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Thomas Roberts Says He Understands 'Tremendous Hypocrisy' of His Trip to Moscow: VIDEO


Thomas Roberts appeared on Morning Joe this morning to elaborate on a statement he made yesterday on MSNBC explaining why he is going to Moscow to host the Miss Universe pageant despite calls for a boycott of the country over Russia's anti-gay laws.

Says Roberts:

"Patrick (his husband) and I have discussed this. We understand that we go on a different privilege than a lot of other people are that live in Russia right now. We live here in the s ates under a different set of privileges. Right now marriage equality is still a big battle. ENDA continues to be a battle in Washington DC. We understand what the home turf is like. I want to go and educate myself on what Russia's turf is like. I want to be able to carve out how I can cover and do stories for our network that way and show first hand what it's like to be there. But I know that I'm going to be treated completely differently. So there is a bit of hypocrisy that goes along with that - a tremendous amount of hypocrisy that goes along with that - so I hope to shine a bright light on that."

No doubt many will be watching to see what form that light takes.

Roberts also responds to some of the reactions he has received. Roberts also tweeted that he'll address it on his show this morning and Donald Trump, who sponsors the pageant, will appear, along with his co-host Melanie Brown.


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  1. Thomas Roberts is clueless.

    Posted by: MARCUS BACHMANN | Oct 18, 2013 12:01:36 PM

  2. I am completely disappointed in you Thomas. I thought you had more integrity than this. Donald Trump is anti-gay. He proved this while running for President. Russia is violently anti-gay and for all your "courageous" words on how you can fight from within, just remember, they would rather spit on you or throw you in jail for how you live your life. As a gay man who has fought for decades for equality here in the United States, I say shame on you!

    Posted by: Paul B. | Oct 18, 2013 12:05:10 PM

  3. So is his next step in changing things from within, a Klan membership? Just wondering.

    Posted by: sparks | Oct 18, 2013 12:06:56 PM

  4. Thomas Roberts certainly thinks highly of himself, that he is above others and that he can do something others cannot do. As noted above he is clueless. Thomas Roberts is also a media whore who will do anything/everything to get his name in lights. It's one thing to be altruistic but it is another to be a complete fool and in this case, Robert is a complete fool. My respect for the man has dropped to the gutter.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Oct 18, 2013 12:09:12 PM

  5. First of all, Miss Universe? That pretty much destroys all integrity right there.

    Posted by: eno | Oct 18, 2013 12:10:09 PM

  6. My question is, why is he hosting a beauty pageant at all?

    If he wants to be taken seriously as a newsman, anchor, and journalist, then he shouldn't take a role as an entertainer. The host of a beauty pageant is closer to being a game show host than a news anchor.

    When there are so many talking heads on the air, it becomes even more important that those who wish to be taken seriously, act that way.

    Would Walter Cronkite or Edward R. Murrow host a beauty pageant?

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Oct 18, 2013 12:16:32 PM

  7. Count this as one fan you've lost, Mr Roberts...

    Posted by: Pitt90 | Oct 18, 2013 12:18:17 PM

  8. He is entitled to make his mind and decisions. We are entitled to react and my reation is a disappointment. He seems a bit naive.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Oct 18, 2013 12:35:03 PM

  9. It's all about the money.

    Posted by: Jack M | Oct 18, 2013 12:45:55 PM

  10. Oh my. Not only is it a matter of going to Russia, it is also a matter of associating with the likes of Trump, a birther, a bigot, and a bagger, of the "tea" type. Sorry Mr. Roberts. But you just went down in my humble estimation. You know what they say... you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

    Posted by: Reggie777 | Oct 18, 2013 12:53:23 PM

  11. Oh my. Not only is it a matter of going to Russia, it is also a matter of associating with the likes of Trump, a birther, a bigot, and a bagger, of the "tea" type. Sorry Mr. Roberts. But you just went down in my humble estimation. You know what they say... you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

    Posted by: Reggie777 | Oct 18, 2013 12:53:23 PM

  12. I'm a big fan of Mr. Roberts, but I have to agree, this is a double-punch of bad moves. I could almost (almost!) buy the idea of his going to Russia to educate himself and learn how to better report on the terrible goings-on there, but associating with, promoting the business of, and getting paid by Donald Trump shows a tremendous lack of integrity. C'mon, Thomas, you still have time to fix this.

    Posted by: PepeSF | Oct 18, 2013 1:07:12 PM

  13. Johnny Weir said he would go and compete because he'd work "really hard," so basically FU. While Roberts seems to have put a great deal of thought behind his decision, I'm still not in agreement. At least with all of the blow back he's gotten lots of people talking about the situation in Russia.

    Posted by: Gigi | Oct 18, 2013 1:15:55 PM

  14. Equal rights are not privileges, Thomas. They are just that, rights. Don't get it twisted. Next thing you know, he'll be referring to sexual orientation as a "lifestyle." He truly is nothing more than a "talking head."

    Posted by: CVP | Oct 18, 2013 1:19:28 PM

  15. He'd better do gay porn. At least he would sell his ass for nicer things.

    Posted by: litper | Oct 18, 2013 1:20:58 PM

  16. So no one is suppose to go to Russia at all now? I thought it was just an Olympics boycott to put economic pressure on Russia who would lose money and have their big moment ruined while the whole world is watching.

    I would imagine that Russia saying "No gays allowed" would be reason to go because that would be the subversive thing to do. I imagine welcomes a gay boycott the country since they don't seem to want any gays there at all. Russia doesn't care why you're not there so long as you're not there. Why exactly does anyone think complying with what Russia wants is a good or effective strategy?

    Imagine how very different the civil rights movement would have turned out if blacks had boycotted the Woolsworth lunch counter instead of staging sit-ins.

    Posted by: John | Oct 18, 2013 1:29:32 PM

  17. All the respect I had for him is gone.
    I heard there will be shakeups soon and he could possibly be out of a job.
    Thus this could be a gig for his next job as a show host.
    I will also say this though,he IS putting himself at risk so I will give him that.
    But at the end of the day,I can't look at him the same way again.

    Posted by: Kevin | Oct 18, 2013 1:38:09 PM

  18. I wish he could express himself better and more clearly. Frankly, I have no idea what he's trying to say. I'm not sure what 'hypocrisy' he's referring to.

    If he doesn't speak out against Russian homophobia while he's there, then he's just an opportunistic, self-serving grand-stander.

    It's an odd day when Andy Cohen is coming off as principled.

    Posted by: Sean | Oct 18, 2013 1:40:33 PM

  19. I will be interested to see if Roberts donates his entire fee to an LGBT organization in Russia fighting for the right to live their lives openly and free of violence and opression..........but I won't be holding my breath.

    Posted by: excy | Oct 18, 2013 1:43:53 PM

  20. If he understands the hypocrisy, why's he going? It would be one thing if he were going to report on the lives of LGBT Russians. But he's going on behalf of Donald Homophobe Trump to collect a beauty pageant paycheck.

    Posted by: Ernie | Oct 18, 2013 1:48:50 PM

  21. I'm sure a Jew going to Nazi Germany circa 1934 in order to convince Hitler to stop being such a meanie would have stopped the Holocaust too. Roberts is an idiot and his paycheck's written in blood.

    Posted by: Jollysocks | Oct 18, 2013 1:58:25 PM

  22. I don't understand the outrage on this. He goes there and show that he's a respectable and professional man -- not the boogeyman they make gay people out to be. He also bring the discussion back to LGBT oppression across the globe. With a straight host, this wouldn't be a story. But with Roberts going, it's becomes a story again.

    He's not visiting for pleasure. I think there is a difference here. He's shedding a light.

    Posted by: jake | Oct 18, 2013 1:59:02 PM

  23. What he will never actually admit to: 1) he is doing it for the money, and 2) he is doing it to advance his career by having his name out there.

    His whole statement that he is going there to show that as a gay man he is just a normal person presumes that he thinks the vast majority of the audience has any idea who the hell he is. (ego much?)

    He is not doing for any altruistic reasons. If he proclaims on stage that he is gay and married to a man, then I will say I was wrong, but he isn't going to do that.

    Posted by: Perry | Oct 18, 2013 2:13:16 PM

  24. Discussed with the "husband??" You wouldn't have a husband if you lived in Russia. You might think you're making history, but you'll actually be making the wrong history. Good luck fool.

    Posted by: GB | Oct 18, 2013 2:52:10 PM

  25. He may actually believe the horse manure that he is shoveling. Maybe he should take another naked pic of himself while he is in Russia and post it on a hookup site like he has done in the past.

    Posted by: Kyle | Oct 18, 2013 2:57:26 PM

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