Tag: NBC

Weekend Roundup

It’s a slow week in politics and the Olympics are on. But that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of really stupid stories to cover. Here’s a look at what’s going on with the election three months away (and God, it can’t happen a moment too soon, can it?)

Nikki Haley is in big trouble for getting her daughter a state job. Surely, this job must be a six figure cushy … what? … what?! … she’s working part-time in a gift shop? This is what your outrage-o-meter got pinged by? If this is Nikki Haley’s big scandal, she must be the cleanest fucking governor ever.

NBC’s Olympics coverage is coming in for its usual thrashing. Look, I get the tape delay: people want to watch the stuff in prime time. But you’d think NBC would figure out how to make their streaming more accessible: since I don’t have a cable subscription, I’m shut out. More disturbingly, they decided to cut out a tribute to the 7/7 victims from the Opening Ceremonies and their response is that Americans wouldn’t have been interested.

Like hell. When 7/7 hit, every blog in America put up an image of the British flag, expressed its sympathy and solidarity and wondered why the terrorists thought they were going to scared the British of all people. Granted, I move in academic circles and have a Brit in the office next to me. But I have yet to hear anyone tell me, “Boy, I’m glad they cut that 7/7 tribute out.”

With the Olympics, comes the requisite stupidity about athletes being too sexy and Americans focusing on the wrong sports. I respond to this stupidity here. And if the attention to the Michelle Jenneke video seems wrong, read this.

Apparently, Aaron Sorkin’s newest TV show is horrid — even preachier than The West Wing. Cato breaks down the latest stupidity on Glass-Steagel but check out the video clip. This is just horrible television.

The New York Times ran an op-ed this week asking if we should ditch algebra. I’ll let Orac handle this one. Really, the stupidity of the op-ed has to be read to be believed. It’s from a Poli-Sci professor which tells you, really, all you need to know about why our political system sucks.

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.