Russian Orthodox fascist and homophobic terrorist Vitaly Milonov is Al Jazeera’s go-to commentator on Russian current affairs. Photo by Sergei Fadeichev. Courtesy of TASS and the Moscow Times
This is how the “progressive” media works.
I accidentally woke up at five o’clock this morning to discover Al Jazeera’s program The Stream wanted me to be on their panel discussing the Moscow elections and protests at 10 p.m. Moscow time this evening.
The only problem was that, aside from a young researcher at Columbia who seemed okay, the other two panelists Al Jazeera had invited were Vitaly Milonov and Maria Baronova.
I spent most of the morning and part of the afternoon persuading the producer who contacted me that inviting Milonov on their program was like inviting David Duke or Alex Jones.
Would she like to see them on her program? I asked her.
No, of course not, she said.
The problem was that she had no idea whom to invite nor did the young researcher from Columbia. (Which is kind of amazing, too, since the subject of her research is protests and civil society in Russia, but I won’t go there.)
The producer asked whether I could suggest people whom she could invite on the panel.
I could and I did. I sent her a long list that included Leonid Volkov, Grigorii Golosov, Alexander Bikbov, Greg Yudin, Elena Mukhametshina, Maxim Trudolyubov, and Ilya Matveev, along with their social media or email addresses.
Any of them, I explained, would make a great panelist, not because I necessarily agreed with them about everything, but because they knew the subject inside and out.
After that, the producer asked me to record a short “video commentary,” which as she explained, would be used in the show.
I choose to speak, briefly, about the Article 212 Case defendants, some of whom were sentenced to harsh prison terms today and yesterday, while some of them had all charges against them dropped and were set free.
When I sent the producer the video, I asked, since several hours had passed by then, who would be on the panel, finally.
Had she managed to invite any of the people I had suggested?
Almost five hours have gone by with no reply from the producer.
Only forty minutes ago did I look at the show’s page and discover that everything I said and wrote to the producer had been utterly pointless, to wit:
[…] Putin has been in power for 20 years and is due to step down as president in 2024. Many younger demonstrators have never experienced Russia under a different leader, and they and others are pushing to take their country in a more democratic direction. This backdrop helps explain why officials are working hard to contain Moscow’s protests. But whether what’s happening in the capital will spread to the rest of Russia remains up for debate.
In this episode we ask, will protests change anything in Russia? Join the conversation.
On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Vitaly Milonov @Villemilonov
Member of the Federal Assembly of Russia
Journalist at RT
Yana Gorokhovskaia @gorokhovskaia
Researcher at Columbia University
In the midst of all that has been happening in Moscow, one of the world’s most respected news organizations has decided their viewers need to hear from a world-famous militant Russian Orthodox fascist homophobe and a certifiably crazy woman who went from working for Open Russia one day to working for Russia Today the next.
This is a complete travesty.
Oddly, the producer said that Gorokhovskaia, too, had “reservations” about appearing on the same panel with Milonov and Baronova.
She should have had them. // TRR
P.S. As I have also discovered, this was Milonov’s second appearance on the program.
Anti-Gay Russian Lawmaker Disrupts Opening of LGBT Film Festival
Oct. 25, 2018
State Duma deputy and notorious anti-gay crusader Vitaly Milonov reportedly attempted to shut down Russia’s only LGBT film festival on its opening night Wednesday.
Milonov, a lawmaker from the ruling United Russia party, has earned a reputation for his inflammatory anti-LGBT rhetoric and is best known for spearheading Russia’s ban on “gay propaganda.”
The St. Petersburg-based Fontanka news website reported that the deputy, accompanied by six men, physically blocked the entrance to the Side by Side film festival on Wednesday evening.
In footage posted online, the lawmaker is heard accusing festival-goers trying to get into the venue of participating in an unsanctioned demonstration.
“Dear citizens, you know yourselves that you are perverts; you need to disperse,” he is heard saying.
“We are Russian people who are on our home soil. And you’re not. Your motherland is Sodom and Gomorrah,” he adds.
According to the festival’s organizers, Milonov claimed that a hostage crisis had unfolded inside the cinema and called the police.
Prompted by Milonov’s call, police officers reportedly evacuated the building. According to Fontanka, around 400 filmgoers who bought tickets were unable to attend the screenings planned for Wednesday.
“The first day of Side by Side was interrupted in an outrageous manner and eventually disrupted by State Duma deputy Vitaly Milonov,” the festival organizers were cited as saying.
Milonov denied that he had alarmed the police about a possible hostage crisis, saying that he came to the event because he believed it may have been “violating Russian law.”
The festival organizers rejected Milonov’s claims that they had broken Russia’s “gay propaganda” law — which bans promoting LGBT values among minors — as minors were not allowed to attend the festival.
Side by Side, Russia’s only annual LGBT film festival — now in its 11th year — has in the past been threatened by government officials and nationalist activists.
The organizers said that the festival would continue as planned this week, despite what they described as Milonov’s “illegal actions.”