draconian anti-gay legislation that has drawn international condemnation in recent weeks.
"When evil shows its face you have to answer," Kirchick said, quoting playwright Harvey Fierstein, before revealing his true intentions to the show's anchors.
"Being here on a Kremlin-funded propaganda network, I'm gonna wear my gay pride suspenders, and I'm gonna speak out against the horrific anti-gay legislation that Vladimir Putin has signed into law, that was passed by the Russian Duma, that criminalises homosexual propaganda [and] that effectively makes it illegal to talk about homosexuality in public," he said.
Despite the anchors' protestations, Kirchick continued: "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."
The journalist was kicked off the channel soon after, but not before questioning the integrity of the “journalists” presenting the broadcast.