American Reporter Hijacks Russian Television in Gay Rights Protest

August 22, 2013 |

The first rule of cable news is that the most interesting thing is always the unexpected thing.

This is why for a decade the most captivating cable host has been Shepard Smith, who often takes just about any report on any topic in a surprising and often delightful direction. (If you want to get a sense of his genius, just take a look at the index of “Daily Shep” that Politico has compiled.) It is why the most interesting moment two weeks ago on MSNBC was when New Republic reporter Julia Ioffe refused to back down in the face of Lawrence O’Donnell’s outrage on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show. (Her written piece explaining the experience was pretty good too.) It is why the best cable moment of the year so far was Chris Hayes straight-faced takedown of conservative outrage over black violence about a month ago.

But on Wednesday, Hayes got competition for his crown. American reporter and pundit Jamie Kirchick did the cable news medium proud by ambushing a conversation about Bradley Manning on RT, the cable channel funded by the Russian government, to attack Russian President Vladamir Putin over his government’s anti-gay policies. Truly. Great. Cable. Television.

“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 criminalizes homosexual propaganda [and] that effectively makes it illegal to talk about homosexuality in public,” he said, among other things.

After the appearance, Kirchick tweeted that RT tried to get a taxi company to drop him off on the side of a highway in Sweden. “True fact: @RT_com just called taxi company that took me to studio to drop me off on the side of the highway on way to Stockholm airport,” he wrote.

RT’s own Twitter feed had no comment on the Kirchick protest.

Category: World

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