Friday, February 14, 2014

In Twitter exchange, NYTimes reporter admits he looks the other way on human rights abuses

LGBT rights activists upset with NYTimes reporter over incomplete article

Sam Borden, a reporter for The New York Times, wrote an article about some American Olympic athletes being upset with LGBT activists, who are calling attention to the violent anti-LGBT crackdown taking place in Russia under President Vladimir Putin ("American Lugers Annoyed by Group’s Gay Rights Video," 11 Feb 2014).

Christian Niccum and Preston Griffall, both American Olympic athletes competing in Sochi, said they were ruffled by some of the social media activism of LGBT supporters and allies. In particular, the pair of athletes objected to a YouTube video by Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion lampooning the savage heterosexism now sweeping Russia.

In the article, the American athletes bemoaned stereotypes that they now felt that they must endure because of the CIDI video, but The New York Times reporter never asked the athletes what they thought about the violence that LGBT Russians must face in the current oppressive crackdown atmosphere in Russia.

Sam Borden The New York Times Sochi Olympics Luge Article violent anti-LGBT crackdown in Russia Twitter - See more at: http://s203.photobucket.com/user/maslow25/media/ScreenShot2014-02-14at173101_zpse18d7bb5.png.html#sthash.9zUlhY4v.dpuf

Perhaps if Mr. Niccum and Mr. Griffall had been able to have empathy for the plight of LGBT Russians, the Sochi Olympics might garner them some additional fans. But the silence from American Olympic champions and even from reporters from The New York Times seems to suggest that there's an unofficial attitude of appeasement toward President Putin's violent crackdown.

Here is the CIDI video, which ridicule only scratches the surface of the brutal heterosexism in Russia. Even this small amount of humorous criticism triggers painful cognitive dissonance for athletes and media, who'd apparently want to keep the extreme violence locked up in a closet. This video has now been viewed over 5 million times on YouTube :

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