Monday, February 10, 2014

Striking a Pose at the Sochi Winter Olympics?

Johnny Weir's flamboyant style in Sochi as an NBC Olympics commentator seemingly strikes a pose against Russian Federation's Gay Propaganda Law, prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality among minors. 

There have been some mixed signals at the Sochi Olympics on homosexual rights. NBC has somewhat acknowledged the Gay Rights protests amidst its fawning Russo-philic coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Yet during the Opening Ceremony, when new IOC President Thomas Bach addressed the controversy by speaking against "discrimination of any kind", NBC cut that portion of the speech, supposedly for time considerations.

Were these time considerations to squeeze in more commercials in the tape delayed coverage for American prime time? Or is it to make time with their Russian hosts?

 Then there is the visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin stopped by the Heineken House to cavort with Dutch athletes celebrating their multiple speed skating wins in Sochi.

[L. in red jumpsuit] Vladimir Putin toasts Dutch athletes at Heinekin House, Sochi, Russia

 Putin congratulated Ireen Wust, the gold medal winner of the 3000 meter race, who is openly bisexual. As the Russian President was leaving the Netherland's athlete compound, Wust gave Putin a quick hug.

Is the rainbow protest a cause celebre which is full of sound and fury signifying nothing? Or are the hosts manipulating the world's perception of a less tolerant regime by tailored coverage and empty gestures?

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