- February 8, 2014
Post submitted by Charlie Joughin, HRC Press Secretary
During day 2 of NBC’s Olympic coverage of the Sochi Winter Games, including the Opening Ceremonies, the network spent 26 minutes, 34 seconds of airtime to Russia’s anti-LGBT “propaganda” law.
TIME DEDICATED ON FRIDAY: 26 minutes, 34 seconds
CUMULATIVE TIME DEDICATED SINCE COVERAGE BEGAN: 45 minutes, 14 seconds
The TODAY Show
A preview of President Obama’s interview with Bob Costas, with mention of the propaganda law.
Air Time: 8:06:03am EST to 8:06:16am EST – 13 seconds
Transcript: President Obama also said he wanted to send a clear message to Putin about Russia’s anti-gay laws by sending openly-gay athletes to represent the US at today’s Opening Ceremony.
Discussion of Google’s rainbow themed Google Doodle for the Olympics.
Air Time: 7:07:20pm EST to 7:07:29pm EST – 9 seconds
Transcript: Another controversy surrounding these Olympics – gay rights. In a symbolic gesture, Google marked the Winter Games by flying the rainbow colored flag Thursday on its search page.
XXII Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony
Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira speaking with David Remnick
Air time: 7:39:44 pm EST – 7:42:03 pm EST – 2 minutes, 19 seconds
In a perfect world, tonight would be all about the athletes and athletic competition, but this isn’t a perfect world. It’s the real world. And as Bob referenced, there have been all kinds of issues swirling around these games from the threat of terrorism, tensions between the United States and Russia, gay rights, cost overruns, the weather, and on and on and on. As a result, there’s kind of an unpredictable feeling surrounding these games. We come here prepared to talk about the athletes, but also prepared to talk about the entire story.
XXII Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony
Bob Costas Interviewing President Obama
Air time: 7:46:23pm EST to 7:47:25pm EST. – 1 minute, 2 second
Click here to watch the interview on nbcolympics.com
The show aired a Clip from The Colbert Report linking Russia's blocking of a Chobani yogurt delivery to their anti-gay laws.
Air Time: 5:26:20am EST to 5:27:16am EST – 56 seconds
Video not available on MSNBC’s website. The clip can be viewed on the Colbert Report website by clicking here.
Way Too Early
Host Thomas Roberts discusses Google’s rainbow Google Doodle for the Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Air Time: 5:31:58am EST to 5:32:31 – 33 seconds
Click here to watch the segment on the Way Too Early website.
Brian Shactman reports from Sochi, Russia, on whether the current focus on LGBT issues in Russia will be helpful.
Air Time: 12:07:46pm EST to 12:08:341pm EST – 55 seconds
Click here to watch the segment on the MSNBC Live website
A discussion on President Obama’s decision not to attend the Opening Ceremony.
Air Time: 3:14:20pm EST to 3:17:49pm EST – 3 minutes, 29 seconds
Transcript: So one person who is not at games obviously is President Obama who decided not to go and some felt that might be sending a signal about some of the controversy in Russia in particular around gay rights. President Obama actually spoke to Bob Costas about that and about the fact that his Olympic delegation he also nominated sort of pointedly features a number of gay athletes. Let’s listen to some of that. All right. We did not have the audio on that, but part of what the president said is there's no doubt we wanted to make it clear that we do not abide by discrimination in anything, including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. That has been an issue hanging over these games at the start. And I’m sure one thing people are going to be looking for in the opening ceremony and throughout these games is if there will be any protests around gay rights in particular. We’ve already seen one maybe protest or not protest from a Russian snowboarder whose snowboard had an image that looked to be the Russian protest punk rock group pussy riot. nice. he said sort of wryly, i didn't make the snowboard. I’m glad to see in our delegation, Billie Jean King, an extraordinary advocate for women's rights and gay rights far long time. Her representation of America has been extraordinary so glad to see her part of our group.>> absolutely. That’s part of where the diplomacy comes in. I mean, liberals in foreign policy often say we should engage countries like Cuba or Iran. Russia has a bad record in a lot of these arias, but this is engagement, too, when you look tonight at these opening ceremonies you'll hear the Russian national anthem. One reporter reports in the New Yorker when you look at his control, Putin’s control, the lyrics and the notes in that national anthem were overseen by Vladimir Putin. Now he's a songwriter. The Russian and soviet history and the textbooks is overseen personally by Putin. Wow. State-run television obviously overseen and controlled by Putin. Orwellian. Just like Barrack Obama, really. Exactly. Yeah. But he's actually from the country that he's in charge of. That’s the deal. I guess it depends who you ask. Yet that is the tension here. Which is we're going to celebrate something that is international, that is global, that has a lot of wonderful parts of Russia. Not all Russians personally obviously support a man who rules over them with such an iron fist. something else he writes, "dissident Russian voices cal these Putin’s game and minus the tone of derision, Russian officials close to Putin explain his motives aren't that different but the political tension of the games, Putin’s desire to reassert a powerful, confident Russian state on the world stage in the face of his critics and his government's disregard for principles of human rights cannot easily be eclipsed by the glint of gold medals and fireworks." i think of that as the real challenge tonight, an incredible global diplomatic and athletic celebration that we can all rally around to some degree. Yet also a time for the world community to think about the record of this authoritarian.
Now with Alex Wagner
Peter Baker discusses the Sochi Olympics and the criticism surrounding the games, including Russia’s anti-LGBT propaganda law.
Air Time: 3:59:26pm EST to 4:08:57m EST – 9 minutes, 31 seconds
Click here to watch the segment on the Now with Alex Wagner website.
Politics Nation with Al Sharpton
Rev. Sharpton recounts the history of social justice activism from athletes at the Olympic Games, and speaks about why it’s important for that spirit to continue in Sochi with gay rights.
Air Time: 6:54:57pm EST to 6:56:47pm EST. TOTAL: 1 minute, 50 seconds
Click here to watch the segment on the Politics Nation website.
The Rachel Maddow Show
Rachel Maddow reports on arrests of LGBT activists in Russia on the day of the Olympic opening ceremonies.
Air Time: 9:58:06 PM –10:00:28 PM EST 2 minutes, 22 seconds
Click here to watch the segment on The Rachel Maddow Show website.
Introduction of a segment discussing whether the Sochi Games will boost Russia’s economy.
Air Time: 5:14:46am EST to 5:14:59 EST – 13 seconds
It cost $50 billion and has been dogged by accusations of graft and protests against the Kremlin’s anti-gay laws.>>So will hosting the Winter Games pay off for Russia?
The Squawk Box
Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman & CEO, defends his decision to condemn Russian's anti-gay policies ahead of the Olympics in Sochi.
Air Time: 6:43:43am EST to 6:48:00am EST – 3 minutes, 17 seconds
Click here to watch a clip from the segment on the Squawk Box website
HRC will be monitoring NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games on the five official Olympics networks - NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, USA Network and NBC Sports – and we will track reporting on the anti-LGBT situation in Russia. For the full 17 day run of the Sochi Games, HRC will track Olympic programming around the clock and provide daily reports on the time they devote to covering the host country’s recently-passed “propaganda” law.
Check back tomorrow at HRC.org/Russia to see how much time NBC devotes to the issue. We’ll continue tracking and updating as more data becomes available. Think we’ve missed something? Let us know in a comment below.
Methodology: Through media tracking software and a team of analysts, HRC will be monitoring NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games on the five official Olympics networks - NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, USA Network and NBC Sports – and we will track reporting on the anti-LGBT situation in Russia. Because Olympic events will air sporadically throughout the 17 day run of the Sochi Games, HRC will track all programming 24 hours a day and provide daily reports on the time devoted to covering the host country’s recently-passed “propaganda” law and the current situation for LGBT Russians. If you think we’ve missed a piece of coverage, please let us know in the comments below. For more information on Russia and learn what you can do, visit HRC.org/Russia.