Why NBC Should Be Fired

In Miscellaneous by Caris Adel8 Comments

London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay

Photo Credit: sudeep1106

“Let’s hear it for Poland!”

“I really hope Michael Phelps does this.”

“Come on, come on.  You can do it.  Yes!  8th place!  She has made it into the finals!

“We need to remove nationalities from this.”

“They finished in a creditable 6th position.”

Who said those?  Bob Costas?  Ryan Seacrest?  Andrea Kremer?

Oh, of course not!  You know that.  NBC is apparently incapable of focusing on other countries or anyone who doesn’t hang a gold medal around their neck.

Those great quotes come from the BBC.  God love the BBC.  They have restored the fun of the Olympics to me.

Somehow, consumerism, money, and NBC have turned these games into an insular event, suitable only if money can be made off it.

The Olympics are supposed to be a world-wide event that people participate in for the love of the sport.

But by monetizing it so heavily, it is not Team USA at the Olympics anymore.  It is Team NBC/Comcast/Twitter.  So now, instead of focusing on doing your best and respecting better competitors, it is only about if they win gold, and if not, to find out why.  What they did wrong.  How they failed.

We have turned a great opportunity to open our eyes to other cultures into a selfish, exclusive, high-pressured event.

My solution?  Fire the whole lot of them.  All the NBC execs, the producers, whoever is in charge of this bloody mess, and is doubling down on their condescension and arrogance.  Fire them all.

Every person puts so much effort into training, getting there, and coming up with the money involved.  Instead of complaining about how many golds we don’t have, can we applaud the effort they’ve expended?  Can’t we respect some other countries?  Can we view them as more than a cartoon movie?  Can we watch their medal ceremonies?  Can we empathize with their grief?

This fantastic two week look into the world has instead been turned into an enormous red, white, and blue bubble.

Our commentators say things like, “the Russians are flighty.”  “America is dominating.”  “That’s not even mediocre.”  “Horrific.”

Is this what we want to be known for?

NBC has paid for the right to represent America to the Olympics, and the Olympics to America.  And they have failed miserably on both counts.  Fire them.

In comparison, the BBC is treating it as an opportunity to cheer competitors, no matter the country, no matter the results.

In swimming, they cheered for their own just to make it into the final.  They cheered for 8th place!  And when she finished 7th, they were happy, and she was happy.  Happy for 7th! The interview was nice and encouraging.  Such a difference from Andrea Kremer!  In America, we complain and accuse if someone is better than us.

If it had been NBC in that race, they would have ignored the winners and asked the losers why they sucked and where as their fire?

We watched women’s gymnastics live, thanks to Expat Shield and BBC.  We Americans are having just as much fun watching the other countries as we are our own.  We cringed when the British fell on the balance beam.  Who can’t relate to that feeling, despite the color of their uniform?  Their commentators cheered for the American women’s gold gymnastic medal.  They sounded genuinely happy for their amazing performance.  In contrast, NBC didn’t even show Great Britain competing in gymnastics, let alone mention that this was their best finish since 1928.

No, according to NBC, only 4 teams, not 8 were competing last night.

We watched the medal ceremony after Le Clos beat Michael Phelps. It was so fun.  Those tears.  His parents.  His flag-wrapped dad.  It was beautiful.  It didn’t matter that USA ‘lost’.  It was an amazing story for Le Clos. And practically absent from NBC.

I understand the desire to compete, to be one of the best in the world, to prove that all of the hours and money invested in the sport have been worth it.

But when our focus has narrowed to how many golds we have, when our reporter is asking the best swimmer, the best Olympian in the world, in history, ‘where is that killer instinct?”, then, my God, have we lost the point!!!!

And then there was that intro to the gymnastics.  Jordyn Wieber.  They build her story, calling her a hero, wondering if she can manage a gold medal floor routine to save team America, when they know she did.  Which is the only reason they created that intro.  They did not create that solely based on the fact that she is part of team USA.  They created it because she lost, and now has won gold.

She is worth the extra attention because now she is finally perfect.

When we focus solely on perfection, we miss out on the joy of being.  Focusing on perfection means you have to focus on all the ways you fall short.  Focusing on the joy of participating frees you to just live.  Focusing on your present, on doing your best regardless.  It frees up your need to be the best, so then you aren’t viewing the other as inferior, or not worthy, because their strengths do not determine your weakness.

This is what the Olympics are about.  This is where NBC has so completely missed the boat.  And that is why they should all be fired.


What do you think?  Has NBC been completely abysmal?  Have you discovered the fun of #nbcfail?

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  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

    I haven’t been able to watch any of the Olympics because I don’t have a tv. :( 

    But I like what you said about how this is supposed to be something where the whole world comes together, and if NBC is only focusing on the Americans, and only values their hard work if they win gold… that’s just wrong.

    • http://www.carisadel.com/ Caris Adel

      Check out the expat shield – then you can watch bbc on your computer!

  • Rich Shields

    Absolutely great post, Caris! So on target with your observations. Sometimes I would have to turn the channel, just for a real sanity check. NBC announcers have spoiled watching the Olympics. And I have been watching the Olympics since 1960.

    • http://www.carisadel.com/ Caris Adel

      It seems like when I watched it when I was younger that they were better, but maybe not.

  • Andrew Carmichael

    Last week I was in Germany and had the privilege to watch the initial days of the Olympics on German TV. Although they highlighted German athletes, it was not the exclusive focus and binge that NBC presents. Now that I’m back home I feel just like you do. What NBC presents unfortunately seems to appeal to most Americans who want the Olympics to be a ra-ra American pep rally, where we go away with a renewed sense of our superiority.

    I’ve also had the opportunity to watch the Olympics on Canadian, Finnish and Russian television. The Russian broadcast is probably the most similar to the NBC, but even theirs was not such a big pep rally with super-hyped build up to the winners. 

    Thanks for the link to Expat Shield. I’m going to have to check it out because I don’t think  I can take much more of the NBC diet.

    • http://www.carisadel.com/ Caris Adel

      That would have been such a cool experience to see all the different takes on it.  Yeah BBC is so much better.  I’ve been watching it non-stop.

      • Andrew Carmichael

        Thanks to you I could spend my evening watching some sports I’d never seen, like women’s (field) hockey. Many, many thanks for this helpful link!!

        Unfortunately I read somewhere today that NBC’s viewing percentage is actually up over the previous Olympics, guaranteeing we’ll continue to get the same drivel we currently do.

        • http://www.carisadel.com/ Caris Adel

          Isn’t it great?  We’ve really gotten into the skulls and rowing.  And trampoline today.  It’s so fun!