Here’s another example of the perils of print journalism and its dangerous time-lag between submission of copy and publication, from Religion News Service’s Kevin Eckstrom:

Evangelist Franklin Graham is praising Russian President Vladimir Putin for his aggressive crackdown on homosexuality, saying his record on protecting children from gay “propaganda” is better than President Barack Obama’s “shameful” embrace of gay rights.

Graham, who now heads the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association started by his famous father, praised Putin in the March issue of the group’s Decision magazine for signing a bill that imposes fines for adults who promote “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors….”

“In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues,” Graham wrote. “Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.

“Our president and his attorney general have turned their backs on God and His standards, and many in the Congress are following the administration’s lead. This is shameful.”

Bad timing, eh?

A spokeswoman for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said that Franklin Graham was traveling and unavailable for comment. A statement from the association noted his article went to press before the current crisis in Ukraine that has pitted Putin and Russia against the West.

Well, too bad, Franklin. Putin’s czarist tendencies are equally evident in his persecution of LGBT folk and his designs upon Ukraine. If you praise one you can’t really claim surprise at the other.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.