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NBC has hired journalist to cover political side of Winter Olympics - including anti-gay laws

New Yorker Editor David Remnick is an expert on Russia
David_Remnick

NBC's coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in will now include New Yorker editor David Remnick focusing on Russia's politics including the country's anti-gay propaganda law.

Remnick is an expert on Russia writing pieces for The New Yorker about Russian politics and culture. He is the former Moscow bureau chief for the Washington Post.

'David is a distinguished journalist who knows Russia very well, and we’re excited to have his expertise on the host country for our Sochi coverage,' Jim Bell, executive producer, NBC Olympics, said in a statement.

Russia earlier this year passed a law banning 'propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.'

It criminalizes any kind of support, no matter how modest, of the LGBT community. The law also includes a provision that allows the Russian government to arrest foreign tourists for up to 14 days for supporting LGBT equality.

This had led to widespread international concern over how the law will be enforced during the Olympics in Sochi which begin on 6 February 2014.

Bell tells Sports Illustrated that with such 'substantial, meaty news issues' surrounding these Olympics, hiring Remnick 'made perfect sense.'

Remnick tells SI: 'There is nothing in the world - and I know they don't intend to hinder me in this way - where I would not be honest in my analysis. It would be a waste of everyone's integrity and time if otherwise.'

NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus told Gay Star News in July the network was prepared to cover more than athletic results.

'As a sports division, when it is our turn and we are in place during the Olympic Games, if it is still an issue - and I likely assume it will still be an issue - we'll certainly bring it to light,' he said. 'We're not going to shy away from it.'

'When you're there you need to be prepared to discuss them and inform the audience what athletes, fans, spectators might be dealing with.'

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