The basically whole lot of nothing scandal is over, so now NBC doesn’t have to waste anymore air time on those bad boy Americans and can now just loop Usain Bolt clips over and over and over again like they have been doing all week. Re: the robbery and the aftermath (I am still calling it a robbery because it had all the elements of a robbery) I think the way it was handled was just terrible. More on that in a moment but first I want to spend a few moments trashing NBC. I know that they spent a boatload of dough getting the rights to broadcast and I know ratings are way down (look at all the empty seats in the venues)but after the first few days I can’t watch it anymore as aired. I tape the broadcasts, then blow through all the commercials and fluff, leaving me about 40 minutes worth of actual watchable content out of the 4 hours aired each night. The typical pattern is thus; let Bob Costas bluster for a few minutes, show about 2 minutes of actual competition, go to about 5 minutes worth of commercials, then come back with the 6000th airing of Usian Bolt winning a medal. This pattern has not varied. I have read many complaints about NBC touching all these bases. I can’t really say their avarice has cost them my viewership since I never watch them in the first place.
Now that we have believable testimony on what actually transpired that night, I am outraged at how our guys were treated. I watched that Rio press conference and I did not believe very much of what was said, mainly because of the source. All those stories you read about corrupt Mexican cops, the same stories are told about the Rio police.The whole press conference revolved around what the officials said the swimmers supposedly (?) told them. There was no audio from any of the cameras and large gaps where we don’t know what happened at all. I wanted to hear what the swimmers said away from the threat of sitting in a stank filled jail cell. Now we know.
Let’s look at some of the inconsistencies;
The press conference said there was only one security guard (off duty Rio police officer), now we know there were 2. They said a bathroom mirror was trashed but Bentz said it was an outside metal wall frame. They said the guard was there to insure that the swimmers did not leave and waited for the police, yet as soon as the guards took their money, the swimmers were released. Factor in the language barrier (how did the swimmers know they worked for the gas station, did they work for the gas station or were they just off duty cops looking to take off some Americans, did they tell the swimmers to wait for the police, what happened during those camera laps?)
No doubt once released they just wanted to get back to their rooms and forget about the whole affair. And if not for Lochte’s big mouth the next day, talking to a reporter about the incident, that would have been the end of it. No police report was filed, the police only heard about it through social media. Yet, they got a judge to issue an arrest order to pull 2 of the swimmers off of their flight to go home, talk about judicial overreach (where was our State Dept. in all this and why didn’t they file a formal protest and demand an apology for this gross act of overreach?) The police had no right to either take them off the plane or detain them in any manner, all on the word of some drunken swimmer talking to a reporter?
Back to the robbery angle. We don’t know what was actually said (or implied since there was a language barrier) at the gas station. 2 guys approached them with badges and pointed guns demanding money (not a specific amount, mind you, to pay for any damages, no, they wanted whatever the swimmers had in their wallets), then when the money was paid the swimmers were allowed to leave. No reporter at the press conference pushed this issue, if the guns were drawn to make sure the swimmers did not leave until the cops arrived, why were they allowed to leave once money changed hands?
Even though most of what Lochte said could be true, the MSM back home has just crucified him, lying Lochte. You would think he sodomized a local alter boy, for everything that has been written about him. He certainly should shoulder much of the blame, acting like a douche at the gas station then yammering about it the next day, but as usual with these sort of events, there is enough blame to go around for both sides.
Not only were the other 3 swimmers illegally detained (who knows what went on in that interrogation room, and no doubt our State Dept. has contacted all of them with warnings to not say anything to the press detrimental to harmonious Brazil/American relations, e.g. if they threatened you or coerced you into saying something against your will, keep it to yourself), but one of them had to pay 11 grand just to leave the country. Yep, just like the Mexican cops.
Thank God no underage hookers were filmed spilling out of that taxi at the gas station. And Lochte will be hurt financially for this little bit of indiscretion re: endorsements but the Rio cops could have handled this much better. A simple statement of ,”We are not aware of any robbery that took place at that gas station that night. Until the American swimmers contact us to make a formal report, no action on our part is required. We do not act on social media reports, thank you”. That would have worked just fine.