Tag: media censorship

Curious

I realize that there are higher considerations, stuff us mere mortals are not privy to and contingencies that are well beyond our pay grade, but why would a network as well respected {cough, cough} as NBC up and make a command decision to cut out a portion of the opening ceremonies and fill it with recycled crap we have heard a number of times already?

Waking up this morning and writing a comment on the blog about the opening ceremonies and my impressions, I come to find out that NBC deleted a major portion of the broadcast, a portion having to do with a dedication and song to the victims of a terrorist attack. No, not that one, this was the attack of 7/7, one that hit much closer to home for the British people:

The moving tribute to the victims of the 7/7 London bombings featured a haunting performance by singer Emeli Sande. It was one of the most powerful moments of the evening, but it never aired in the US. Watch it now. (Edit: There are some reports that it was more generally a tribute to those who had passed away before the Olympics could begin. Regardless it was cut out of the US broadcast.)

You can view the video, the portion that NBC decided to withhold from us, here.

Why would NBC up and cut this out? It certainly was not for time restraints, the damn thing (including that awful McCartney segment) lasted 4 1/2 hours. We not only got to hear yet another segment on Michael Phelps:

Regardless, it was a rather significant and emotional moment in the opening ceremony, coming just before the parade of nations—and it wasn’t aired in the United States. Instead, viewers were treated to a lengthy and meaningless Ryan Seacrest interview of Michael Phelps. NBC regularly excises small portions of the opening ceremony to make room for commercials, but we’ve never heard of them censoring out an entire performance—especially to air an inane interview. We’ve asked NBC why they didn’t air the tribute, and if they get back to us we’ll let you know what they say.

As filler, before they even started with the opening ceremonies (remember, this was taped delay, they could have started anytime they wanted) they threw in some inane banter with Tom Brokaw, along with a totally out of place segment with some of the ladies gymnastics team (as if we won’t get enough of that once the competitions start).

I genuinely would like to know why NBC decided excise this portion and not show it for us in the states.

We can talk about the appropriateness of the segment. Rogge and the IOC nixed any public display bringing attention to the Jewish athletes that were murdered at the Munich Olympics, so what about this? The Jewish athletes had a closer tie to the Olympics then the 7/7 bombings, why one without the other? For my own self, it’s their ceremony (their dime), if they wanted to call attention to the victims at this venue (recognizing that there was an Olympic connection) that’s fine with me. I wonder how Rogge rationalized this display (I assume he knew, and I assume that he has some say in the matter). Here are the BBC remarks that was aired at broadcast:

Ladies and gentlemen, please pause silent for our memorial wall for friends and family who can’t be here tonight. The excitement of that moment in Singapore seven years ago when England won the games was tempered the next day with sorrow from the events of July 7th that year. A wall of remembrance for those no longer here to share in this event.

Now that the catcensor is out of the bag, NBC will reply with some ,”Nothing to see here, move along, we do this all the time for time constraints, advertising and all”.

Maybe, but replacing it with mundane filler, rouses my suspicions.

Not only did they have a gaggle of commercials through out the night, but it seemed like one in ten were from Obama’s re election committee and how great he cares about us. Come on, can we save the pantloads for after the Olympics? I need some women’s beach volleyball.