Rant: Why NBC and The American Media Are An Embarrassment

Like everyone else, I was flabbergasted upon learning yesterday that NBC would not be televising or streaming the Olympic opening ceremony live here in the year 2012.

Instead, the east coast would have to wait a further three hours, and the west coast would have to wait a further six hours to watch the ceremony.

I’m a cable subscriber, but I like many others turned to various 3rd party streamers to view BBC’s coverage of the opening ceremony live since neither NBC or any other American network would be showing it. And BBC’s coverage was excellent. They covered the entire ceremony without cutting to a commercial break and their anchors displayed nothing but respect for every nation and every athlete in attendance. They also displayed an operating knowledge of almost every team and used every opportunity possible to educate the viewer.

Even if you chose not to utilize unconventional methods to watch the ceremony live, it would have been nearly impossible to avoid spoilers anyway as we live in a world that is connected at all times.

NBC’s self-centered refusal to cover the ceremony live on any of its subsidiary channels was boneheaded enough, but even if they had covered it live, it wouldn’t have made up for their utterly embarrassing coverage of the event.

Rather than cut directly to the opening ceremony, NBC opened their evening coverage with Bob Costas consulting Tom Brokaw on the “controversy” surrounding London’s supposed lack of preparedness for the games.

The non-existent “controversy” was, of course, a reference to Mitt Romney’s disastrous tour of London wherein he made a complete ass of himself by accusing the city of being unprepared. The resulting British media shit-storm and rebuke from British politicians was a sight to behold, and not just because we got to eat popcorn while observing from across the pond. It was also magnificent because Romney was flat wrong, and under similar circumstances here in America our media would not inform you that Romney is wrong. They would instead play the role of faux concern troll and ask what “the other side” has to say about it.

And that’s exactly how NBC decided to spend the first minutes of their Olympic coverage — by having Bob Costas and Tom Brokaw play the role of faux concern troll. Because if Mitt Romney says London is unprepared, and London says Mitt Romney is full of shit, we better turn to Tom fucking Brokaw to mediate the situation. He’s our antiquated fact-checker.

If that weren’t enraging enough, NBC then spent the next half hour insulting our intelligence by pretending the opening ceremony hadn’t already occurred three hours earlier.

Once NBC was done shoving Ryan Seacrest, Justin Beiber, and other mind-numbing, pre-game style speculation down our throats and finally began airing the tape-delayed ceremony, things got even worse.

Co-anchors Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira spent the next several hours cracking the Macy’s Day Parade equivalent of fart jokes concerning everything from the dramatic opening ceremony, to the names of some of the nations in attendance, to the uniforms worn by some of the athletes, to the demeanor of Queen Elizabeth. And that was between the more than a dozen commercial breaks to sell us boner bills, luxury cars, and anti-Obama attack ads.

Professional pontificator and obvious Romney fanboy Bob Costas also chimed in to say that no matter what your political ideology is, you “have to admit Romney saved the Olympics.”

No, Bob. No we do not. Although if you want to discuss how Romney accepted a federal bailout of the Olympics, I’m game.

Both the overseas reaction to Mitt Romney’s London stumble tour and NBC’s shithouse coverage of the opening day of the Olympics reminded me just how embarrassing, incompetent, and unprofessional the American media is. And not to absolve ourselves from blame — Americans have also become too complacent. We don’t demand better, and it’s time for us to start.

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  • http://twitter.com/JimmyAbra Jimmy Abraham

    Also, they skipped airing the tribute to the 7/7 victims:

    http://deadspin.com/5929778/heres-the-opening-ceremony-tribute-to-terrorism-victims-nbc-doesnt-want-you-to-see

    Some of the “jokes”? or ignorant statements: Wondering why Luxembourg is not “marching in the g-spot” and asking Danny Boyle about the “moneyshot” involving the queen.

    • http://ekive.blogspot.com ekivemark

      Ignoring the victims of terrorism was a thoughtless move. How does America expect other nations to respect 9/11 if we snub our special relationship friends.

  • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

    Righteous rant, my friend. Well put.

  • atlavely

    Thank you for confirming my decision to use the mute button for most of the broadcast.
    Just like Fox Sports in that regard.

  • Ipecac

    We watched incredulously as, during the parade of nations, Costas said something like, “Most of the people here will not win a medal. But they will get to say they walked in the opening ceremony. Here’s a good example, Algeria!”

    Obviously Costas was going for the gold in the douchebag Olympics. Or he got all his talking points from Romney.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      Bob Costas has always made me want to slap his smug, arrogant face around until he’s badly concussed.

  • MB

    Very well said. I too found some link online to watch it live. Watching it again on NBC was like viewing 2 different opening ceremonies.

  • ranger11

    Pissed me off putting the Romney’s on the same level as Michelle Obama. Bullcrap! And no Bob we don’t have to admit that Romney saved the 2002 Winter Games. Assclown!

    • willpen

      Thank you so much for stating the obvious. I have not found ANY comments about this anywhere stating the fact that, who the hell is Mr and Mrs Willard Romney to deserve a shout out to the world. He isn’t the fucking President and he technically isn’t even the Republican nominee yet. Just the presumptive. I wanted to spit when I saw that.

      ** Note ** I would never demean a woman by calling her by her husband’s name as Mrs, but I do in this case because Ann Romney is the kind of woman who most probably still thinks of herself as an extension of her husband and not as her own person.

  • http://twitter.com/WillBrad23 Will Bradshaw

    Really good article. As a Brit it is very disappointing and disrespectful for NBC to cut the tribute to the 7/7 bombing victims which was a day after London was awarded the Olympics. The US commemorates 9/11 excellently, but we expect courtesy and respect towards 7/7 too, I hope NBC apologises for this debacle.

    • http://twitter.com/JimmyAbra Jimmy Abraham

      The more I think about dissing the 7/7 piece, I wonder if it was an NBC protest for not commemorating the Munich victims. I really hate thinking this becuase it adds fuel to fire to those dwelling in the conspiracy theories of the Israel Lobby Boogeymen…But there was a lot of talk about Costas and others a little ticked about the IOC doing nothing with the opening ceremonies.

      I guess I can understand it more, though not agreeing with the “protest”, if they thought they should have also memorialized Munich if they were also doing the 7/7 victims. I can also see why GB decided to just make it about GB. Still swirling this around in my head…but, it should have been televised since it was such a big part of the ceremony

      • http://sorchaogle.wordpress.com/ nordie

        It’s not election year in the UK (unlike the US)?

        The UK doesnt have to pander to Israel (at least openly, what they do in private is a whole other saga)?

        The networks/IOC are supposed to be unbiased (the BBC would have been slaughtered if it looked like it was taking sides)?

        US networks are more blatant about which political parties they endorse?

        The political parties have their predefined sides (Tories = big business, Labour = Unions, Liberals = hippies)?

        No political party in the UK can be seen to be siding with one side or the other in the middle east?

    • Lazarus Durden

      I agree except for one point: here in the US we don’t commemorate 9/11 excellently. The GOP has turned it into a political farce. They’ve tried to own it so much, and milk so much political credit out of it that it’s become disgraceful. Thankfully they’ve stopped doing that, but it’s taken over a decade. They used to blow that trumpet loudly, but when it came time to give the Ground Zero workers health benefits they couldn’t step up to the plate to do that.

    • walt kovacs

      you brits had no problem not marking the anniversary of the munich massacre…and why not make it a tribute to all victims of terrorism world wide…bully for nbc for not showing you wallow in self pity…bad enough we were forced to watch your tribute to shitty television

      • http://sorchaogle.wordpress.com/ nordie

        London “won” the Olympics on 6/7. The bombings happened, in London the day after (7/7). Many of the people taking part were directly affected by the bombings. We marked the occasion not only as a mark of respect, but because it was tied in with London’s Olympic preparations.

        Well done for showing your complete ignorance of this part of recent history and why it was done the way it was done. Kudos to you!

      • easylec

        Brothers in arms then! Some americans really ought to get a life.

  • Robert Scalzi

    Tape delayed Broadcast on the west coast coincided w/ Giants Baseball … and NO Effing way I will ever watch anything that involves Bob Costas… Fuck that idiot know nothing idiot back story whore.

  • http://phydeauxpseaks.blogspot.com Bob Rutledge

    Two words for those who wish to actually see the Olympics, and not some massive red/white/blue monkey chunks: Expat Shield.

    • Brutlyhonest

      Thanks for the pointer to Expat Shield; too bad it wasn’t before my brain hurt from the inane “commentary” :P

      • http://phydeauxpseaks.blogspot.com Bob Rutledge

        BBC has wall-t0-wall coverage of all the events — and no commercials — once you’ve got the shield activated. :)

    • Croquet_Player

      Thank you!

    • http://twitter.com/strachanp Strachan Pindar

      Only problem with ExpatShield is that some of us dislike Windows as much as we dislike NBC coverage. ;-) Any suggestions for Mac users??

      • Gary Leatherman

        yes. it’s called a VPN and a web browser. I recommend StrongVPN (its not free though but well worth the $55 annual cost)

  • http://www.davemora.com/ Dave Mora

    This is how I felt. I had to turn it off because the so called commentators were ruining the ceremony for me.

  • Lazarus Durden

    Excellent article JM. The British are kicking our ass in journalism, and sports coverage too it seems like.

  • http://twitter.com/YQRosie Stephen LaRose

    Bob Costas must have also said the Luftwaffe did a lot to bolster Winston Churchill’s popularity.

    Seriously, anyone with an internet connection and enough curiosity to check out a porn sit could read London tabloids on-line to know the truth of the matter-Romney was assailed as the village idiot by everyone in Great Britain, regardless where they stood on the political spectrum. When the Telegram, The Economist, The Guardian and The Sun together think you’re an ass, get yourself outfitted for a saddle.

  • Croquet_Player

    Did you hear Meredith Viera use the term “money shot” to describe the Queen’s film segment to director Danny Boyle? The terms “money shot” and “the Queen” should never be anywhere near each other. Ever. Boyle looked stricken. What the hell is wrong with her?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Norris/1597765442 Michael Norris

    I thought I was going to choke on my ice cream when Meredith said “moneyshot” in reference to the Queen. Of course by that time I had already used the terms “douchebag” and “douchenoozzle” about a hundred times talking with my wife about the Matt and Bob comedy tour. With the possible exception of Brian Williams, Ed Schultz, and Rachel Maddow, NBC News has become douchebag central. That man-love slobber fest for Mitt Romney was proof enough. Idiots.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Norris/1597765442 Michael Norris

    From Wikipedia, not the most reliable source of information, but close enough:
    “A cum shot, cumshot, come shot,[1][2] pop shot, or money shot are slang terms used to describe a person ejaculating (in film or video, or image in a pornographic magazine), usually onto a person or object. Cum shots have become the object of fetish genres like bukakke. Facial cum shots are currently regularly portrayed in pornographic films and videos, often as a way to close a scene.”

    Nice. Way do go Meredith. How about using some basic common sense next time you open your mouth in someone else’s country.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Costas, Brokaw, and Seacrest. The Larry, Moe, and Curly of terestrial network TV.

  • mrbrink

    Yes. Let us never forget the day in 1999 when Mitt Romney came along and saved the 2002 Utah Winter Olympics with just under three years to spare. How ever did they do this shit since Athens circa 1896? Commodus Romney saves the games.

    My future children will never forget that dark time in 199? America, Utah. When the country was spiraling out of control, the stock market plummeting, global financial institutions falling off a cliff, the country bleeding 800,000 jobs a month, two under the budget table wars being criminally waged and grossly mismanaged and one man stood up and led the country out of the dark and that man was not Mitt Fucking Romney, but how can we ever thank him enough for his service to fuck if I know.

    Salt Lake City Utah had previously bid for the Olympics several times, but was totally unprepared to actually win it, apparently, but ooooh, they wanted it real bad, and when the Olympic bribery scandal of 199? rocked page 14 of the White People Problems Examiner, someone had to step in and follow the lead of several international organizations and committees responsible for Olympics funding and planning.

    Fuck that guy, man. I wonder how well he could plan the Olympics with people willing to burn down Utah to stop him and overthrow him.

    It’s a higher bar now, thanks to President Obama you silly right wing domestic terrorist lying nut job motherfuckers.

    Let him put on an Olympics where Mexico, Iraq, or Iran shows up, or when he personally leads the Jamaican bobsled team to the gold, and I might consider him for a reality show where Romney and Trump put on pageants and events that we can call in to judge them.

    It’s never too early for this shit, Ashby.

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    Beautifully said, Ashby.

  • missliberties

    Can we submit our complaints en masse?

    Our very democracy is at stake, and these buffoons are not asking the right questions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1436370143 Peggy Keller

    I am so glad you wrote this. I have been trying to explain how badly NBC destroyed the opening ceremony. It seems crazy that the same exact show could be so horribly edited, directed, produced to make it be something completely different, but it was! To read the horrible insults by Americans on twitter while the rest of the world was praising, rightfully so, the excellent job London did was humiliating. NBC made the entire country look foolish because we responded to their crap as if it was London’s crap. NBC thinks we are idiots and by the reaction of people telling Danny Boyle to “give his Oscars back” and saying “we should have let Hitler have the UK” because of the horrible opening, it’s become a self fulfilling prophecy.

  • jjasonham

    This post makes it official. JM Ashby is my editorial soulmate.

  • http://twitter.com/bkatgr WBG

    My husband and I are laughing at all the Bob Costas’ “opinions”! Costas is a jackass. Glad to see that we are not the only ones who think he should just go away. We mute tv or turn off as soon as we see his face appear on the screen.

  • drewsg

    I have no idea who the hell you are, but this article was spot on. The entire NBC coverage of the ceremony was just cringe worthy. If it wasn’t bad enough the entire broadcast wouldn’t be live and then stuffed with tons of commercials, the fact that they couldn’t shut up and let us enjoy the music and visuals was worse.

    • http://twitter.com/HoboRobot Kat the Hobo

      My opinion has already been posted, but I was glad to see yours saying the same thing – “the fact that they couldn’t shut up and let us enjoy the music and visuals” – I was literally SCREAMING out loud at my own tv – “STFUp” all thru it.

  • http://twitter.com/a4alice a4alice

    Yes! Bob (Cesca)! That’s exactly what I thought. I pretaped it and sped through the opening SHYTE and then I had to listen to this namby pamby prattle and I thought, “Huh. This is the the Thanksgiving Day parade. I should be in my jammies right now” Kapow.

    thanks!

    a4

  • LoveToTeach77

    Speaking of unprofessional, you can’t write an opinion, which I do respect your right to, without using profanity? Really, it cheapens what you say. It makes it sound like a childish rant instead of an informed opinion.

    • raistuumum

      So you completely disregard the article because “shit” was only said once.

      Who’s being childish now?

    • http://phydeauxpseaks.blogspot.com Bob Rutledge

      I wasnae aware that ole Ashby was getting paid to write here. Go Ashb — huh? What’s that? Oh.

    • JMAshby

      That could be why the title of the post begins with “Rant.” Because I was angry and I fully intended to convey that.

  • rikyrah

    bravo

    bravo

    bravo

  • BottleOfSyrup

    And, when Seychelles came up in the parade of nations, they just used it as an excuse to look at and talk about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, effectively robbing team Seychelles their time in the spotlight.

  • nathkatun7

    Thank you JM Ashby for this excellent commentary.

  • MsKitty

    Preach it. I knew NBC’s coverage was gonna be a trainwreck so I didn’t even bother. Bad news is they have the rights to the Olympics for the next 10 years or so. Good news is with technology being what it is I can watch non-NBC coverage at any number of sites. It warmed my heart yesterday to see my Twitter timeline filled with live feed links, making NBC irrelevant.

  • Lisa SanCrom

    Well said!

  • Liz Smith

    Not sure rant is the right word when the truth is told – but sure is a great read.

  • dswagz

    “…you “have to admit Romney saved the Olympics. No, Bob. No we do not. Although if you want to discuss how Romney accepted a federal bailout of the Olympics, I’m game…”

    The federal bailout to save the games is less than half the story. Romneybot Fanboy Costas would have done us all a favor with some reporting instead of idolizing.
    Let’s get into it:
    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2012/07/23/who-really-built-that/

    For those who don’t want click the link, here’s the punchline:

    “…a $1.2 million loan (in 1963 dollars) from US taxpayers to fund(ed) a gondola, base and summit lodges, a chairlift, a J-bar, and a nine-hole golf course and other elements that would become Treasure Mountain. It was a success and fueled Billions of dollars of wealth in Utah over the next 50 plus years. But it never would have happened without the Federal Government.

    In the history of Park City a United Park City Mines CO official is quoted advising property owners around Park City to hang onto their land (that was worth about $500 per city lot at the time). UPCM held onto theirs. They divided some of that land into parcels to create the Deer Valley developments. In 1995, Mitt Romney bought one of those parcel (I suspect he paid around five figures for it, possibly six). In 1999 Mitt took the job to run the 2002 Olympics and hired lobbyists to bail out the games. Most of that money was for infrastructure projects. An impact of those projects was that the value of Mitt’s property increased.
    When Mitt sold his house for almost $5.25 million, I’ll bet he thought that he created all of the value himself. He didn’t. Taxpayers put up the money that gave the land its worth…”

  • http://twitter.com/SonomaMadman Sonoma Madman

    who the hell even watches tv on tv anymore? (and thank you for confirming my smugness)

  • http://twitter.com/Aqua_Buddah Jason Rowe

    It sounds to me like NBC’s coverage was perfect. Perfectly emblematic of all things idiotic about modern media, the corporate mentality, and myopic politicians.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1483064037 Maria Cypriotis Little

    Thanks for the rant. Costas should have been reminded that american taxpayers saved the Salt Lake City Olympics to the tune of $1.3 Billion – yep, the big B!

  • http://twitter.com/BrentTheFall Brent

    barry obama id carn

    • nathkatun7

      I wonder why imbeciles like you are allowed in the public square?

  • jayinatlanta

    “Romney fanboy Bob Costas also chimed in to say that no matter what your political ideology is, you “have to admit Romney saved the Olympics.”

    No, Bob. No we do not. Although if you want to discuss how Romney accepted a federal bailout of the Olympics, I’m game.”

    Thank you very much for pointing this out in your article. ~$1.6B of taxpayer federal money saved that Olympics. Romney just had to take it like the good private sector dude he is. :)

    • CarolineJames

      This is spot on. There were many Brits having uncomplimentary thoughts about Americans because the ceremony wasn’t rocket science and we couldn’t figure out why you just didn’t get any of it. This explains it!!

      I’m pretty angry that NBC was so arrogant it took a ceremony, which is by nature a story with a flow, a beginning, middle and end, and decided to turn it into an episode of Dallas. You don’t cut and shunt an Olympic opening ceremony. And you certainly don’t insult and offend the host nation by censoring our tribute to our lost victims of terrorism whilst offending your own country by telling you that ‘it’s not tailored to a US audience’ like you’re a bunch a brain dead morons who can’t understand what’s going on any more than your wet dish-cloth can. I’m pretty embarrassed and ashamed of NBC and I don’t have to watch them. But I know if I was American I would be pretty furious with their contempt for their audience. And considering we watched coverage of the 9/11 tragedy and have watched tributes on our national broadcast channel every year for over 10 years without needing it to be spliced and diced to dumb it down for a British audience, I think American’s would have coped with a rendition of ‘Abide With Me’ plus a few dancers, and I think NBC could do with a nice little apology coming our way, thanks.

      Completely and honestly, the way this has all panned out since Romney set foot here has seriously had me contemplating cancelling my hols to the US and going elsewhere. Might sound dramatic, but when your dead citizens are being disrespected, your culture and heritage is being panned in the American media, your Olympic opening ceremony has been sabotaged and vilified, the arrogance that displays is REALLY off-putting!

  • http://twitter.com/JonasPolsky Jonas Polsky

    You sir, deserve a gold medal!

    Aha!

  • Aikuchi

    I say the day of the network broadcaster is at a end. all one needs anymore is the net.

  • Eshuster

    I just have to respond to a rant with this kind of attitude when it’s so uninformed.

    NBC is out to make money through advertising. Do they really have to water down their ratings by taking away the “special event” status of the ceremony by having it appear live online hours earlier? Sure, it’s a self entered decision. Despite the spirit of the Olympics, they’re not airing it as a public service. The BBC’s actual coverage may have been better but airing it live at night was much a easier for them considering it’s in the same time zone! Oh, and it’s interesting that you mock Romney’s bailed out Olympics when one reason the BBC could skip any commercials is that the network itself has been a big government bailout since its creation.

    Also, the controversy of London being unprepared did not start with Romney’s comments it was maybe weeks earlier when the hiring practices of the security firm hired by the Olympic committee came into question.

    I must agree though that Costas and friends’ incessant babbling through the whole ceremony was tough to take at times.

    • nathkatun7

      “Oh, and it’s interesting that you mock Romney’s bailed out Olympics when one reason the BBC could skip any commercials is that the network itself has been a big government bailout since its creation.”

      BBC is not going around trashing government. On the other hand, Romney and the GOP do that all the time; despite the fact that they routinely depend on government largess! Apparently private business commercials were not enough to generate revenue to rescue the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics. Guess what, Romney turned to the much GOP trashed “Big government” to secure almost 2 billion dollars to rescue his much touted Olympics miracle. I have yet to see him, or the GOP, acknowledge, or give credit to, the role that we tax payers played in saving the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake. The saving of the 2002 Winter Olympics is all credited to smart businessman Mitt Romney. Bob Costas, in his praise for Romney, never once mentioned the over billion dollars of our tax money spent so Willard Romney could be able to save the 2002 Winter Olympics. It’s this utter hypocrisy of the anti government people, who benefit immensely from government, that is so annoying.

    • http://twitter.com/Leesidge Liosa Rafferty

      I live in Australia and I saw it live on my TV station..as did many other countries…

  • http://twitter.com/imballinger Ian Ballinger

    Oh how I hate everything about America. I am still chuckling about the idea that some Americans thought Branagh was Abraham Lincoln in the opening ceremony

  • http://twitter.com/imballinger Ian Ballinger

    Erm I think you will find it was the IOC who would not let a tribute to Munich happen. So try to get your facts right before you rant, you only make yourself look like a idiot.

  • http://twitter.com/MarkEMacLachlan Mark MacLachlan

    Well done America, the dyed hair job standing in your presidential race managed to make the dribbling mentalists running the UK look and sound efficient. Go you.

  • http://twitter.com/HoboRobot Kat the Hobo

    Here Here! Thought it was just me. Everytime I wanted to hear the music or the drumming during the opening ceremony, Matt and Merredith talked right over it and drowned it out with dumb ass comments I didn’t need and added no value. Every time a country marched out and I wanted to see there beautiful colorful costumes, ABC cut to commercials and not one camera zoomed in to even show off their culture. I DVRd the show to ffwd thru commercials, but it was still painful to have to kill the pace and timing of a skillfully, well-planned event. And I never felt connected, because nothing was LIVE and I wasn’t watching at the same time as the world. I felt “left out” on Twitter, and in general. As I get older, more and more, I feel like the character on The Prisoner, living in a bubble on an island where everything is fake and pretend and the real world is just outside, if only I could break out.

    • http://YouRock.myVi.net/ Laurel LaFlamme

      KAT! I’m skimming your words; that’s EXACTLY what I was about to write word for word in theory:

      “Thought it was just me,” at the time!

      * Every time I wanted to hear the music or the drumming during the opening ceremony, Matt and Meredith talked right over it and drowned it out with doff color & disrespectful comments that added no value.”

      * Every time a country marched out and I wanted to see there beautiful colorful costumes, they cut to commercials and not one camera zoomed in to even show off their culture.” – Very disappointing and a lot of the nations were highly disregarded & disrespected. It’s an honor to be there and should have been treated as such! *shaking my head* Those young athletes were SO happy to be there and I wanted TO SHARE THEIR JOY, but it was ruined.

      “I , too, DVR’d the show to ffwd thru commercials, but it was still painful to have to kill the pace and timing of a skillfully, well-planned event. And I never felt connected, because nothing was LIVE and I wasn’t watching at the same time as the world. I felt “left out” on Twitter, and in general.” — ditto ditto ditto.

      Thank you, Kat. You spoke well & nailed it for me. I’m still disappointed.

  • Conor Hackett

    It is a shame that the coverage in the US seems to have been poor. I have to say that I was surprised at the negativity of many Americans in response to the ceremony, especially since many of the American journalists who were there in person praised it. The views on here now make the reason for this much clearer.

    I think that we are fortunate in the UK that the BBC actively tries to educate the viewing public. A criticism often aimed at Americans is their lack of understanding of international history, but my sister in law who is English did not understand many aspects of the performance until they were explained by the BBC commentary team.

    It seems to me that in the US you are massively let down by your broadcasters. When they should be educating they are political points scoring and America as a whole is the poorer for it.

    I could weigh in with opinions on Munich and the Israeli athletes but I will just add that I don’t recall the same pressure to commemorate Alice Hawthorn who was killed during the Atlanta Games.

    It’s pretty refreshing to find a group of Americans who see through the version of the world presented by the media. It’s just a shame that on occasions your ambassadors are fools like Romney who’s single handed can re-affirm a misconception that you as a whole are stupid, something that is clearly not the case!

    • http://YouRock.myVi.net/ Laurel LaFlamme

      well stated.

  • http://sorchaogle.wordpress.com/ nordie

    There is some criticism over here over in the UK some of our commentators too (mainly “why are you here?”), but the BBC has multiple formats, channels etc including a “no commentary” option where you can switch any annoying commentary off.

    Criticism towards NBC has been on many counts.

    1) the timedelay and commercial breaks (in the UK, the BBC is a non commercial station so officially cant show adverts).

    2) The replacing of a beautiful tribute to the 7/7 victims with a Ryan Seacrest interview with Michael Phelps. It was less than 5 minutes long, but was a dance accompanied by a solo singer performing “Abide with me” – a hymn that provides much comfort to many and is traditional at many national sporting events. Lovely, if tearful, moment and a nice counterpoint to everything that had gone before. Thankfully we can hold our heads up and say we showed the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 in full.

    3) “We dont know who that bloke with the computer is, so go google him”. “that bloke” is Tim Berners-Lee, the BRITISH guy who invented the internet. Without TBL, no-one would be able to google TBL.

  • http://twitter.com/Papos29 Peter Powell

    Whoops. Double posted

  • http://twitter.com/Papos29 Peter Powell

    Well, I watched the whole ceremony from the comfort of my armchair here in sunny Manchester, UK. I found it mesmerising and sat gawping for the first half an hour despite being a tad sceptical about the whole thing beforehand.
    It was brilliantly conceived and executed. Gripping stuff

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Anderson/800759414 Tim Anderson

    Let’s not forget the negative remarks with each country…Angola lost to the Dream Team 116-48…Australia was a former British penal colony…this went on and on.

  • garydpdx

    As long as the IOC allows NBC to continue overpaying them, the golden rule will prevail for Olympics coverage in the US … he who has the gold, makes the rules.

    It’s not too late to plan a summer holiday in Canada to watch the Games on CTV in-between sight-seeing, etc. Closing ceremony is on Sunday, August 12.

  • http://ekive.blogspot.com ekivemark

    NBC are making fools of themselves by live tweeting events they wont show until 5 or 6 hours later. Like that makes total sense….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1849171314 Lucille Cooper

    Good read

  • Hank White

    EVERYONE AT NBC, INCLUDING GARY ZENKEL, REALLY SHOULD EAT SHIT AND DIE. THEIR SO CALLED “COVERAGE” OF THE OLYMPICS IS NOTHING MORE THAN HIGHLIGHTS…. WTF NBC? BEST BET IS TO BOYCOTT ANY AND ALL NBC BULLSHIT PROGRAMMING…