Change.Org Petition Wants Rachel Maddow As Human Rights Correspondent For NBC Olympics Coverage

Rachel Maddow
Controversy surrounding the human rights atrocities is already causing trouble for NBC Universal, who has exclusive broadcasting rights for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. NBC has announced that they will wait until the games draw near before making any decision about whether/how to address the controversy. However, Truth Wins Out has already proposed a solution, and have started a petition on to gain traction for the idea. Rather than boycott NBC or the games altogether, they wish for NBC to use the Games as an opportunity to shed light on Russia's human rights violations. Executive director Wayne Besen had this to say in the group's official release:

"The spotlight can be harsh, but Russia specifically asked for it when they submitted a bid and agreed to host the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. People around the world want to watch and support the Olympics, but they want to do so with a clear conscience. Make a difference, NBC, by adding Rachel Maddow to the Olympic coverage as a special Human Rights Correspondent." 

Sochi OlympicsThey argue that coverage of the Olympic Games has always included human-interest pieces, about both athletes and the host nation. The Sochi Games present a rare opportunity to have NBC feature hard-hitting, current journalism to an unprecedented global audience, raising awareness to an entirely new level. They also maintain that Rachel Maddow is the person best suited for such a responsibility. According to the group's Associate Director, Evan Hurst:

"Rachel has the expertise and the instincts to tell this full story to a viewing audience who are appalled by the treatment of their Russian brothers and sisters. Adding her to NBC’s coverage won’t fly in the face of the Olympic spirit, but rather enhance it, as there is nothing in the ethics or the history of the Olympic Games that can coexist peacefully with the war Russia is waging against her own citizens, and the rest of the world needs to know."

She also happens to already belong to NBC's family of networks. Thus, they conclude, the decision is a no-brainer. 

The petition currently has 1200 signatures, and wishes to add at least 300 more. You can read and sign the petition, should you so desire, HERE. Meanwhile, sound off in the comments section as to whether you think this would be an acceptable solution for NBC. 


  1. northalabama says

    unless russia ensures the safety of all olympic participants during the event, and guarantees this in writing, there is only one solution for nbc, and it doesn’t involve rachel maddow – claim a human rights, athlete safety, eithical, or moral violation of terms of the broadcast agreement (whichever applies), and refuse to cover the event.

  2. UFFDA says

    This is a great idea and a perfect example of how the many politically active and savy gay organizations can put their knowhow to creative use, in this case shoving the anti-gay attitudes and policies of the Russians right back down their throat. This protest stuff is going to get big, bigger than all Russia. It’s going to get awkward, then embarrassing and finally intolerable. We know for sure which side is not going to back down.

  3. Lucca says

    Great idea. In fact there should be as many LGBT reporters and correspondents as possible over there, too. Don Lemon and Jared Max should be there!

    @NORTHALABAMA, if only this idea could work. It’s a great idea on principle, but goes against the whole capitalist money-making stuff that NBC is in this thing to begin with. They make way too much $$$$$ to give this up. They should play up the rainbow colors and bring back the old peacock logo and plaster it everywhere; it would confuse the heck out of the new bolsheviks.

  4. Leo says

    A productive and reasoned solution.

    Rachel would be key for branding and actually attracting a mainstream audience to the cause. It’ll be interesting to see how she addresses this on her show.

    Realistically though, I don’t think she will nor will NBC contractually let her. More likely the latter than the former.

  5. noteasilyoffended says

    Sounds like a great idea if Ms. Maddow is up for it. She’s smart as a whip and appears unafraid to call something or someone out. She knows how the “game” is played. I’d be glad to have her lending her knowledge to the situation.

  6. woodroad34d says

    Russia is using the Olympics as a PR stunt for the country trying to make the world see it in a softer light. It’s totally appropriate to throw water on a despotic regime and not let them get away with this lie. Rachel with her intelligence and forthrightness is absolutely perfect.

  7. GB says

    How about a gay male? Gay women have more balls? You think “personalities” are solutions. You’re not casting the Olympics.
    You’re always a shade diabolical. Stick to your career Rachel.

  8. UFFDA says

    Ultimately the Russian government, its state religion and it’s oppressive-minded citizenry as well need to be dragged through the collective street of the world kicking and screaming as they will until they face that the Western idea of Enlightenment (liberte, fraternite, egalite) is the best idea for people everywhere, just as democracy also is. Ditto for the whole Muslim world. Furthermore, it is inevitable

  9. Adam says

    I think Rachel Maddow would be the best correspondent for an assignment such as this; but anyone who really thinks the Russian government is going to permit the Games to be covered from this perspective is not dealing in reality.

  10. Joseph Singer says

    Hey Towelroad, how about fixing your link which is supposed to go to a petition but instead just goes to another towleroad article?

  11. MaryM says

    In light of the threat to ALL LGBT competitors / spectators (whether they be Russian or not) how can NBC guarantee that Rachel Maddow will not be arrested and imprisoned by agents of the Russian dictatorship for breaking the law by ‘promoting’ homosexuality.

    This law means quite simply that no response is adequate except to move the Winter Olympics from Russia to Vancouver (which already has the infrastructure in place from the 2010 Winter Olympics).

  12. JMC says

    Rachel getting arrested would honestly be the best thing that could come of this, it would cause an international incident that would put a magnifying glass on Russia’s human rights violations that would be impossible to ignore.

  13. says

    I would only sign that petition if there was some way of guaranteeing Rachel’s safety. As a lesbian herself, she would be in harm’s way far more than most other correspondents.

    Don’t forget: anti-gay policies don’t just appear because of prejudice political leaders. There are bigots aplenty amongst the population, and LGBT folks have more to worry about than just “official” law enforcement.

  14. Albert says

    This world doesn’t care when gay people get murdered tortured and violated…they just want to watch Glee and pretend everything is ok. The network wont hire Maddow and business will go on as usual in Russia.

  15. Donald says

    What they say:
    NBC has announced that they will wait until the games draw near before making any decision about whether/how to address the controversy.

    What they mean:
    NBC will go ahead with all plans regarding coverage of the games because by then hopefully people will have forgotten or gotten tired of hearing about it.

  16. jamal49 says

    I haven’t seen it suggested as yet, but perhaps a visible rainbow logo sewn into the uniforms of Olympic athletes who sympathize with LGBTQ rights would shake things up. It would be interesting to see if the Russian police would arrest any Olympic athlete who would sport (so to speak) the rainbow colours openly. If they did and it was quite a large number, I’d say that there would then be sufficient international outrage to force the Russian government and its Russian Orthodox Church homophobe supporters to back down very, very quickly.

  17. says

    Rachel is perfect for this, if NBC will allow her and she is willing. She coupled with willing athletes will raise global awareness so high as to give Russia & their church pause to reconsider the consequences internationally …

  18. Fox says

    Did NBC have a human rights correspondent or do any kind of reporting on human rights violations when they broadcast the games from Beijing, China?

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