If you live somewhere in the United States, have a TV, and prefer not to live in a world where Ryan Seacrest trumps some ol' fashioned global communing, then you are probably royally P.O.'ed. at NBC. Their warped coverage of the Olympic games—ostensibly having been geared towards its U.S. audience—has left much to be desired.
Needless to say, there's been some backlash:
- USA Today points out that many viewers were perplexed (see also: furious) by NBC's bizarre decision to cut coverage of the Opening Ceremony to air footage of Ryan Seacrest interviewing swimmer Michael Phelps. Operating under the great American assumption that there's no such thing as bad press, according to USA Today their motto seems to be "as long as the Olympics stay in the forefront of the national conversation, NBC will take it."
- And what exactly were they excising from the coverage to show said interview? Just a tribute to the 52 victims of London's 2005 terrorist attacks that they didn't think was totally relevant to the American experience. The choreographer, Akram Khan, is understandably upset about NBC's lapse in judgement.
- Deadspin found the network also deemed a moving tribute to two dead U.S. Servicemen unworthy of making the cut.
- NBC hosts Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer continued to fuel the flames while they appeared to suffer from foot-in-mouth syndrome for basically the entire length of their broadcasts. Huffpo recaps, "Some of Lauer and Viera's finer moments" which "include linking Madagascar, the African island nation, to the animated movies, reminding viewers that most of the athletes marching in the ceremony would not win a medal, and talking over the many, many musical interludes."
- The collective baditudes of the hosts didn't go unnoticed by the Examiner who shared their opinion on NBC's coverage:
During NBC's delayed broadcast, their editing did not do it justice. Many of the comments from the anchors were unintelligent, ignorant and in bad taste. And to top it all off, the greatest segments of the event were omitted.
- The network also insulted national intelligence levels by pointing out that the ceremonies:
are complex entertainment spectacles that do not translate well online because they require context, which our award-winning production team will provide for the large prime-time audiences that gather together to watch them.
- Parodies are surfacing making fun of the networks sensational "human interest" angle, in which some of the stories are so outlandishly sad they are nearly unbelievable.
- The backlash is especially virulent with regards to NBC's time delay, which has spoiled the fun for many hoping to watch the events in real time. The delays, including the much awaited Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte race, are being filled by fluff interviews that have illicited angry responses on Reddit like this one:
Dear NBC, Fuck you for putting a worldwide sporting event on a tape delay and making me stay offline in order to avoid spoilers. Fuck you very much.
- Twitter's been ablaze with thousands of people expressing their unhappiness with the coverage. From the increasingly popular hashtag "ShutUpMattLauer" and @NBCDelayed.
- There's also this, from @Lbrahim who understands how all the bureaucratic bullshit works:
@NBCOlympics @NBC I recognize whoever reads these tweets probably isn't the suit that makes the tape-delay call. plz tell them s/he sucks.
- And this, from Tod Hunter, who understands how life works: @ttodhunter
I was wrong: If #NBC runs any #Olympic event, the US will win a medal. This coverage sucks ass. Not in a good way, either.
So just to recap: NBC is fucking up big time on our behalf and we're all going to continue whining about it while there is air in our lungs and power in our computer machines.