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Journalist Jamie Kirchick was kicked off Russia Today television on Wednesday, after using a segment on Private Bradley Manning to blast the Russian government-funded network for ignoring Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law and hate crimes against the LGBT community.

“I’m not really interested in talking about Bradley Manning,” Kirchick said, after putting on his “gay pride” suspenders. “I’m interested in talking about the horrific environment of homophobia in Russia right now.”

Kirchick also blasted the show’s reporters for not speaking out against the harassment against journalists in that country.

The columnist from Israel’s Haaretz newspaper announced his intention to “not be silent in the face of evil” on his Twitter account before his appearance.

When the show’s host tried to direct the conversation back to Manning, Kirchick was not interested.

“RT has been… RT has been Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden 24/7,” he said. “I haven’t seen anything on your network about about the anti-gay laws that have been passed in Russia and the increasing climate of violence and hostility toward gay people.”

Before Kirchick was taken off the air, the host referred him to RT’s YouTube account for a panel discussion from the previous week,

The discussion the host referenced involved the proposed boycott of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, and began by saying that the Russian interior ministry has announced that there will be no discrimination against gay people coming to watch “or even participate” in the games. He described the laws that had passed the Russian Duma unanimously as banning “non-traditional sexual relations propaganda to minors.”

Three LGBT activists were on the panel, including activist Julie Bindel on the satellite from London, who echoed Stephen Fry’s assessment of the Russian laws as harkening to the Nazis’ behavior toward the Jews.

The other two activists in Russia opposed the boycott. Marytyn Andrews, the cultural correspondent for RT, said he opposed the law but compared it to Section 28 in the United Kingdom, a ban on homosexual propaganda that was supported by Margaret Thatcher and lasted until 2003.

On the RT America YouTube channel, there were no segments about the anti-gay laws or any issues having to do with the LGBT community — but more than a dozen about Manning and Snowden.

After his appearance, Russia Today made it clear that it didn’t appreciate Kirchick’s outburst.

 

James Kirchick on RT

 

(h/t The Washington Free Beacon)

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Jason Miller

Screenshot from C-SPAN

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

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