NBC fails to disclose Olympic commentator Weir works for Russian govt.

NBC Sports recently hired former professional figure skater Johnny Weir to provide commentary on the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, without disclosing that Weir claims to be an agent of the very country he’s covering for NBC – Russia.

UPDATE: Weir’s agent is now claiming that his bio mentioning that he “works” with/for the Russian consulate in New York City is simply “a typo.”

Johnny Weir’s bio says he “works” with the Russian consulate in NYC

Journalist Andy Humm recently discovered Weir’s, and NBC’s, apparent conflict of interest while reviewing Weir’s bio (which has suddenly been removed post-publication of this story) at Premiere Speakers Bureau. Weir’s bio reads in part:

Due to his ability to understand global art and culture and his sporting expertise, Weir has recently begun working as a Goodwill Sports Ambassador to Japan and also works with the Russian Children’s Welfare Society and Russian Consulate in New York City.

Fortunately I took a screen capture of Weir’s bio last night before it went down the memory hole:

Johnny-Weir-bio

Here’s what you’ll find in place of Johnny Weir’s bio after we published this story:

Johnny-Weir-bio-removed

Weir is now denying the relationship with the Russian consulate detailed in his own bio:

johnny-weir-russian-consulate

In fact, your own bio.

Some have now suggested that Weir was referring to an event he was on the host committee for with the Russian Children’s Welfare Society, an event that was thrown with the Russian Consulate.  But that event happened in 2010. Weir’s bio specifically said, as of last night, that he “works” with both organizations. Being on the host committee of a single event in 2010 is not “works” – it’s worked, past tense.  And it’s not even “work,” it’s hosting an event.

If Weir’s defenders are now trying to claim that he misrepresented himself in his resume that he used to get get paid speaking engagements, well, I’m not sure that’s much of a defense.

Not to mention, if the bio is so benign, why was it suddenly deleted?

UPDATE: It’s back!  Things just got even stranger. Premiere has replaced Weir’s bio with one that continues to mention the children’s welfare group, but now doesn’t mention the Russian consulate at all.  But if he was on the host committee of an event with the children’s group and the consulate, and felt it fair to claim that he “works” with the children’s group and the consulate, then how can he now still mention the children’s group, but not the consulate at all, when they both were part of the same event?  Wouldn’t it be both or nothing?

weir-newest-bio

Weir has been outspoken in his criticism of gay activists targeting Russia and its Olympics

johnny weir

Weir appeared on Keith Olbermann’s show earlier this year dress in a Russian/soviet military uniform.

Weir has been outspoken in his criticism of international human rights activists targeting Russia for its recent crackdown on its gay and trans citizens.  But most of us had no idea that Weir was actually working with the Russian government to a degree that merited mentioning it in his resume, and in the present tense (“works” with, not “worked” with).

Just a little over one week ago, Weir called human rights activists, who are critical of Russia, “idiots.” (He later apologized for some of his comments.) At that time, Weir also criticized the wildly-successful boycott of Russian vodka that helped attract worldwide attention to Russia’s anti-gay abuses (via Andy Humm):

During [Weir's] talk he spoke of “idiots like the ones outside tonight, dumping vodka in the street,” action he dismissed as useless.

“They say all these stupid things.”

Trans woman brutally beaten by Russian vigilantes, who filmed the attack and then posted it online.

Trans woman brutally beaten by Russian vigilantes, who filmed the attack and then posted it online.

Even more troubling, during that same talk, Weir minimized, and seemed to actually defend, Russia’s draconian new anti-gay “propaganda” law that essentially makes it illegal for anyone to be openly gay in the country, or for anyone straight to express a pro-gay sentiment. More from Humm:

Referring to the new anti-gay law in Russia, which forbids virtually all public mention of homosexuality as a threat to children, the athlete [Weir] flippantly characterized it as “no anal sex in front of libraries.”

Nancy Goldstein nails why Weir’s weird “anal sex” comment is doubly offensive:

It’s a flippant reference to the widely broadcast footage of the late Alexei Davydov being hauled off, as the first person arrested under the law, for standing in front of the Moscow Children’s Library with a sign that read, “Gay is normal.”

Gay protesters arrested in Russia.

Gay protesters arrested in Russia.

Weir was not only defending, and intentionally downplaying the impact and offensiveness of, Russia’s new anti-gay law, but he was also taking a swipe at a brave Russian gay activist who was jailed for simply having an opinion the state did not approve of.

Russia’s propaganda law is already being used to stifle dissent

In fact, contrary to Weir’s claim, the propaganda law has been used against more than just people who have anal sex in front of libraries.

Neither NBC nor Johnny Weir disclosed his work with the Russian consulate

Did NBC reveal Weir’s work with the Russian government when announcing that they’d hired him to provide commentary for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi? No. Here’s NBC’s press release. No mention of Weir’s work with the Russian government.

russia gay

15 year old gay Russian boy kidnapped, and tortured, by anti-gay vigilantes that the Russian government refused to arrest.

But surely when the NBC press release linked to Weir’s bio, people could have found a full disclosure of Weir’s ties to the Russian government there? Nope. Nothing in that particular bio about Weir’s work with the Russian consulate.

And while NBC and Weir could claim that the relationship was divulged in that other obscure bio that Humm just found, I’ve been unable to find anything beyond that one mention, and it’s a safe bet that a lot of NBC’s viewers are unaware of the relationship, as were most of us.

Keep in mind, it’s not like NBC is claiming that Weir’s ties to the Russian government have nothing to do with his job at NBC covering the Olympics.  On the contrary, NBC delved into the Russian anti-gay controversy in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth paragraph of their October 23, 2013 story announcing their hiring of Weir:

Weir has been opposed to calls for a boycott of the Sochi Olympics because he feels it would negate the efforts of athletes who have worked hard to reach the Games.

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill banning the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations” toward minors, which has made gay athletes and spectators worried about discrimination and possible arrest in Sochi.

“I’m a gay American. I’ve married into a Russian family. I’ve been a longtime supporter of Russia, the culture, the country, the language, everything about Russia,” Weir said on TODAY Wednesday. “While this law is a terrible thing that you can’t be gay publicly in Russia, I plan to be there in full support of our brothers and sisters there and not be afraid.

“If I get arrested, I get arrested; if not, great, but our presence is needed. For all the Olympians that worked so hard, a boycott is just the worst thing that you could do to all these young people.”

If I get arrested? Is Johnny Weir planning on having anal sex in front of a Russian library? Because, per Johnny Weir, that’s all this law bans.

Boy, a lot changes in a month.  Six weeks ago, Johnny Weir was at least willing to offer token criticism of Russia’s anti-gay law, and admit that the law could even get him thrown in jail for simply being an openly-gay man.

But only four weeks later, Johnny Weir suddenly loves Big Brother, and the law is a joke that only applies to “idiot” gays who want to fornicate in front of schoolchildren.

Has Johnny Weir registered with the DOJ as a foreign agent?

Speaking of Big Brother, I’m curious whether Weir registered with the Department of Justice as a foreign agent, something potentially required under US law if you are working for a foreign government in an attempt to influence US public opinion.

From the DOJ’s Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) Web page:

The purpose of FARA is to insure that the U.S. Government and the people of the United States are informed of the source of information (propaganda) and the identity of persons attempting to influence U.S. public opinion, policy, and laws.

Two aspects of the law are particularly interesting and relevant. Again, from DOJ:

  1. The Act requires every agent of a foreign principal, not otherwise exempt, to register with the Department of Justice and file forms outlining its agreements with, income from, and expenditures on behalf of the foreign principal. These forms are public records and must be supplemented every six months.
  2. The Act also requires that informational materials (formerly propaganda) be labeled with a conspicuous statement that the information is disseminated by the agents on behalf of the foreign principal. The agent must provide copies of such materials to the Attorney General.

Weir could try to argue that he’s exempt since, he might claim, his work is of a cultural nature, and not political – and the arts are one of the categories exempt from the law.  But Weir has been nothing if not political – vocally so, in his defense of Russia by not just opposing a boycott of the Sochi Olympics, but by downplaying the significance of the anti-gay propaganda law, and denigrating Russian gay activists and human rights advocates abroad.

Thus, the following questions arise:

  1. Has Johnny Weir received any form of compensation from the Russian government?  The fact that Weir included the Russian consulate in his bio suggests that some agreement transpired between the two, and is still in existence (Weir said “works” not “worked”).
  2. Has Weir had any discussions at all with Russian government officials, or their surrogates, about the public relations problems the Russian government is having with the gay propaganda law generally, and/or the Olympic games in particular?
  3. Did NBC even ask Weir about any of this before hiring him as one of their “Russia experts” covering the Olympics?
  4. Do any of NBC’s other on-air personalities work as an agent of a foreign government they’ll be covering?

“I’ve never had a bad experience in Russia”

I’d like to conclude with a bit more from Weir’s controversial talk two weeks ago (again via Humm).  It really puts everything into perspective:

Russian vigilante groups have organized around the country to kidnap young gay people and terrorize them, including this young South African who was held captive and had a watermelon shoved in his face.

Russian vigilante groups have organized around the country to kidnap young gay people and terrorize them, including this young South African who was held captive and had a watermelon shoved in his face.

“I’ve never had a bad experience in Russia,” [Weir] said, “not gotten called a fag or beat up,” something occurring systematically to many others since the law was passed, none known to have been an Olympic athlete.

“I only see the rosy, golden side. I choose to see Russia in an arrogant, selfish way. I didn’t know what to think about the new law.”

The Russian consulate couldn’t have said it better.


(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)

 


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Anony Mouse

    In one statement, you write: “Still quite clear that Premiere Speakers Bureau prepared his bio by condensing info from his official website–“, and in another you write “The bio on Premiere Speakers is not an official bio.” Now, if the Law of Proportion holds true and P equals Q and you’re quite clear and sure Johnny Weir’s bio on the Premiere Speakers Bureau website is a condensed version of Johnny Weir’s “true and official” bio found on his official website; then by their very nature, both bios are true and official. Sounds logical to me.

  • Anony Mouse

    It’s good to know I’m not the only one who sees this and thinks so, thank you. They’re either on his PR team or they’re megalomaniac fans who assume the role of spin doctors; which in turn explains the confusion.

  • Anony Mouse

    I was thinking the same thing.

  • Anony Mouse

    Why do you and others of your small group hang on those two, little words for dear life? “I work WITH McDonald’s, therefore I work FOR them as well.” and “I work with Macy’s, therefore I work FOR them as well.” and “I work WITH a bank, therefore I work FOR a bank, as well.” and so on mean virtually the same thing in general context. Why blow it out of proportion? I think the real key word here is WORK, not “with” or “for”. So regardless of “nature” or “with” or “for”, we all agree on the WORK issue, and WORK suggests payment or gift of some kind.

  • Anony Mouse

    But IF, as you state, the people from Premiere Speakers Bureau prepared his bio by condensing the info from Johnny Weir’s official website, then apparently the info was true, then. Are you saying that his management (your friends at that time) committed fraud or forgery? No. His management had time to correct it, and I’m sure they would’ve done so had Johnny Weir taken the time to proof read and approve or disprove it. I guess it didn’t matter to him back then, huh.

  • Anony Mouse

    Truth be told, you’ve done more than your fair share of posting and telling stories and lies that more than border on libel and slander. Mr. Aravosis has every right to express his opinion, thoughts, findings, etc. What other celebrity have you written and published a blog for on the internet? Do you even work for the press? Drop some names, please.

    Exposing facts doesn’t constitute “libel”. It MAY become libel when said facts are used with malice intent, but first you must prove “malice”. Before you can prove “malice”, you must prove a clear “motive”, and before “motive”, you must prove “reason” beyond ALL doubt. Court records, on the other hand, are the exception in that they are for private, individual and singular use, only. When someone’s court records or the link to those records is sold or distributed with wanton and malice intent to destroy or injure someone’s life or career; the penalties are severe and lasting. I’m sure Mr. Aravosis’s intent here is not to injure, but to inform people and raise questions that deserve to be answered. By the way, DMs can be subpoena-ed into court record; and whether a falsehood is told via public or private DM, it’s still a falsehood meant to deceive the masses and destroy an individual. Even if you erase them, Twitter keeps a permanent record. I doubt you’re in any position to threaten anyone in this fashion, at this time.

  • Cpt_Justice

    So, a CELEBRITY has never had a bad experience in Russia, so, what – all the gays who have been beaten & abused, & who are having their rights restricted are, what, LYING?? I am so disgusted with him – disappointed & ashamed!

  • Anony Mouse

    Scroll down to one hour or so: https://twitter.com/misfitmimes . To think IT’s Johnny Weir’s “official” blogger and apparently part of his public relations “team”. Safe to say you’ve made much more than just your point; if IT and IT’s friends have resorted to joking about you or making fun of your blogs. Are they not the most pathetic bunch? Wonder what they’ll do if or when Johnny Weir is captured, tortured.

  • Joseph Miceli

    He is not a tyrant…but he has failed a test of character. He has turned his back on the suffering of people just like him and then he has the gall to trivialize and make light of their suffering. Anyone who does such a thing deserves censure, but the hypocrisy of Mr. Weir is simply too heinous not to deserve special attention.

  • Joseph Miceli

    Dud, that was a bullshit argument if I ever heard one. Weir has turned his back to the suffering of LGBT’s in Russia and then trivialized it. He is getting blowback for that and that is entirely his own fault. To compare that to a woman wearing a suggestive outfit deserving rape trivializes women’s issues.

  • Joseph Miceli

    He is a deluded little selfish quisling. There are consequences for actions. He is reaping them.
    As to the culture of celebrity, I’ve never considered him to be one.

  • misfitmimes

    Actually that was in 2013, as can be seen from the date on the tweet. Please be careful: your typo may make you the next target. But yes, you are correct, he did tweet. Still quite clear that Premiere Speakers Bureau prepared his bio by condensing info from his official website–perhaps a bit carelessly. It might have been best if Johnny’s management team at that time had proofed it more closely and requested a correction then so that the wording would more accurately reflect what is on his official website. But they didn’t, so unfortunately the door was left open for fevered imaginings.

  • lit per

    NBC just sponsors international homophobia!

  • Marcus

    He retweeted the bio in 2012, asking his followers to check it out.

    https://twitter.com/JohnnyGWeir/status/332140248509321216

  • Marcus

    Pre-scrubbed bio: “… works with the Russian Children’s Welfare Society and Russian Consulate in New York City.” “AND” indicates that his work with the Consulate is separate from his work with the children’s charity.

  • Anony Mouse

    Yes, something like that. Thank you.

  • Anony Mouse

    Nope. I’m neither. I never looked up your IP. You sort of let that one slip on your own. You should check with your doctors about your medications; while we check the news to see if an asylum has lost a patient.

  • niko4ever

    Seriously TheBrutalKremlin, I’m not sure what you’re trying to say.
    And I think Anony Mouse was saying that he shouldn’t be obviously working for the Russians if he doesn’t want people to accuse him of it.

  • Anony Mouse

    But I thought you didn’t do any name-calling? I see how IT lies.

  • Anony Mouse

    People who like or love vintage are usually cultured and refined. I see IT is not.

  • Anony Mouse

    Wondering which of IT’s hair I curled the most; north or south. No, IT loves to get hoisted by IT’s own perturb.

  • Anony Mouse

    Cheap shots, like you?

  • Anony Mouse

    You’re taking this way too personal and yes you are a troll. I asked for a translation from anyone because you’re failing to make any sense; among your many failures.

  • Anony Mouse

    You fool, you’re not standing up to me. You’re making a nonsense, immature argument with someone you call a halfwit troll. So, what does that make you? And as for name-calling (oh, wah-wah-wah, cry-baby), I didn’t start it and you’ve done more than enough of your share of that on your own.

    I see, IT is still the pot calling the kettle.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    Blah, blah blah fail. You know what’s really pathetic? You sitting waiting for responses to your trolling after 9 hours, and checking IPs for location. Troll + stalker. Again, off-topic, because you have no argument. Have a nice day.

  • Anony Mouse

    And you KNOW nothing, so I guess that makes us even. Wow. What an immature argument you make. Who said he was guilty? The proof is there, so don’t blame anyone else for Johnny Weir’s mistakes. You’re posting like you live outside the US, so I doubt you’re informed enough to make comments and that would make your comments more worthless, more pathetic, and more insane. By the way, you sound very jealous of Humm and Aravosis. If they want to launch into mainstream media, more power to them. Now, go check with your doctors about updating and increasing your medications.

    Show my cards to you? LMAO+LOL!

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    HA! *Let’s see if I keep responding, he’ll run out of bad, dated fagbar jokes in about…hrmmm…15 posts.* Nah not worth the energy.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    HA! SO funny.. Off topic, totally personal = T-R-O-L-L.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    Standing up to a halfwit troll who started the name calling as a way to seem important in a conversation. Go ahead – have the last word…most immature nobody’s revel in it. Grow up dude.

  • Anony Mouse

    There is no “try”. You either do or do not.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    Again, you understand NOTHING. Show your cards ‘Anony-Mouse’ (Oh the most clever little name ever! such a funny!) or shut the fuck up. People like you add nothing. If you actually had an informed thought it would be worth it. ‘Jonny Weirs messes’??? What fucking messes?

    You’ve got a do-nothing sitting President, and HRC that set aside e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g for “marriage” and is now implicated in some shady African antigay funding, and all fags like you can do is sit up on a forum, following the lacklustre Andy f*ing Humm and John Aravosis – both of which are dying to get on mainstream media and use you to grow their careers — and what are you all doing? Fagbashing some twinkie skater commentator, who’s guilty of making a bad record and doing some children’s birthday parties. Please.

    Put down the coke spoon, turn off Grindr, stop listening to gossip – and get a real cause. You’re worthless, pathetic and doing more to harm gays than help. Russia is beating on queers – and you;re all doing the same.

  • Anony Mouse

    Wow, it bleeds.

  • Anony Mouse

    Nothing IT says makes any sense. Translation, anyone?

  • Anony Mouse

    And what exactly are you doing?

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    Troll.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    Have you ever had an original thought, or are you just enjoying making yourself look like a complete ass?

    The pot/kettle joke: circa 1949. How clever.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    I’ll gladly stand up to tyranny. Jonny Weir is not a tyrant, nor does he bear the responsibility of speaking for an entire (dare I say complacent, spoiled, out of touch) community on his own. The biggest reason why? HE WOULDN’T EVEN BE GOOD AT IT.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    THANK YOU.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    ‘Other’s like you’ – let’s generalise…the mark of a Fox News amateur. Troll.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    Fuck right off you troll. ‘Non-gays’ – have you ever spent any time out of a scenester bar without a bitchy little coke spoon up your nose? Wave the hands, flap, have the quick-quip – HA, HA, HA, all a joke to you tragic media-fed losers. I have one major issue here: internalized homophobia. I’ll gladly bow to being a control freak if it challenges self-hating queers like you.

    *case closed* ahaha __insert bitchy little smarty ass remark here__

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    You found a week ‘fag’ and chose his ‘public profile’ to pick on because you can’t get to Putin. And Obama could care less. As does Coke, NBC and the rest. Like, lump it – this is a terrible situation and this kind of bullshit only makes it worse. Russia is beating up queers – now all you PC types are following suit. Nice one.

  • Tallico

    Talk about priorities. I mean, Russia has a lot of problems, sure, but it would appear that Americans continue to single out the homosexuality issue. Once a Christian nation, now a nation of fags, wouldn’t you say? :)

  • Tallico

    There are no parallels.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yadda, yadda

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Nice try

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    ppppfffftttt #Kremlin shill

  • 4th Turning

    It is truly shameful what passes for “freedom of speech” in this and other blog comment sections.
    What must our brothers and sisters in Russia-and now India-think coming up for a breath of air
    setting google translator loose on these exchanges in hopes of reading what? Acrimony. Grade
    school name-calling. Bickering. Self promotion. Nanosecond attention span. Fatuous proposals.
    If ever there was a need for genuine empathy/compassion and mature “solidarity” type thinking
    to address life and death issues it is now. Nothing I’ve read since originally viewing the above
    “just say it” video has lit a single candle. I’m looking for some kind of guidance/leadership
    breakthrough same as everyone else and shaking my head over what I can do. Perhaps
    in the end, embarrassing impotence is all this thrashing about is about…

  • The Truth Hurts

    He’s a duba**. Asking him any intelligent questions ls like asking Paris Hilton how to fix obamacare. I don’t know people go to him for anything. He’s a joke plain and simple.

  • jjpm

    Is he going to work for the repugs when Olympics are over? For all his work, to throw it away for a few silver pieces. This does more harm to the LGBT movement than Herman Cain does to African Americans.

  • Palto

    John now all the right winging trolls posting in this comments section have to scramble for plan B now that you have screencaps as proof. Yep, the plan B is now semantics.

  • Anony Mouse

    Only non-gays believe in using a brutal term like “rape” as a way of winning through intimidation in order to feel more powerful over an opponent (perceived, included) and to gain control over same, as well as in a contest of wills in solving and resolving issues; of which you obviously have many.

    Case closed, control freak.

  • Palto

    Yeah you’re left wing alright. You probably have Ted Cruz’s nutsack in your mouth as you’re typing all of this obvious tea bagging diatribe.

  • dula

    Everyone has a responsibility to stand up to tyranny, especially those in the media. Think of all those Olympic partiers who had fun in 1936 and then watched the aftermath…not to mention the good little Germans themselves. If you can’t see the parallels between today’s anti LGBT laws in Russia and the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, I can’t help you.

  • Tim

    Again, the information came from his own PUBLIC PROFILE. How is pointing that out as a huge conflict of interest, “bullying?”

  • Anony Mouse

    No, that honor belongs to you and others like you.

  • Anony Mouse

    IT’S the pot calling the kettle, again.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    TO my knowledge his activism was with young children. This is such a witch hunt. It IS in fact, bullying. Everyone wants to devour something, and the mob turns on the little skating commentator fairy, who can barely keep his mouth shut long enough to have a pay check. Sad, just sad.

  • Anony Mouse

    From what I’ve read and understand, that’s a part you seem to play all too well. Shouldn’t you and the other fan girly bloggers be running out of toilet paper now from wiping up Johnny Weir’s messes?

  • Butch1

    You’ve said your piece and I respectively disagree with you on all of your points.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    1. It is not 1936. – 2. He is not competing. – 3. So he quits, someone else steps in. He;s not a major celebrity. — Priorities completely out of place. — The villains are in Washington and Corporate boardrooms. Boycott the sponsors, instead of attacking some little, big mouthed queer.

  • Tom from NYC

    As a big NYC Queen myself, darrrrling – it is not “fag-bashing” when I refer to someone in my own Community as a “Queen” .. and trust me, she would refer to herself as a Queen, if asked. #calmdowngirl

  • Tim

    If someone wants to promote themselves as an “activist,” (as stated in his profile) shouldn’t they do things to support the minority group they are supposedly representing?
    And people pointing out public information that hurts his status is not “bullying.”

  • Anony Mouse

    WHAT “career”?????

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    Oh, so, is this right up there with “She shouldn’t wear that outfit so she won;t get raped” type of thing? I am truly horrified, but this discussion in and of itself boils up the hypocrisy of so-called progressives. Unbelievable.

  • Anony Mouse

    If he doesn’t want to be an easy target, then he needs to stop making himself out to be one.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    I’m flattered. But you are sadly mistaken.

  • dula

    Picture it: 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.
    A young Jewish track and field star decides to promote the games in the media by saying that the laws are annoying but have no teeth….then has a lovely photo op with Leni Riefenstahl. Conflict?

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    “it” nice one troll.

  • Palto

    Go fuck yourself. You’re dismissed.

  • Anony Mouse

    You can always tell when Johnny Weir is angry or mad; his English spelling and grammar goes to hell.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    OK, all jokes and jabs aside, I seriously want to know: “I can not understand the blind arrogance of people like this who use their privilege only for the glorification of themselves.” – Is this not 90% of the celebrity culture??? I honestly am astonished that apparent ‘gays’ are sitting here acting disgusted by someone doing precisely what they applaud, if not worship in the shallowness of others?

    Honest to god — you;re serious with this? You think Gaga or Madonna or what they Kardashians – some combination of these aren’t the gang leaders?

    He’s getting bullied cause he;s an easy target. I don;t happen to like the guy, but this is just abhorrent. And now, instead of some reasonable discussion on the actual issue, anyone who disagree gets name-called and bashed on here… #ugh

  • Anony Mouse

    It needs to learn English spelling and grammar. It’s so angry, it’s not making sense.

  • Tim

    He and his followers are now on Twitter complaining that he is getting “bullied.” Maybe he should go in disguise in his beloved Russia and be openly gay to find out what “bullying” really is. I can not understand the blind arrogance of people like this who use their privilege only for the glorification of themselves.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    Nope, wrong person. I actually wish I knew this fan-girly blogger she seems to be able to get you all up in arms pretty well. But go ahead with the little “let;s call him a troll for disagreeing with us” game. How very Limbaugh of you.

  • Palto

    You and others posting here are definitely spin doctors from Weir’s team. Why don’t you just have the balls to say so?

  • Anony Mouse

    Pot calling the kettle, much?

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    What even more tired and tacky: pulling out Fox News tactics on someone for disagreeing with you. If all you got is “You disagree with us, and must be a right-winger” – go back to Grindr. I’m more left than you’ll ever be. Why? Because I have the guts to question this pathetic excuse of so-called ‘leaders’ and activists. You are dismissed.

  • osteo

    “If you don’t like Russia, boycott it.” …Yeah, that’ll do just fine for any broke gay kids persecuted in Russia… deep thinkin there, SayQue…

  • Anony Mouse

    Hello Ms. fan-girly blogger-troll. Got your little and big girl panties in a wad, I see.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    Again, wanna see a major contributor to the Moscow backlash we now have? See: Peter Tatchell.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    Oh good one! Gotta love the cheap shots.

  • Anony Mouse

    So now Johnny Weir plays the martyr card while a guy named “Vicktor” writes a blog with his Google+ persona and this QueerRevolution-whoever accuses the author of accusing Johnny Weir when in fact the author was just disclosing the facts that WERE facts til Johnny Weir’s “publicist” (the help) swept the internet with IPhones, Pads, WiFi and Ethernet blazing. And the crowd goes wild! Wow. Who needs “Hunger Games”?

  • Ninong

    A “film star,” “top-selling author, “pop-culture icon” and “skating superstar” of Mr. Weir-Voronov’s caliber can’t be bothered with correct English grammar. His time is more valuable than that, just ask the Russian Consulate in New York City.

  • MartinNYID

    Perhaps, unlike hrmmm let’s see Gaga, Cyrus, Madonna, and about a zillion others the rainbow brigades worship like demigods…and what’s wrong with it? This one certainly doesn’t deserve a character assassination just because he’s the easiest target. This is nothing but piss-poor activist fishing for something to keep their jobs. Go after the real culprits.

  • Palto

    Maybe Weir can report back from his motherland about how his urine tastes when he’s forced to drink it on video.

  • Michael R Stratton

    where the fuck is this so-called conflict of interest? a man who is passionate about skating, hired to comment on his own profession, taking place in a country he has a passion for knowledge of…i don’t get it. is there a conflict because he’s a Russophile? or because he’s a skater? or because he’s gay? i’m not sure which offends this guy more.

    i, personally, would rather have someone who knows about the sport AND the country in which the olympics are taking place, as a commentator, instead of some asshat who just got the job by a game of spin the fucking bottle.

    i get you don’t like his outspoken-ness, or his flamboyant behavior, or his comments. tough shit. that doesn’t mean he should be fired, or ridiculed like this asshole has decided is good for johnny weir.

    i don’t see this asshat putting his name or reputation on the line to defend his principles. all i see is someone who is jealous and bitter.

  • Palto

    If you feel that it’s tired and tacky the why are you sending so much time here in the comments section? Shouldn’t you be back with your own ilk on some right wing forum participating in the usual Obama bashing circle jerk?

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    DO us a favour and stop smoking dope before commenting. You don’t sound normal.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    SHould be under ‘close federal investigation’ for what? Skating – this kid is hardly an agent – and do you think the NSA does;t know ALL about whatever he does. Please – go back to HBO with this.

  • bambinoitaliano

    There’s nothing normal about your homophobic rant. “No one has to follow your way of thinking and harassing people to do what you want makes you a pathetic human being”.
    Take a good look in the mirror before you speak!!!

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    Oh GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK. The guy has his career on the line – not unlike ALL of the athletes who have to make a tough choice here. No one thought Putin would pull this shit – you go ahead and give up your job, which he;s had a hard time getting, and do it for your ’cause’. Has he handled it well? Probably not. Does he deserve your inane, childish bullying, certainly not. Grow up and get organized on the real people that need targeting: namely the useless compromiser OBAMA, KERRY, and the SPONSORS. Heck go after NBC for even covering it… But please stop picking on the little homo – it;s just hypocritical 101.

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    ‘That Queen’ and ‘she’ – fagbash much? Funny, they used he same kind of language in Moscow. #tired

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    HOw tired and tacky – bashing this one lone and not even very important young guy on a bigger than all of us social issue. It is fair enough people want to get active and make a difference, but attacking this skater, with a history of cultural work and connections in Russia, with his one and only passion – is just ridiculous and hateful. Go pick on someone that matters – like do-nothing Obama…

  • TheBrutalKremlin

    This is SUCH a non-starter and cheap paid activist stunt. Weir had been a Russian skating
    enthusiast since long before any of this started. And isn;t he married to a Russian partner? Should he withdraw now? Possibly. But this is a witch hunt gone off the rails. Andy Humm is far from credible – If you want to get to the bottom of who starte a LOT of this mess in a culture he clearly knew little about – have a chat with British Activist and Moscow agitator Peter Tatchell. Good intentions be damned – they went over there forcing Western rainbow crap down everyone’s throat – right or wrong doesn;t matter – it did not sit with the culture, at all – and no one is now taking responsibility for the backlash. If you want to pressure and pick on someone, start with Obama and his lemming John Kerry, and the Olympic committees – they’re the real do-nothings. And let’s face it, when push comes to shove – every queer in Kansas will be watching anyway. Sad, sad, sad the whole thing. Stop fag-bashing this kid.

  • Anony Mouse

    To the fan-girly blogger about “fact checking”: There’s no defamation inferred or implied in this article. You don’t know anything about anyone, you lying sack. You’ve lied about so many things and people involving Johnny Weir that if your lies were all disclosed, you’d spend the rest of your life in prison. “Fact checking”? You? Ha.

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    Thank you for choosing Troll Airlines®

    You’ll find interesting information on your destination in your packet of passenger information. We see you’ve selected Hell as your destination. We do hope you have a good trip, enjoy your stay. We hear it’s lovely this time of year.

  • Maddy

    Hey just so you know there is a grammar error you put get two times in a row in the page not found screen shot and the new bio screen shot.

  • nicho

    You’re right. Gay is not normal. It’s way better than normal. Gay is fabulous.

  • SayQue

    Gay is not normal. Gay people may be normal human beings but being gay is hardly the norm.

    If you don’t like Russia boycott it other wise shut up. No one has to follow your way of thinking and harassing people to do what you want makes you a pathetic human being

  • Gerald Spencer

    PS: Sarah Palin says she will use binoculars to watch the Winter Olympics from her back porch, “No way I’m gonna’ visit that Godless country!” she told reporters.

  • Gerald Spencer

    Russia is reinventing its own Stinking Commie USSR and there are more than enough people, who for the right price, will be more than happy to support it. Communist-Capitalism will be the new byword for stock exchanges world wide.

  • wilmbear

    we need to start a write in campaign letting NBC know that if they don’t fire weir we will not only boycott the Olympics on NBC but all NBC programing during the Olympics

  • Cary Chauvet

    I don’t understand why we are so afraid of a straight out boycott of the Sochi and World Games, both of which are taking place in a country that advocates harming a segment of their own population. Boycott ALL things Russian – don’t travel there, don’t spend money there, refuse to support any American company that does business with Russia, demand that your County and State retirement funds be banned from Russian investment and speak out negatively against Russia whenever Russia becomes a part of a conversation. Strip Russia of the more than 300 billion they will make from Americans off the Sochi Olympics and their citizens will revolt. Do nothing and Russia will continue to maim, beat, pummel, and kill gay Russian citizens.

  • frogview

    Weir needs to be sent to a “Protest Zone”.

  • Anony Mouse

    Holy damage control, Batman! But for most, it’s a little too late. The words “with” and “for” are literary cousins, people. They almost always and in most cases mean the same exact thing; but we really shouldn’t expect common fan-girly bloggers to get that. They’re so lost in their own little world. I believe the author of this made his points very clear and concise. Truth is, Johnny Weir should be under close federal investigation due to his past and present dealings with Russian authorities, here and abroad. The truth is, if Johnny Weir is as this article states someone who works with OR for (same difference) any arm of the Russian government, yet he is not a licensed agent of same via our own DOJ, then somebody’s in big trouble and can spend time in federal prison.

    And no, a common everyday fan-girly blogger who gets paid a monthly stipend out of Johnny Weir’s foundation to do what she does wouldn’t get that. So, let’s play nice and allow these fan-girly blogger types to let this and other facts that they obviously wish to ignore, to their own detriment, sink into their brains, shall we?

  • http://nottheeternaltao.blogspot.com/ jimstoic

    Couldn’t this story have been a lot shorter? “Johnny Weir padded his online resume, spinning a one-time co-hosting role into an ongoing business relationship with the Russian consulate in New York.”

  • misfitmimes

    His official bio is on his official website. The bio on Premiere Speakers is not an official bio. It’s unfortunate that it appears it was not well-written, but apparently it has been corrected now. Perhaps had you brought this to their attention during a fact-checking mission, all of this ridiculous, baseless, and inflammatory nonsense could have been avoided. Again, may I ask, since you’ve not yet answered this question: what actual fact-checking did you do before posting this piece? Because without incontrovertible facts to support your headline that Johnny Weir works for the Russian government, and your first paragraph, that he claims to be an agent of Russia, you’re simply left with … libel.

  • pappyvet

    Well , lets see John. What could be next? I only worked with certain people on certain days and so on and so forth yada,yada. Personally , his comments about gays in Russia protesting and no mention of them being terrorized and brutalized is what tells the tale. But doesn’t he look fab in his little Russian uniform.

  • jomicur

    I’m not sure why you feel such a strong need to defend this fuckweasel, but you’re starting to look like a monomaniac. Have a martini and lie down for a while, okay?

  • pappyvet

    With or For. I see little difference with the current state of affairs in Russia.

    I am just as suspicious as I would be if he had been working FOR or WITH Goebbels

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    So now we’re supposed to assume that the bio he uses to get paid speaking gigs is a lie? That would appear to constitute fraud. I’m sorry, but you assume a lot of malfeasance in your desire to defend this man. I’m still having a hard time understanding how you’re being more fair to him than I.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Actually, the consulate reference just got sent down the memory hole.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yep, thanks, just updated that. Curiouser and curiouser.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    UPDATE: It’s back! Things just got even stranger. Premiere has replaced Weir’s bio with one that continues to mention the children’s welfare group, but now doesn’t mention the Russian consulate at all. But if he was on the host committee of an event with the children’s group and the consulate, and felt it fair to claim that he “works” with the children’s group and the consulate, then how can he now still mention the children’s group, but not the consulate at all, when they both were part of the same event? Wouldn’t it be both or nothing? (I’ve included the new bio in the post as well.)

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Former President Richard M. Nixon: “I am not a crook.”

    Just because someone says something, or denies something, doesn’t necessarily make it true.

  • jomicur

    He most certainly has not. At one point he even went so far as to claim that gay people in his home state of New jersey have it just as bad as Russian gays.

  • jomicur

    His boilerplate “apology” was covered and discussed both here and on several other gay sites that I know of. I thought you were opposed to “Convenient glossing over of facts “…?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yeah, Disqus has been squirrelly lately.

  • Robert Martin

    Also, I just went to the Premier Speaker’s website and Weir’s bio is back up. The paragraph in question has now been edited to remove any mention of the work “with” the Russian consulate:

    http://premierespeakers.com/johnny_weir/bio

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Because it’s been reported many times before, including here on this blog.

    http://americablog.com/2012/12/putin-nabs-russian-orphans-as-human-shields-to-snub-us.html

    Here’s a story about it in Time.

    http://world.time.com/2012/12/20/why-has-moscow-passed-a-law-to-ban-u-s-adoption-of-russian-orphans/

    And here:

    http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/07/04/312169/russia-bans-adoption-by-gay-couples/

    The law was passed before DOMA was overturned, but subsequent reports have indicated that even if Russia hadn’t had its snit over a separate issue banning U.S. adoptions, the DOMA overturn would’ve finished it.

    Currently there are two nationwide adoption bans in Russia – the ban on adoptions by US citizens and by proxy of US organizations came into force in late December 2012, and the ban on adoptions by foreign same-sex couples was introduced in early July this year.

  • Gene Dale Moore

    it all boils down to greed NBC stands to make hundreds of million off ads broadcast during the Olympics

  • jomicur

    I must confess that I’ve had the thought, now and again, that I probably ought to watch, to see if there are any LGBT protests AND how the Russians handle them. But then I come to my senses and realize that even if there ARE protests, NBC will never cover them. They’ll switch to another camera angle or go to a commercial, and they’ll do it so fast a road runner couldn’t keep up. Showing LGBT heads being bashed wouldn’t be good for either the Olympics’ image as being about peace and love and like that OR for NBC’s bottom line. Any coverage at all will come from the European press and, more importantly, the gay media, almost certainly led by Americablog.

  • misfitmimes

    You’re assuming he wrote his own bio on Premiere Speakers? Really? It absolutely did not occur to you that Premiere Speakers might have written that and perhaps inadvertently garbled the info a bit? Did you fact-check with Premiere Speakers FIRST before writing this article? Did you fact-check with Weir’s management team? No? You just made a bunch of unverified assumptions and then posted them as dark and sinister “facts”? Oh. OK.

  • Robert Martin

    Weir is claiming he didn’t work at or for the Russian Consulate:

    https://twitter.com/JohnnyGWeir/statuses/411232803884630017

    Tweeted him back with this article to see if he can explain Premiere’s info.

  • Tom from NYC

    send that Queen to Russia (With Love), all on her own – without bodyguards, minders & publicists – and let’s see how long she lasts …

  • John Jaie Palmero

    This little twat is a self serving apologist for Russian atrocities. They should fire him and send him to Russia. Let’s see how long he lasts in the street.

  • Daisy

    Sorry, buddy, but a) and b) reading and listening comprehension are essential to my job–and I’m very good at it. c) I have no problem with people protesting or boycotting Stolichanya. i don’t think it;s the best course of action, but if you think it works, go for it. I agree with Weir that boycotting the Olympics would not achieve anything. if you listen to one of his interviews in the summer, he points out that should the Olympics not go on successfully, Putin et al would likely just use the gay community as scapegoats, which would lead to more violence.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “I follow figure skating”: Being a sequin groupie doesn’t qualify you as an expert on civil rights.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Bingo all around. Including Disqus weirdness :)

  • Monoceros Forth

    Working in front of the scenes with a Russian army uniform on–where does that fit in?

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    Chalk your missing reply up to being a Disqus error. I found your missing comment on your profile, so undoubtedly this was a systemic error, not an attempt at censorship. You have to get really dreadful to be censored here, and your comments don’t fit that description.

    I am not sure why the PSB chose the wording “works with” unless they were either misled, or they mischaracterized the nature of his activities, if indeed these activities are benign.

    I don’t know if his activities are “sinister”. But I do know that his association with the Russian government, through the Russian Consulate, certainly looks bad. Especially when one considers his apologist remarks about the current situation in Russia made in the past.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I don’t know what standards you have for your resume, but when you write a bio that is being used to get you paid speaking gigs, you don’t intentionally mislead people. And I’m sorry, but yes, I trusted his own bio that he wrote to get paid speaking gigs. And that bio says he “works” with the Russian consulate. Being on the host committee of one event 3 years ago is not “works” with the Russian consulate, present tense (it’s also not “works” at all, you helped host an event). Your suggestion that I should “check my facts” is a suggestion that I should have assumed his bio he uses to get paid speaking gigs is a lie. And I’m sorry, but I think that would be rather unprofessional of me to just assume that the man misleads people in a bio he uses to get paid speaking engagements.

    Not to mention, if I got my facts wrong, and the bio is correct, then why did the bio mysteriously get deleted this morning?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Oh I think we ‘read’ you rather well. Stick around for more until your comprehension improves.

  • Moderator3

    I just looked through the deleted comments. None of yours were there.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yeah, that one event 3 years ago. His bio said he “works” with the Russian consulate, so obviously he wasn’t referring to being on the host committee of a single event 3 years ago, because he then would call it “works,” he’d called it “hosted on event,” past tense. Unless you’re suggesting his bio he used to get paid speaking gigs was misleading?

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yeah, if the bio was correct, then why did they suddenly delete it? And if it was correct, what work is he currently doing with the Russian consulate? The bio said “works,” not “worked.” The event was 3 years ago.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    That’s odd. If his bio was correct, then why did it suddenly get deleted? And I’m sorry, but pointing to a single charity event he was on the host committee of 3 years ago is not “works with” anyone. It’s a stretch to even call it “worked” with – he was on the host committee. But it’s most certainly not “works” with, which means he currently works with them. So it appears that either he misled people on his bio he uses to get paid speaking engagements, or there’s something else he’s not telling us.

  • Daisy

    Where did my reply disappear?? i can’t see that I said anything that merits censorship?

    Anyway, no, i don’t have a problem with that, and i don’t think Weir would either, since it clearly says ‘with’, not ‘for”. Since some people seem to have misinterpreted “with’ to indicate that his charity work is something more sinister, maybe they are rewording it to clarify?

  • Daisy

    The profile that is now posted here also says WITH, not FOR, so no, I don’t have a problem with it, and i doubt Weir has either.

    Maybe they want to rephrase it, since many people clearly have reading comprehension issues?

  • one4thebooks

    I enjoy his skating but that is it. He wears fur and is grossly materialistic, vain and shallow. He seems to want to be a rebel without fully understanding what he is doing. I don’t think he thought this one through and he may end up losing his job with NBC.

  • AB

    You’re being irresponsible. You took one sentence out of a bio (which by the way said he worked WITH them, not FOR them–huge difference) and made a ton of assumptions. You didn’t bother to find out what the nature of the work was. Now it’s all over the Internet that he’s somehow an agent of the Russian government. It’s ridiculous. I’m telling you that you should check your facts. Otherwise you’re just Fox News.

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    Then it would appear that you and Weir have a problem with the Premier Speakers Bureau, no? John was only reporting what was put there.

    It is suspicious to me that the PSB entry on Weir is now being wiped. Odd, that.

    Personally, I would take anything that Weir says on his web site as being self-serving and subject to scrutiny.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I have pics, it’s in the story now :)

  • Daisy

    His bio on his website has stayed the same forever, and explains that his work WITH (not FOR) Russian consulate is helping raise money for a children’s charity. Way to blow things out of proportion, Aravosis…. And why not consult Weir’s website or otherwise check his facts in the first place?

  • Butch1

    My thoughts, exactly.

  • AD

    Precisely. He should be brought up on “crimes against humanity” for being a US national supporting a Russian regime that’s fostering violence against gays! He’s a pathetic piece of defecation who shouldn’t be allowed back into North America!

  • Daisy

    WITH is not the same as FOR. And helping raise money for a children’s charity does not amount to being a “foreign agent”. Sensationalizing much?

  • AD

    Yeah, Weir is a “tool” alright!

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    They get it from his bio at Premier Speakers Bureau. Which, apparently, is in the process of being “wiped”.

  • Butch1

    So, Weir is an enabler for abuse. He’s just as bad in my opinion as the Jews in the camps who enabled the Germans to process through more Jewish prisoners. He does have issues and has sold out. He is homophobic and does not belong among us. We need to turn our backs on him and not support him in any way if this is how he feels about his own brothers and sisters when they are being discriminated upon. He works with those who harm us and down plays it? He’s no friend of ours whether he’s gay or not.

    We have seen many closeted republicans try to harm us before they were outed and do the very same thing when they were in power in the Congress. He is no better or worse than they.

  • AD

    Wrong on all counts! Anything concerning civil rights must be fought in public and fought loudly, that’s the only way for people to take notice and start thinking. People like you, not wanting to look at the problem, are in essence part of the problem! Grow up, weird is being a greedy little money whore who wants to be at the Olympics at ALL COST! Well if goes, I hope it costs him a GREAT DEAL!

  • Daisy

    Weir responds on twitter:
    ‏@JohnnyGWeir 48m
    I have never worked at or for a Russian consulate. I don’t know where people get this stuff. XO

  • Karen

    If you look on Johnny’s website (http://www.figureskatersonline.com/johnny…/home/charities/), it says:

    “In collaboration with the General Consulate of the Russian Federation in New York, RCWS hosted its annual Benefit Gala in September 2010 in New York City, with Johnny among the celebrity guests in attendance to support the charity. Proceeds from the event were used to purchase sports equipment for orphanages in Russia as well as to support other RCWS efforts.”

    That hardly makes him a “foreign agent” or someone who “works for the Russian government.” He spoke at a charity event to help buy sports equipment for children, which took place before the laws in question were even passed. A quick read of his website is all it takes to figure that out.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Fortunately, someone took a screen cap when he wrote the story :) it’s in the story now :)

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    His many self-serving statements on the matter reveal a flippant disregard of the situation in Russia and a downright denial of the serious persecution of LGBT people in Russia. He comes off as one of the many people we’ve seen trolling here that proclaim that the anti-gay laws in Russia are anti-propaganda laws, and we know that to not be the case.

    This statement of yours:

    I am failing to see the efficacy of trying to take Weir down when he is
    one of many, many people who are going to/support the Olympics.

    First off, he is also gay and should know of the discrimination that gay people face. Compound that with the fact that in Russia, it’s not merely discrimination, but life-threatening beatings and abuse (that the government there looks at with a blind eye) give us a lot of reason to “try and take him down”, as you suggest.

    You also seem to suggest that going to or supporting the Olympics is a noble thing to do. I have news for you: The Olympics are designed to make money for those involved, and little else. This business of them being around to promote world peace and good will toward man is nothing more than nice window-dressing.

  • jayjonson

    Weir is a disgusting little creep out only for himself.

  • AD

    I’m a proud strong gay male who believes everyone has a right to their opinion but honestly, this guy is a useless twat! If I could get my hands around his neck I’d kill him myself, he’s a traitor to his country and his kind! Pathetic, truly pathetic. I used to cheer you on johnny now I hope you get the crap beaten out of you in Russia, maybe then you’ll wake up and smell the bigotry you’re supporting!

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I can’t imagine in a million years attending diplomatic events and adding that to my resume, in which case I’ve worked for the Mexican Embassy, the Italian Embassy, and the Greek Embassy, among others over my 30 years in DC (though I really did work for the Italian Embassy back in grad school).

    I’m just not sure how it’s being more “generous” of you to assume that he’s a liar, and how it would be more journalistically correct of me to assume that he’s a liar, than to simply take him at word that he “works” with the Russian govt.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “a) selective reading b) selective listening and c) not accepting different points of view” Looking i the mirror.

  • Daisy

    I follow figure skating and have read a lot more than this article and listened to several interviews with Weir. It seems like some camps within the gay community are resorting to a) selective reading b) selective listening and c) not accepting different points of view. Sad. There are more than one way of fighting homophobia–work behind the scenes is often just as, if not more, effective.

  • Catherine Atchison Clements

    Just looking for clarification – the US hasn’t federally made same sex marriage legal, so do we know that this ban actually does include the US?

  • Catherine Atchison Clements

    Weir has a lot of “issues”. I’m surprised anyone wants him as a spokesperson for them, he’s not very tightly wound. This will all end with him having a complete meltdown. I don’t think I’d lose sleep over this. (plus we all know he’s gay, right?)

  • Christian

    They look alike. Separated at birth?

  • http://brianstroup.com/ Brian Stroup

    I wish I would have smashed in his face the last time I was within arm’s reach of him.

  • AB

    Has anyone asked Weir the nature of his”work” with the consulate? I believe it’s a case of resume padding and it really consists of attending consulate benefits like this one, also attended by Sasha Cohen. http://www.rcws.org/events_Benefit_gala.htm Even if it’s not, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he supports or has anything to do with the homophobic legislation. I am failing to see the efficacy of trying to take Weir down when he is one of many, many people who are going to/support the Olympics. I also fail to see why people are taking this blog at face value without doing any of their own research.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    You’re confusing the Russian Children’s Welfare Society (a New York organization, which apparently has no problem with the fact Americans are now banned from adopting Russian orphans) with the Russian Consulate (i.e., the Russian gov’t). Both of which Weir’s bio claimed.

    Or did you just skim the post too quickly and completely miss the part in bold in that prominently displayed block-quote?

  • AB

    Do some research. Here’s his “work with the government.” http://www.rcws.org/events_Benefit_gala.htm

  • SomeYankInRio

    then explain why Michelle Kwan never got an Olympic gold & Tara Lipinsky never did anything after her fluke winning of one?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    PremiereSpeakers appears to be in the process of scrubbing Weir from their site. A partial of the page remains on web.archive.org.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Interesting: So Weir works with the Russian Children’s Welfare Society. According to their website, they work to ‘improve the lives of Russian orphans and disadvantaged children.’

    Admirable. However, according to current Russian law, Russian children may not be adopted by parents in any country that has legalized same sex marriage — including America.

    Then let’s not forget the proposal still under consideration by the Russian Duma to seize the children of gay and lesbian Russian parents and put them into orphanages. Which will, of course, result in many thousands more disadvantaged and orphaned kids.

    I guess Weir is utterly blind to the irony of the fact the country he’s helping and apparently loves so much has classified him as a dangerous pervert and unfit to be around children at all.

  • Adam

    Where’s the proof? The linked website doesn’t say anything about working for the consulate. If they altered the bio, do you have a screenshot of the original? Otherwise all you’ve found is that he works for Russian Children’s Welfare Society, hardly a ‘foreign agent’

  • Strepsi

    No, he hasn’t Daisy — I don;t even need to link, READ the article above, it encapsulates his flippant, minimizing, Russia-philic comments. He has never, as far as I can see, said he “despises” them at all.

    Finally, could someone please articulate what exactly it is that people want from Weir?

    For him to stand up for gay people who are being brutally oppressed. He CAN do that, AND still like Russia. Like,
    “Well of course these new laws are horrific. They demonize gay people and make it possible to commit violence on us. This is a shame because I love Russian culture and always love the people there. But these laws have to go.”

    The diplomatic quote I just made up is 100 times stronger than ANYTHING Weir has said despite his platform and ability to be heard. That’s what I want from him.

  • Monoceros Forth

    You do have a point. Being a bubble-headed egotist who seems to think it’s all a big joke isn’t a crime per se.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Well, he could stop being an ‘Uncle Tom’ of gay people and stop constantly apologizing for and denying the existence of Russia’s anti-gay pogrom.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “could someone please articulate what exactly it is that people want from Weir?” Well since you asked: he could skate close to the edge and fall off, preferably taking you with him.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Contemptible little weasel.

  • jh

    Precisely. Athletes will still win medals, but many of us won’t watch them do it.

  • http://www.theangryfag.com/ TheAngryFag

    JW is a whore and a tool.

  • Daisy

    As far as i can see, Weir’s only “crime” has been that he is against a boycott of the Olympics (as most athletes are). He has said all along that he despises the anti-gay laws. .

  • Monoceros Forth

    Who knows? A Damascene conversion is always an option for the dedicated narcissist. Then he get a couple more years of attention maybe by telling us all about how he found Jesus.

  • AZComicGeek

    He is a collaborator, helping herd his people into the ovens.

  • Monoceros Forth

    Finally, could someone please articulate what exactly it is that people want from Weir?

    Shutting up and going away is probably his best option at this point. The world doesn’t really need another attention-whore.

  • OrthoStice

    I believe the Brains (and Cyndi Lauper) said it best: Money…money changes everything.

  • bbkny

    In addition to the violence and humiliation of gay youth, some of the worst offenses to me are the sad and troubling firing of gay teachers who lose their careers and livelihood. Weir should be ashamed for not standing up to Russia’s dangerous law.
    http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/russia-fires-teachers-being-gay-thugs-threaten-ruin-their-lives180913

  • Daisy

    Wow, so much over-the-top speculation here. “Foreign agent”??? This is getting hysterical. Weir is an athlete! Since when has working WITH become working FOR? Convenient glossing over of facts as well (for example, Weir’s apology already during the Q & A after the Barnard talk is entirely ignored ). Finally, could someone please articulate what exactly it is that people want from Weir? I have asked this several times, and so far nobody has bothered to answer.

  • caphillprof

    Hear hear.

  • caphillprof

    Yeah, at the end of the day, the Koch brothers will own all of the stock anyway

  • Patrique

    Weir is an Aunt Tom.

  • caphillprof

    You got that right

  • teeveedub

    Weir’s narcissism apparently knows no bounds. “I’ve never had a bad experience in Russia, … not gotten called a fag or beat up.” In other words, if it hasn’t affected him, it evidently doesn’t exist.

  • nicho

    The only place I want to see KKKarl dance is the end of a rope on the gallows — after a fair trial, of course.

  • nicho

    Same difference. Can’t keep up with the corporatist dance and can’t tell who owns whom today without a program. But it really doesn’t matter. They all have the same goal of destroying democracy.

  • nicho

    Why does Weir remind me of Ralph Reed?

  • RT

    Weir is a complete loser dolt. It’s like he’s become a Nazi. I won’t watch a minute of the Olympics if that pretentious, uneducated little twit commentates.

  • nicho

    Figure skating is the most corrupt of all. It is hardly a competition. Skater A can come, skate a mediocre routine, and unless they fall, they get a medal, because the cabal that runs the sport decides they deserve one. Skater B can come out, skate a brilliant routine that brings the crowd to its feet, and finish fifth — because “it’s not his/her turn.”

  • steerpike66

    Me and Putin are great friends!

  • WilmRoget

    Can we talk about deportation? Since Johnny is such a fan of Russia, can’t we help him go live there?

  • malibujd44

    Russia corrupt…nbc…corrupt…Olympic committee…mega-corrupt…weir somehow corrupted and brainwashed by dollar signs, his stupidity and maybe getting kicked in the head way to many times with his skates….have not watched the Olympics since 1984 when I saw all the disgusting slimy corruption going on first hand. Just don’t watch people and don’t buy the products advertised. Maybe that will put them in there place in hell a little faster. JUST DON’T WATCH!!!!! Get this awful people where it hurts the most..in there bank accounts.

  • malibujd44

    NBC has been holey owned by Comcast for almost 3 years now. GE has zero percentage in the company.

  • jomicur

    Yes, and they’re tireless at their lobbying efforts to get Vatican policy codified into US law. If it came out that China, say, or Iran was doing that, the public uproar would be deafening. The Vatican does it, and crickets inherit the earth.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I didn’t include the children’s group because, as you note, it’s not entirely clear how working with or for a child welfare group would conflict. But doing anything with the Russian consulate, which per se is Putin’s government, is odd to start with, and troubling in terms of potential/likely conflict.

    I’d also argue that the “with” “for” distinction is interesting but not dispositive. It’s on his resume, so he considers it work, and substantive enough to include.

  • Ryan

    “Works with” is different than “works for.” If he is volunteering for Russian Children’s Welfare Society events or programs, he could both be working with them and not being paid.

    However, working with the Russian Consulate is definitely a potential conflict of interest even if he does not directly receive payment from them and should be disclosed.

  • pappyvet

    Heavy Sigh. Tis the truth. I left you an interesting link ,enjoy !

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Well, you and I are old enough to remember how in activist movements in the past, there were always the quislings, the self-serving “useful idiots” trotted out by the establishment regimes in a crude attempt to undermine and discredit.

    Gay rights, women’s rights, racial equality… it always happens.

    Fortunately, we’ve gotten better at spotting these hapless shills.

  • nicho

    He’ll probably be required to register when every Catholic bishop is required to register. Every bishop has to take an oath of allegiance to the pope, who is head of a foreign government.

  • pappyvet

    You either stand with freedom or stand against it. Weir is Russia’s “good gay.” If everything went to total hell tomorrow , he would be one of the last to arrive at the Gulag , but his ticket would still read “One Way.” If he is so concerned about stupid , all he has to do is check his refection.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Well, there it is then. Now we know why Weir has been such a kiss-ass apologist for Russia and its anti-gay pogrom.

    Terrific reporting, John.

  • ronbo

    If you didn’t think before that America IS the land of “I got mine, you get screwed”, Weir is the poster child for the bottom of the barrel. His desire for wealth or fame or (???) has surpassed decency.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Either way would be interesting – either he’s a paid foreign agent or he lied about his resume :) That would also call into question the rest of his resume as well. But clearly, on its face, there appears to be a conflict here, if we take him at his word.

  • jomicur

    At a guess, I’d say they’re trying to keep Russia happy. They hire a nice little token queer, send him to Russia to commentate on the Olympics, and presto! see, the Russians don’t discriminate against gays at all! His very presence there will convince a lot of people that we uppity homos are unreasonable in our criticism of Russia and it’s horrible laws. And if (when) there are LGBT protests at Sochi, Weir will be right there to explain to the viewing audience how unreasonable all those “idiots” are. NBC’s profits from this mess depend in large measure on keeping the Russian government happy, and Johnny Weir is one big tool in that effort. If Weir is too dumb, too narcissistic, or both, to see how he’s being used, that’s his problem. If he never works again, it won’t bother me one bit.

  • clarknt67

    I wonder if there is any pay involved with his “work” with Russian Children’s Welfare Society and Russian Consulate. To sell speaking tours, it could be just that he once when to a cocktail party and the Speaker’s Bureau is padding his resume.

  • Hue-Man

    Gay protest should be more along these lines:
    “Openly gay Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson will represent the city at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, CBC News has learned.

    The decision to send Stevenson rather than Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson came after much debate about how the city would respond to Russia’s crackdown on gay and lesbian citizens in recent months, and whether or not the city should boycott the Games this coming February.” http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/gay-vancouver-councillor-tim-stevenson-going-to-sochi-winter-olympics-1.2459062

    As the 2010 host city, Vancouver has a visible role to play in the Sochi ceremonies. As a non-competitor, the IOC can’t take any medals away from him if he protests “gay propaganda” laws.

    BTW, his husband, Gary Patterson, is the Moderator of the United Church of Canada. I don’t know if they’re planning to attend the ceremonies together…I’d buy popcorn if they did!

    It’s hard to imagine any gay person who would be worse than Weir – what an embarrassment.

  • Jim Olson

    Has anyone discovered how to send a question like this to the DOJ, and/or to NBC?

  • Ninja0980

    Couple of things for me.
    1) I wonder what role Weir’s husband plays in all of this. From everything I’ve read he is a very shady and untrustworthy individual
    2) As Fixer below mentioned,I believe Weir views himself as superior to the nobodies that are being affected by this law and don’t care. It’s like GoProud IMO.
    3)The excuse being used on why a boycott is bad is the same one we heard for China and you know what? Screw that.
    People in these countries are being tortured and murdered. That is far more important then any damn sport.
    One final thing,Weir is a loathsome human being and like the homocons over here,he’ll find out that when he’s served his purpose,he will get turned on in a heartbeat and those laws he thinks only applies to scum will apply to him as well.

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    A few thoughts on Ol’ Johnny and what he has to say.

    First, a lot of people work very hard to attain some level of accomplishment. And guess what? Some don’t get there. It’s especially chancy when it comes to athletic and other performance occupations. It’s the nature of the game, so to speak. If you’re not willing to take that chance, then find another line of work.

    Second, this business of the Olympics being some vehicle that transcends international politics is, quite frankly, bullshit with a capital B. It’s another money-making enterprise, that’s all it is. Don’t give it some undeserved credibility as being a vehicle to bring about world peace. It’s all about the cash. The Olympics have been around forever, and we still have international conflict that leads to war. Think I am being cynical? Stop and think about how many Olympic events have been used to make a political statements.

    Third, Johnny Weir is positioning himself as being affiliated with the ruling class in Russia. The ruling class of Russia, like the ruling classes of many other countries, believes that fairness, equality and civil justice have special definitions, and they apply only to the ruling class.

    The rest of us can just eat borscht.

    I think if he loves Russia so much, he should declare his allegiance to his adopted homeland. As soon as he is no longer useful to them, he will be discarded more quickly than one can imagine.

    I, for one, will be all to willing to live through the worst life has to offer in order to see the day when that comes to pass, will be saying “Haw-Haw” like Nelson Muntz, and pointing my finger at Johnny Weir when it does.

  • AndyinChicago

    Who is NBC trying to win over by employing Weir? He’s a Benedict Arnold to the LGBT community, a offense to the political left, not as largely endeared to the figure skating community as most other former Olympians, and nothing more than a homosexual to the far right. So who is he garnering ratings from?

  • dommyluc

    What kills me is that Weir is not even worthy of being chosen as a commentator for the sport. He was never a world-class Olympic athlete. He gets by totally on his surface flash and charisma – and that charisma is wearing very thin. What does this idiot think he is going to do AFTER the Olympics, after all of the hatred he has stirred against himself with the gay community? I’ll bet he ends up moving to Russia to escape being “persecuted” by the unfair gay community, who just can’t see what a good thing it is to allow figure skaters to get a chance at an Olympic medal while Russian thugs legally beat and kill gays on the streets of JohnnyBoy’s beloved Mother Russia. Fuck him. He deserves to live with that ugly fuck Putin.

  • nicho

    OK, NBC is the propaganda arm of GE, which has done more to advance the cause of the corporatocracy than any other corporation. Why is anyone surprised?

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    Yes, they worked hard. I feel bad for the athletes but worse for the gay men and women who suffer at the hands of the Russian government every day.

  • jomicur

    Two questions occur to me immediately: 1) Has Weir registered with the State Department as an agent of a foreign government? If not, why not? 2) Did NBC hire Weir to commentate as the result of a, ahem, suggestion from the Russian government? NBC’s role in this looks shittier by the week.

  • emjayay

    “Weir has been opposed to calls for a boycott of the Sochi Olympics because he feels it would negate the efforts of athletes who have worked hard to reach the Games.”
    I don’t see how boycotting products of Olympics sponsors, not watching the coverage, joining a protest, or not going to the Olympics in Sochi will keep athletes from winning their Olympic medals.

  • jomicur

    And don’t forget David Gregory, Karl Rove’s good pal. (Remember that embarrassing incident where Rove “rapped,” with a line of “journalists” dancing behind him? David Gregory was one of them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln5RD9BhcCo)

  • Indigo

    NBC, home of flippant political commentator Chuck Todd, is an old hand at the fine art of harboring cmpromised correspondents and reporters.

  • FLL

    Every shred of evidence points like a compass to a big fat paycheck from the Russian government to Johnny Weir. Insofar as Weir is publicly supporting the anti-gay Russian law, his advocacy is political, not just artistic, and he is subject to legal action on the part of the Department of Justice. It would only be fair if the DOJ follows through and investigates.

  • Buford2k11

    Not going out of my way to support NBC or the Olympics…It was Mitt Romney’s olympics that finally soured me on this…Russia? they can suck it…

  • dula

    Aunt Tom

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