An American journalist, invited to appear on RT — Russia’s state-funded international news network — to discuss the Bradley Manning Wikileaks case, highjacked the live broadcast for more than two minutes on Wednesday to sound off against Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda” law.
James Kirchick, a gay journalist who has written for The New Republic and The Washington Post, was to be interviewed from Stockholm for a panel discussion about Manning, when he pulled on a pair of rainbow-colored suspenders and quoted American playwright and actor Harvey Fierstein as saying, “Being silent in the face of evil is something we can’t do.”
“Being here on a Kremlin-funded propaganda network, I’m going to wear my gay pride suspenders and speak out against the horrific, anti-gay legislation that Vladimir Putin has signed into law,” Kirchick said.
Kirchick dominated the live broadcast, at one point telling the anchorwoman who tried to cut him off, “You have 24 hours a day to lie about America, I am going to tell the truth with my two minutes.”
“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,” he said.
Kirchick said that after RT producers in Moscow cut off his audio feed, he headed to the airport in a prearranged taxi that the station agreed to pay for as part of his appearance agreement, reported Radio Free Europe.
“So about halfway down the highway on the way to the airport, my driver gets a phone call from his boss, saying that the car ride has been canceled and that he’ll have to drop me off on the side of the road,” Kirchick said.