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Bob Costas Vows to Report on Russia’s Anti-Gay Law

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday Jan 8, 2014
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Bob Costas
Bob Costas   (Source:AP Photo)

NBC’s Sochi Olympics primetime anchor, Bob Costas, pledged Tuesday that he will not ignore Russia’s anti-gay laws during his coverage of the Games, HuffPo reports.

The sports reporter’s comments came during an Olympics press preview held on Jan. 7 -- a few months after he told the Associated Press he’d love to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin about Russia’s "homosexual propaganda" law, but said he wasn’t interested in giving commentary about the issue.

"If Putin doesn’t drag his butt into the studio, then we’ll talk about it without him," Costas said at the event. "But if he shows up, we’d rather talk to him. Wouldn’t you rather hear it from the horse’s mouth? I would. That’s what I was trying to say."

NBC executives at the event said the Olympics are extremely important to them with NBCUniversal Chief Steve Burke saying, "The soul of this company is the Olympics."

NBC officials and Costas said that there are plans to address political and social issues that relate to the Olympics, citing the recent bombings in Russia.

Back in November, Costas said NBC would report on Russia’s anti-gay laws but he himself wouldn’t give his opinion on the subject.

"You can say, ’Russia has these laws, tsk, tsk,’" he told the AP. "But 90 percent of Americans, I’m guessing - regardless of their political affiliation when it comes to other issues - disagree with the law anyway.

So the best service is not to just wag a finger. The best service is to ask the right questions if you can get responsible people to sit down to be interviewed."

He went on to say: "We will frame these issues: This is the lay of the land here. This is what’s going on. This is what to be aware of. It’s not going to be necessary, unless issues arise, to repeat that every single night."

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