This is really not the usual Foreign policy news! Someone…please…find me this footage on YouTube!
From the Guardian:

“For the viewers of Turkmenistan’s popular nightly news programme, Vatan, it was another routine bulletin. But as the newsreader began the 9pm broadcast, viewers across the central Asian country spotted something unusual crawling across the studio table: a large brown cockroach.

The cockroach managed to complete a whole lap of the desk, apparently undetected, before disappearing. The programme, complete with cockroach, was repeated at 11pm that night…..

The consequences of this particular cockroach’s impromptu five minutes of fame were immediate and severe. The country’s president, Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, took news of the insect so badly that he responded by firing no fewer than 30 workers from the main state TV channel, the news website Kronika Turkmenistan reported yesterday….

Those sacked in the cockroach debacle included journalists, directors, camera operators, and technical staff, the website reported. “

That’s a pretty extreme reaction to a roach!
(No word on the species of the “brown” roach in question–i.e, if it is a smoky brown, brown banded, or another kind of roach.)

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. Like restaurant kitchens, the best news comes from the dirtiest studios!

  2. Not up anywhere. NPR can’t confirm video. Well, there’s this:

    *Bug: “and it’s going to be humid and warm in the region today….just what i like…cha-cha-cha!”*

  3. He was a Marxist-Lenist reactionary roach, and not a modern, West-leaning consumerist one. The studio was lucky – they could have been hit with a smart bomb. In which case only the roach would have survived.

  4. As no photo or video of this cockroach has surfaced, I suspect the alleged incident never happened. It looks more like a complete lie concocted by the Turkmenistan government as an excuse to crack down on TV journalism. If anyone has found footage, please prove me wrong.

  5. As lies go, though, it’s pretty lame. It’s almost Borat-like, which is probably the last thing they want.

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