HRC Blog

Day 5: NBC’s LGBT Coverage from Sochi – 4 minutes, 16 seconds

nbc olympics sochi lgbt

During day 5 of NBC’s Olympic coverage of the Sochi Winter Games, the network spent 4 minutes, 16 seconds of airtime on Russia’s anti-LGBT “propaganda” law.

TIME DEDICATED ON MONDAY:  4 minutes, 16 seconds
CUMULATIVE TIME DEDICATED SINCE COVERAGE BEGAN: 1 hour, 10 minutes, 23 seconds

MSNBC

Way Too Early
Thomas Roberts jokes about being featured in Olympic Opening Ceremonies, mentions controversy about Russia's anti-gay policies.
Air Time: 5:55:00AM –5:56:08 PM EST 1 minute, 8 seconds
Transcript: Thomas Roberts made quite a big impression last year when he was in Russia to host the Miss Universe pageant – you did a fantastic job with that. One of our eagle-eyed "Way Too Early followers tweeted us this picture from the Olympic opening ceremonies in Sochi, two enormous busts floated by with an equally huge hammer and sickle. Get a close-up of that Russian man’s profile.  It bears an uncanny resemblance to our very own Thomas. Check out that masculine jawline, that beautiful coiffed hair. I don't know if that's spooky or you should try to sue for some sort of plagiarism. They sole my face. We reached out to the Russians. There's nothing gay about these Olympics either, Louis, just a big American gay guy floating by. Don't know what to say to that, Thomas. But you look great there.>> thank you. You look great and I think they -- my mother thinks it's me and that's the definitive -- that's all we need right there.

MSNBC Live
Host makes a comparison between anti-gay policies in Russia at the Olympics and NFL prospect Michael Sam coming out of the closet.
Air Time: 12:50:00PM–12:50:38PM EST 38 seconds
Transcript: As millions around the world tune in to watch the Olympics in Sochi, it's not just the athletes that have been getting the attention. It has also been Russia's anti-gay laws that have been in the spotlight. So it is perhaps somewhat appropriate that it was during the first week of the Olympics that All American college football player Missouri's Michael Sam came out of the closet. ‘Came to tell the world that I'm openly proud gay man. I was afraid that it would leak out without me actually owning my truth. I wanted to let the world know and tell them that hey I'm gay, let me tell my own story.’

Andrea Mitchell Reports
Andrea Mitchell interviews Janet Napolitano about the games.
Air Time: 1:27:00PM–1:29:04PM EST 2 minutes, 4 seconds
Click here to watch the segment on the MSNBC website.

NBC

NBC Nightly News
Reporter Kevin Tibbles mentions that Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Netherlands’ Irene Wüst, who won the gold medal in the 3,000-meter speed skating competition.  Irene is openly lesbian.
Air Time: 6:36:52pm EST – 6:38:18pm EST – 26 seconds
Transcript: So there you have it, the tale of two Julias, or Yulias. As for Vladimir Putin, he didn’t just visit the Austria house, he also dropped by Holland house and he gave a hug to a speed skater from Holland who won a gold medal. That speed skater happened to be the first gay athlete to win a medal at these Olympic Games. >>At least the Russian army is also on board. Kevin Tibbles here with us tonight.

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.

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