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NBC Hires David Remnick to Handle Olympics Coverage of Russian Anti-Gay Law, Politics

NBC has hired New Yorker editor David Remnick to provide coverage of Russian politics including fallout from the country's anti-gay laws during its upcoming Olympics broadcast from Sochi, Deadline reports:

RemnickThe network announced this morning it has hired New Yorker editor (and former Washington Post Moscow bureau chief) David Remnick to provide guest commentary on the network’s air during its coverage of the Games. Remnick, will contribute to NBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony and will offer commentary for NBC News in Sochi, the network said.

“We are facing an Olympics that have a number of issues around them — substantial, meaty, news issues,” NBC’s Olympics exec producer Jim Bell told Sports Illustrated over the weekend. “For us to be able to have an opportunity to address them with someone like David made perfect sense. We would be remiss not to rely on some of the best and brightest minds to help present this to our viewers the right way.”

NBC is already taking heat from activists groups like Queer Nation (below) which recently protested a talk by gay figure skater Johnny Weir, whom NBC has hired to provide commentary for the Sochi Games.

NBC also recently promised, in a statement of support for Weir, that it "will cover all newsworthy issues as they are relevant to the Games, including the LGBT law."


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  1. My former student! :-)

    He certainly knows Russia, and he would have the contacts to get the story right. Of course on TV it's probably a question of a few minutes, unfortunately.

    Posted by: KevinVt | Dec 9, 2013 12:17:01 PM

  2. Nobody should watch these fascist games irrespective of NBC's PR moves, which this is.

    Posted by: MaryM | Dec 9, 2013 1:48:12 PM

  3. Lest we forget, Remnick was one of the backers of the US war on Iraq. And his gay blogger at the New Yorker is public relations flak Richard Socarides, the guy who wrote the talking points for Bill Clinton to defend his signing of DOMA in 1996. So, all in all, not encouraging.

    Posted by: Andy Humm | Dec 9, 2013 2:16:40 PM

  4. dommyluc to handle response to NBC coverage of the Sochi Olympics:

    "Uh, blow me, guys."

    Posted by: dommyluc | Dec 9, 2013 2:45:50 PM

  5. There is no winning this for NBC. If they didn't pick someone with a big enough name (therefore mainstream) they would have been accused of using a light-weight or a fringe. If they didn't get a gay athlete to comment they would have been accused of giving in to the Russian law. They choose a gay athlete and the commentary is that he's making a deal with the devil. It's a very bad day when a minority group cannot accept an effort made in their favor. It happens all the time but still - it's a full two steps back when such efforts are rejected.

    Posted by: Markt | Dec 9, 2013 7:07:35 PM

  6. MSNBC is the most homophobic news media in America. They collude with the Russian government to hide the terrorism against russian LGBT. They sent two token gays to Russia to give that homophobic POS country the gay stamp of approval. Now they've hired this character Remnick to totally erase the persecution of russian LGBT. No doubt we won't hear a word about the beatings or murders and the whole situation will be reduced to "they're just against gay marriage".
    Fück you,MSNBC
    and fück you in advance,Remnick.

    Posted by: mk ultra | Dec 9, 2013 8:45:16 PM

  7. Unlike some, I am unable to predict the future. However, Remnick is an expert on Russia and more knowledgeable and serious a guy than anyone else on NBC. For sports coverage, a pretty much unprecedented hire.

    Posted by: emjayay | Dec 10, 2013 12:08:18 AM

  8. MK ULtra: Yes, that's why they hired Rachel Maddow. There is a difference between NBC sports, NBC news and MSNBC. MSNBC has some of the most gay positive reporting on American networks. Seriously, you may hate NBC's corporate spinelessness about the Olympics but they are hardly the most homophobic news media in America. You either don't live in America or you are letting your emotions color your reasoning facilities.

    Posted by: Liam | Dec 10, 2013 2:23:23 PM

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