Sun News denounces Russian anti-Putin dissidents, supporters

2 Sep

From the comfort of his news studio in Canada, Sun News star Michael Coren declares the Russian punk band Pussy Riot to be cowards.

In an August 20 story entitled “STOP DEFENDING PUSSY RIOT COWARDS,” Coren righteously attacks the anti-Putin dissidents and the vicious and malevolent international campaign demanding their release from prison.

If you haven’t followed the story, here’s the recap. Back in February, five members of the band Pussy Riot staged a musical protest against Russian then-Prime Minister and current President Vladimir Putin in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. Three of them were arrested and, as of 17 August each of the three sentenced to two years of prison for hooliganism. Since this drama started unfolding, a significant movement demanding the release of the artists has developed outside of Russia throughout the world. It has attracted the support of many famous artists from Rise Against to Stephen Fry.

Said Coren of these dissidents:

“They made this protest because they’re cowards, and they wanted to play it safe.” (around 02:55)

Okay Michael. Sure. Standing up to an authoritarian strongman with a history in the KGB and a bleak human rights record is cowardly. So is rotting in a Russian prison cell. If only they were as brave as Sun News, with their complete lack of criticism of the federal government. They really should follow Michael’s example of dissent against the all powerful and super-oppressive, human-rights violating transgender community. You’re all so tough.

For Coren, Pussy Riot is bad enough. But their supporters in the West are revealed for the hypocrites they are, given their lack of support for dissidents in other countries.

Which, actually, is a rare moment of Sun News lucidity. Indeed, too often dissidents are completely ignored outside of their countries, and they do deserve support.

But to argue that the absence of support for other dissidents negates the legitimacy of Pussy Riot’s cause is absurd and dishonest. Worse, it plays into the hands of anti-free speech, pro-repression and pro-Putin forces.

But who are the real hypocrites? Sun News describes itself with pride as controversial. They also proclaim themselves to be champions of free speech to the point of attacking anti-hate speech laws. Yet now one of the network’s star pundits tries to legitimize imprisoning people for protesting?

What is more revealing about the leadership of Sun News is that the network has criticized Putin in the past. Ezra Levant has attacked him and earlier in the month the network published an article by Warren Kinsella entitled “Raise your voice and help Pussy Riot.

However, Kinsella doesn’t have his own Prime Time show like Coren does.

So why does the leadership of Sun News prefer an anti-free speech advocate? Why the sudden condemnation of anti-Putin activists? Why would a supposed free speech crusader so viciously attack dissidents who did no more than protest against an oppressive regime, whose repressive character has been acknowledged by Sun News?

Coren tries to sell us a sob story about the protest’s setting upsetting churchgoers. Eclipse News doesn’t buy it.

Eclipse News supports Pussy Riot and all political prisoners.


They are on the right side of history. So are we.


One Response to “Sun News denounces Russian anti-Putin dissidents, supporters”

  1. Scott Bury, the writer September 2, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    Absolutely right! Free speech is a requirement of a tolerable society — one I can stand to live in. And any media organization that criticizes free speech does not deserve to last.

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