U.S. Reporter Taken Off Russian TV for Protesting Anti-gay Laws

James Kirchick's appearance on the channel RT was cut short when instead of talking about Bradley Manning, he came out against Russian anti-gay legislation.

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Haaretz
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Haaretz

Reporter James Kirchick's appearance on a Russian TV channel was cut short Wednesday, when instead of answering a question on Bradley Manning and Wikileaks, he spoke about Russia's anti-gay legislation, The Washington Free Beacon website has reported.

“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,” the website cited Kirchick as saying.

Kirchick, a columnist with Haaretz, was appearing on the channel RT, which is funded by the Russian government. Russia recently passed a sweeping law banning public discussion of gay rights and gay relationships in front of children.

As the U.S. reporter carried on talking about Russia's anti-gay laws and the Kremlin's financial support of the channel, one of the hosts told Kirchick that he has to "come over here and see for yourself."

Kirchick continued: “You have 24 hours a day to lie about America, I am going to tell the truth with my two minutes." Shortly after he said this, he dissappeared from the split-screen on the show, the website said.

Later in the program, one of the hosts said, “a quick explanation now for the beginning of our coverage of the Bradley Manning sentences. We invited a guest on to discuss the fate of the whistleblower, but he used the chance to discuss his views on other unrelated issues and that’s why we had to take him off air. We would like to say sorry for any confusion caused.”

Kirchick later tweeted that RT called off his car service after the program: “True fact: (RT) just called taxi company that took me to studio to drop me off on the side of the highway on way to Stockholm airport,” Kirchick wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning following his appearance on the network.

James Kirchik before he was taken off air on Russian TV.

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