- Fox Sports 1
- Fox Sports 1 aired a segment during the World Cup on Monday that toured Joseph Stalin’s vacation house.
- The segment began, “Think what you will about Joseph Stalin,” before showing Stalin’s “dacha” which was designed to protect him from assassination attempts.
- Many people were critical of the segment for being too light-hearted about the former Soviet dictator.
Fox Sports 1 aired a segment during the World Cup on Monday that toured former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s vacation house, or “dacha,” that many felt was too light-hearted.
“Think what you will about Joseph Stalin, but there’s no denying this was one of the most formidable figures in human history,” reporter Sergey Gordeev began the segment.
The two-and-a-half-minute segment, which was produced by National Geographic, went on to tour Stalin’s home in Sochi, which was painted green to blend in with the surrounding forest, had no rugs so Stalin could hear anyone sneaking up on him, and had a bulletproof couch, where he used to watch Charlie Chaplin movies. The piece noted that Stalin lived in constant fear of assassination.
The segment included the anchor playing on Stalin’s old pool table and going into his old office, which included a life-like replica of Stalin.
The segment immediately drew criticism around the internet. Deadspin ran a post with the headline, “Weird FS1 Segment: Say What You Will About Joseph Stalin, But He Had A Sick House.”
Yahoo’s post on the segment read: “It’s hard to have a conversation about Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin without using the word ‘murderer.’ During his 30 years in power, he had hundreds of thousands of people executed while millions of others died in gulags or from famine. But during its World Cup coverage on Monday, Fox found a way to talk about Stalin and leave out all that murder and repression stuff.”
Several Twitter users expressed confusion and frustration, too.
"This is Stalin's house. Look at how cool it is. Was he good, was he bad? Who knows? Now, back to the World Cup."
— Zito (@_Zeets) June 25, 2018
Did FS1 just start a segment on Stalin with “Think what you will about Stalin?”
— Will Parchman (@WillParchman) June 25, 2018
"Let's just let the state media of authoritarian kleptocracy set our editorial tone. They gave us such a nice set-up in Moscow, it would be quite rude to ask if the segment we're running burnishes the reputation of one of the worst mass murderers in human history."
— Michael Caley (@MC_of_A) June 25, 2018
@FS1 @NatGeo That segment on Stalin's house was highly inappropriate. Light and airy tone, talking about positive or negative and Stalin's "arguable" history? Imagine a similar segment on Hitler's retreat.
— Gregory Wagner (@eggywags) June 25, 2018
FS1 giving us a genocidal monster cribs Stalin’s vacation home edition…that was pretty damn equivocal on his legacy. “Good politician or did he commit arguable actions?” Lotta tense home cooking in that segment. ????
— Vive Les Lukes???????? (@lfjean) June 25, 2018
Fox Sports did not immediately respond to a statement request from Business Insider.