Olympics 2012 opening ceremony honors Tim Berners-Lee, but NBC anchors don't know who he is

Discuss

137 Responses to “Olympics 2012 opening ceremony honors Tim Berners-Lee, but NBC anchors don't know who he is”

  1. LikesTurtles says:

    So glad I was able to use a proxy to view the BBC’s coverage. NBC made me hate the Olympics. Their coverage simply isn’t watchable unless you’re the type who is addicted to relationship drama.

    • niktemadur says:

      Right!  Every country covers their paisans, which is as it should be, but those manipulative NBC mini-documentaries (or spotlights or whatever they’re called) may fill John Boehner with emotion and patriotism, yet drive me up the wall AND eat into valuable broadcasting time.  Just show me the sports, you know?

      As for the athlete profiles, leave that to the masters like Bud Greenspan, clinical and gripping, sometimes the true drama is with the weight lifter from Greece, or the super slalom skier from Australia.  “Yeah but that’s not Ah-ME-ree-caehn.”

      • Xyzzy says:

        NBC doesn’t even do a good job at that, since they only cover the most well-known sports, and then only for brief periods.  (I’m only interested in the equestrian events, which are covered extensively in just about every friggin country *except* ours.)

        • LaurenceGlavin says:

          I think thst this year, unusually assiduous coverage will be provided for dressage…don’t know why I feel this way, just sayin’.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Given that BBC couldn’t even find the feed for the GB Gymnastics team, it seems unlikely that Ms. Phillips will get extra coverage.

      • sgtdoom says:

        may fill John Boehner with emotion and patriotism..

        Too bad Boehner wasn’t filled with patriotism in 1968 when, as the slacker he is, he washed out of US Navy boot camp, then would later fraudulently claim military service during Vietnam.

        This is sooooo typical of the American Propaganda Network [FoxFiction-CNN-ABC-NBC-CBS-PBS-NPR, etc.].

        They only receive bonuses for repeating the phrase, “conspiracy theory, conspiracy theory” during their on air conversations.

  2. Matt Popke says:

    After so much time really everyone should know who Tim Berners-Lee is, but I’ll bet the vast majority of people do not. It’s kind of sad. The last great inventor most Americans can name is probably Thomas Edison. We are absolutely surrounded by the world-altering work of thousands of people who never receive as much recognition as the guy who only sort of kind of invented the light bulb. I’d like to be angry at NBC and Meredith Vieira, but really she’s just a symptom of a much greater problem. 

    How sad it is that pretty much everyone in the country knows who the starting quarterback for the Giants is, but hardly anyone knows about the people of actual consequence. It’s hard not to feel as though our culture is doomed.

    • PFL 1982 says:

      I’ll be honest–I didn’t know who he was but it took me about 2 seconds to find out. You’d think the NBC twits would be able to do that. Their coverage is INANE!!!!!

      • To be fair, they do mention just a second later that “he’s credited with inventing the world wide web” — so they probably did look him up. I’ve no idea, though, why you’d say you’ve never heard of them.

        I’ve watched with German commentary, and the guy sounded as if he’d never heard of the Arctic Monkeys, but that didn’t prompt him to say “I’ve no idea who these guys are, but apparently they’re kind of an English Band, I think”

        “inventer of the www” sounds a bit strange to me, actually. Afaik, there are several different people credited with that, or at least with different components of it. Many Americans probably know the story of DARPAnet and how it turned into the internet and then wonder what an Englishman in Switzerland should have to do with that…

        • Sniffly says:

          DARPAnet turned into the internet.  The World Wide Web provided a convenient way of sharing information over the internet.  Hence your confusion.  The first Web browser (MOSAIC, I believe) was developed at CERN. 

          • koanhead says:

             Mosaic was neither the first Web browser nor was it developed at CERN.
            It *was* the first graphical web browser (able to display different fonts, show pictures, etc.)- the first one to take advantage of the graphical capabilities of modern (at the time) operating systems and desktop environments. Actually it wasn’t even the first of those, but it was the one that ‘took off’.’
            Before that there were text-only browsers like Lynx.
            Mosaic was developed at NCSA at the University of Illinois (hence it is sometimes called NCSA Mosaic as opposed to VMS Mosaic and other versions and programs.)

          • Xyzzy says:

            ARPANET was the first part of it, but the Internet was actually the link-up of major networks all over the world, like JUnet in Japan, AARNet in Australia, NSFnet here, and so forth.  (Keeping track of where/how they connected is confusing enough that I’m not going to even try to name the others.)

        • NotConvinced says:

          Not knowing who the Artic Monkeys are? And they think they are a civilized country. As if…
          My skinny jeans just exploded and my fedora is on fire.

        • Xyzzy says:

           Tim Berners-Lee invented HTTP (the protocol used to transmit web pages across the Internet), HTML, the first web browser & website editor, and the first HTTP server program. He was at CERN at or over the French border because he’s actually a physicist; he was thinking about network tech just because the scientists desperately needed a way to share & edit documents online.

      • NotConvinced says:

        It’s all about the hair  my friend. Not what’s under the hair.

      • wbeaty says:

        I suspect that they know perfectly well who Berners-Lee is.  Their behavior has one obvious explanation.

        If they don’t feign ignorance, everyone in their professional circle will turn, point, and hiss:  NURRRRRRRDS!   NURRRRRRDS!

        :)

    • eldritch says:

      Point of note, Edison is well known because he actively strove to become so. Part of the whole ruthless businessman personality of his that drove him to ruin fellow scientists in the name of profit.

      This sort of thing is hardly new, either. The Wright Brothers were not the first in flight, Alberto Santos-Dumont was. But the Wrights were shrewd businessmen and they marketed themselves, alongside getting a patent and getting in good with key figures at the Smithsonian Institute and other major organizations. The net result? The greed-motivated bicycle repairmen are lauded as heroes by most of the world (except Brazil), while the effeminate, eccentric, humanitarian who they copied is virtually unknown.

      And that’s merely a century ago. All throughout history you have quiet little discoveries being made, but the legacy goes to those who follow noisily after.

      • Hakan Koseoglu says:

        Please… Wright brothers flew before Santos Dumas in an heavier-than-air self propelled aircraft. The fact that it was launched off the rails as opposed to having wheels is nitpicking and not honouring Wright brothers’ genius. His flight was two years later than the Wright brothers! Wright brothers pioneered the use of control surfaces, a properly designed propeller with lifting surfaces etc. etc. etc. 

      • aikimoe says:

        The Wright Bros. were very much the “first in flight.”  

        How did they “copy” Santos-Dumont, when his first designs were finished two years after their first flight?

        • Sorry, the first  heavier-than-air self propelled aircraf was flown four months before the Wright Brothers by this guy:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Jatho
          In Germany. (German Article is much longer, but … well, German)
          The guy was just really bad at public relations, died unknown, and to this day most Germans have never heard of him. Actually, the story was brought to my attention via a NASA employee.
          The principal difference between his and the Wrights’ flight was that he controlled only two degrees of freedom (pitch and yaw) for his aircraft while the Wrights could control three (pitch, yaw and roll).
          Which makes the Wrights’ achievement the first fully controlled powered flight, not the first powered flight.
          Again, big inventions are not made by single people. They are developments. The Wright Brothers contributed a lot towards flight, but they did not invent it alone, and if they hadn’t done what they have, someone else would have, not much later. Which does not make their achievement smaller. It’s just not possible to invent something like powered flight on your own.

          • aikimoe says:

            I agree 100% with that.  My first sentence should have been, “The Wright Brothers preceded Alberto Santos-Dumont in flight,” so I wouldn’t have given the false impression that they acted entirely alone.

          • Frank says:

            Gustave Whitehead claims to have made first motor powered 800m flight 2 years before Wright Brothers or Karl Jatho. There seem to be witnesses from newspapers but no photographs were taken.

        • eldritch says:

          It depends on whether you believe that the Wrights actually conducted their completely undocumented first flight and then sat on that fact without telling anyone at all for a full five years for no apparant reason, or whether you believe that when they conducted their first public flights in 1908, two years after Santos-Dumont, they felt that “2nd in flight” wasn’t marketable enough and so spuriously backdated their achievements to 1903.

          The Wrights had absolutely zero witnesses to their supposed flights  who weren’t on their payroll and in their pockets. Santos-Dumont, in contrast, flew before the entire city of Paris and all the independent authorities and officials you could hope for.

          • aikimoe says:

            There is no evidence that the witnesses to the flight were paid off.  There is no evidence that the photographs they took of the flight were frauds.  Even Ernest Archdeacon, founder of the Aero Club de France, publicly admitted he was wrong to have doubted the claims of the Wright Brothers.

            Nobody disagrees that Santos-Dumont was the first to take off unassisted (though when the WB’s could fly for 39 minutes in ’05, Santos-Dumont could never fly more than 10), or that he was an all-around amazing and important figure in aviation, but there is an historical consensus that the WB’s flew their plane before he flew his.

            Claims to contrary are based more in nationalism and ideology than in objective fact.

      • OgilvyTheAstronomer says:

        This whole thing with the history of flight just goes to show that when an idea’s time has come, multiple inventors will come up with it almost simultaneously – the really important thing is who brings the idea to us.

        Apologies if this is an unpopular notion around here, but that’s the reason Edison is more important than Tesla and Jobs is more important than Woz.

        • mistercat says:

          I think everyone knows why Jobs and Edison are more *important* than Woz or Tesla. The ability to make money off other people’s ideas is the most important thing there is. It’s just, you know, that’s kind of a shame.

          • retepslluerb says:

            I don’t think it’s because they made money but because they popularized the the inventions and made them mass-comptaible. A side-effect of getting rich (or rather an intrinsical part), but very, very important for the adaption of new technologies.

          • OgilvyTheAstronomer says:

            I’m sure you believe that the best place for an idea is to be stuck in a garage, and that the world would be a better place if Woz had stayed at Atari his whole career and we still typed commands on amber-on-black monitors, but not all of us do.

    • Brian Bishop says:

      I don’t know who the Giants’ quarterback is, and I’m not Googling it either!

    • chgoliz says:

      I can remember a time when the general population was informed about major news by reporters and newscasters.

      Seems a lifetime ago.

      • GregS says:

        But in those long-gone days, reporters and newscasters were not as ignorant as the people they were trying to inform. Nowadays, it’s a safe assumption that the only thing they know is what the teleprompter is telling them to say.

    • GregS says:

      Agreed, but I’m not willing to cut NBC that much slack. For one thing NBC is allegedly running a professional news organization, which means we have a right to expect them to be able to find out basic facts quickly. It’s easy to anticipate that the London Olympic opening ceremonies would be featuring facts and figures from British history and culture that not everyone is familiar with, so a professional news organization that was covering those ceremonies would put a system in place to discreetly inform the on-air commentators what they need to know.

      • Kimmo says:

        I suspect there’s a deliberate policy in a lot of American media to validate ignorance, as if it’s almost something to be proud of.

        When I look at the US, it seems self-evident a lot of powerful people would like a lot more other people to become even dumber.

        • Petzl says:

          Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera are not among America’s best and brightest.  Viera’s unfamiliarity with Berners-Lee shouldn’t come as a surprise.  When Viera was hosting Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, she could never contain her obvious ignorance of, and surprise at, even moderately hard questions and answers. Regis and Trebek at least knew to fake it when they didn’t know the answer.

          • Kimmo says:

            I’m not suggesting these candyfloss people are evil masterminds for a moment.

            But who hires and fires em, and directs the culture of the organisation?

          • sgtdoom says:

            There is no media in America, and little else anywhere else.

        • penguinchris says:

          You’re absolutely right, and this is the reason that a lot of people (younger people anyway) get almost all of their TV news and commentary from Jon Stewart on The Daily Show instead of the various other networks. Plus, obviously, most get the majority of the news from the internet where it is typically much easier to find intelligent coverage.

          I can’t stand to watch TV news for more than a few seconds because of the inanity even when covering major, serious stories – the inanity is built in by whoever writes what’s on the teleprompters. 

          There are exceptions – there are actually people trying to do intelligent TV journalism in the US – but they are rare and don’t get much airtime.

          I won’t try to suggest that in other countries it’s perfect, but the obvious example for comparison is the BBC which seems to me to be striving to raise the intelligence level of the audience rather than speaking down to them.

          Relevant example is the olympics opening ceremony – I downloaded and watched the 4-hour broadcast from the BBC (available on the pirate bay). They provided brief explanations for what the various things in the ceremony were (just stating briefly what it is without additional commentary for the most part), provided interesting background information during lulls, and provided interesting information about each country as the athletes came out. Plus it was uncut and commercial free.

    • I hear you Matt. The sad truth is, if Sir Tim had really cashed in on his innovation, he would by now be the richest man in the universe, and the world would certainly know a lot more about him.

      I was so happy the Olympics could put a global spotlight on Mr Berners-Lee, a real unsung hero of out times, who literally changed all our lives.

      Anyway, history will always have it’s casualties, most American’s think Ford invented the car (it was Daimler Benz), most Germans think they invented the printing press ( it was the Chinese), and the Greeks think they invented civilised society (it was definitely us Brits ;)….

      Which brings me back to Sir Tim, who invented the www -so now we can go to WikiPedia to check the real facts ;)

  3. Blazeldude says:

    I’d heard bad things about the NBC coverage but damn. Danny Boyle’s ceremony was meant to be watched and enjoyed, not talked over by mindless idiots.

    • Eurosid says:

       I had to turn it off. Their ceaseless blather was too much. I just can’t stand the way NBC covers the Olympics.

      • Totally agree, I had to turn it off as well.  And their ceaseless blather isn’t limited to the opening ceremony; every flippin’ event they show has got the “commentators” blithering and blathering for seemingly every single second of air time – why can’t they just shut the hell up and let us watch the action?  I know, I can press the “mute” button on my remote, but it’s nice to actually hear the sounds of the game(s) – I wish there was a way to filter out just the announcers!  Too bad NBC has the broadcasting rights until at least 2020 – so the nightmare will continue….

    • Scurra says:

      I am so grateful that the BBC offered a “no commentary” option.  It is available on the iPlayer (although obviously people outside the UK wouldn’t be able to view this in any possible way, would they…?!)

    • Mitchell Glaser says:

      Agreed. I would really like to have heard the chorus sing Danny Boy rather than hear that gormless spokesmodel prattle on and on. And then NBC cuts away to a meaningless photo-op with Michael Phelps during the UK’s memorial moment to their 9/11 is criminal.

    • niktemadur says:

      And all this after a live coverage blackout and several hours delay so they could show the ceremonies on USA prime time.

    • Ray Perkins says:

       The CBC (er, that’s in Canada, eh) had minimum blather, though one of the announcers seemed to be ignorant on who penned Mary Poppins.

  4. But they know who Al Gore is!!!

  5. Jeff Kibuule says:

    That clip is less about Meredith not knowing who Tim Berners-Lee is (since she is clearly reading from notes), but frankly insulting the viewer.

  6. clearly NBC don’t know how to use teh google and look him up.

    wankers. tossers. cretins. continue ad infinitum

    • Lemoutan says:

      If they don’t know who he is they probably don’t know how he’s spelled, so would probably spell it burners.

      Is what I was going to say. But as soon as you type the space after the tim … Obviously it’s neither Minchin nor Burton (and Brooke-Taylor must be a bit pissed off).

      So few tims. So little tim.

      • Robert Drop says:

        “If they don’t know who he is they probably don’t know how he’s spelled, so would probably spell it burners.”
        Even if you Google “Tim Burners Lee” it returns results for “Tim Berners-Lee”, so it’s not like you even have to figure it out.

    • niktemadur says:

      You forgot mincer A term used to describe someone who is trying to do as little work as possible at any given time relative to the amount and type of work he or she should be doing.

      Careful using that term in public, though, it has other meanings.
      A man who likes nothing better than putting his feet up on a Sunday afternoon while some bloke sits on his cock.

  7. strangefriend says:

    Proof that NBC still doesn’t know how to Google . .

  8. pete_darby says:

    Dear NBC:

    TB-L invented your replacement.

    Happy to help.

  9. TheOmbudsman says:

    LOL WUT?

    Right after the quoted line, she clearly states TBL created the world wide web.

    As far as “insulting the viewer” – get over yourselves. You sound like the old Star Wars nerd who gets huffy if someone gets some obscure bit of canon wrong.

    Does anyone expect that your average internet user is going to know who TBL is and be all insulted that NBC thought they were ignorant of that fact? I’d say probably far more people know his name now (though most will forget soon enough) than did before.

    • septimar says:

      …Did you have to begin your comment with “LOL WUT?”?

    • Larry says:

      Yeah, but these NBC morons undoubtedly knew who was going to be honoured in the ceremony ahead of time (they said they’d watched the rehearsals), so there’s not much of an excuse for them not to have done some research on the guy’s background. It came across as insulting, not just to Tim Berners-Lee, but to the host country that had chosen to honour him.  Typical ignorant NBC blather catering to the lowest common denominator.

    • If you are even vaguely familiar with a “Star Wars nerd who gets huffy if someone gets some obscure canon wrong” then you are not entirely un-nerdy yourself, sir. You are one of us. Just sayin’.

      Also, for the record, in a world where almost 1/7 people on the planet apparently have a Facebook account, what is the “average internet user” looking like? Are we talking casual/mobile users or stay at home basement trolls? Supernerds or sports stat fantasy moguls? Do business and banking users count? I’m just curious what the “average internet user” is since I’m not as well-informed as thine own magnificent self.

      May I also ask, is it a burden being so fabulously omniscient? And does it come with good dental?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Does anyone expect that your average internet user is going to know who TBL is and be all insulted that NBC thought they were ignorant of that fact?

      Maybe if we had standards, some people might try to meet them.

      • s2redux says:

        OTOH, nowadays we don’t have to put up with the continuity-breaking moment of cringe when someone like Frank Reynolds barks, “Let’s get it straight so we can report this thing accurately!”

      • elvisasafrog says:

        This and your statement from a few days ago about being an effete snob and proud of it have made you my role model. Thank you for fighting for the right to give a fuck about things. 

    • The thing is that, yes they said who he was, but first they say they’ve never heard of him and then “he’s credited with creating the world wide web”
      This is a kind of sneaky way of saying “no-one knows this guy but apparently the English think he’s important or something”
      … it might not have been intentionally, but it doesn’t come across as very polite.

  10. CTV’s coverage in Canada was just as awful.  Lisa LaFlamme confidently proclaimed that he “invented the Internet.”

    Don’t feel bad, Tim – she mispronounced every third name during the Athlete’s Parade.

    CTV was also nice enough to take commercial breaks during the opening ceremonies.  I’m sure everyone wanted to hear what Procter & Gamble thinks about Moms rather than watch the coordinated efforts of hundreds of performers giving their best in a one-night-only performance uninterrupted.

    Please, please, please give the CBC the rights to the Olympics broadcasts in the future.

    • uglyredhonda says:

      I watched CTV’s coverage live and NBC’s last night.  If you can believe it, NBC’s was worse.  Much worse.  The CTV commentators spoke much less, and CTV chose semi-reasonable moments to cut to commercials (and did so after running the first forty-five minutes or so commercial-free).  

      NBC not only refused to show it live, they then pretended it was live during the tape-delay – and cut to commercial *during the segments*.  For example, one of my favorite moments of the “history of Brit music” segment was the late-70s punk section with the Sex Pistols.  NBC was at commercial during that entire part.

      I agree – I’d like to see CBC get the rights again.  Having said that, CTV’s weak-ish technology allowed me to see the Ceremonies live, so I can’t really complain.

    • ” Lisa LaFlamme confidently proclaimed that he “invented the Internet.””
      okay, be serious: How many people “out there” know the difference between the internet and the www?
      On a normal day and when I’m not paying attention, I mix them up. There, now you know my horrible secret.

  11. JPW says:

    Who is Meredith Vieira?

  12. 10xor01 says:

    Maybe they only know him as Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

  13. tw1515tw says:

    Cutting away from Abide with Me, sung as a memorial for the victims of terrorism, and replacing it with a Ryan Seacrest interview instead, didn’t go down well on Twitter either.

    • Oh, that’s just silly. There’s no way any NBC producer would do something as boneheaded as that. It would be like trying to win a fight by punching yourself in the face.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      The BBC would just switch to a pre-taped segment with Fearne Cotton displaying an Olympic sick bag.

  14. BurntHombre says:

    Love that they placed a NeXT box on the desk with Berners-Lee. Nice attention to detail!

  15. HeatherB says:

    Lucky for her that wasn’t the Million Dollar question!

  16. CyberIstari says:

    Some of the coverage on the “side” channels is less bad, though I deliberately avoided the opening ceremonies yesterday, I’ll find other means. 

  17. James Penrose says:

    American news reporters no longer prefer to be intelligent, it annoys and frightens the vast herds of sheep formerly known as citizens.

    If you come across as intellectual and knowledgeable about things, you put people off and lose the “common” touch.

    • Bearpaw01 says:

      It’s not their viewers they’re worried about frightening with intelligent coverage, it’s their sponsors. The less informed people are, the easier it is to sell them sugar water, piss beer, and patented placebos.

  18. Ethan says:

    I thought it was a little odd that the segment honoring Berners-Lee seemed to focus on phone texting–which doesn’t really evoke the internet, much less the world wide web.

  19. Martin says:

    Only in the United States do network anchors think it’s clever to parade their ignorance.

  20. palousa says:

    What a loss of a singular opportunity to help the American public open their eyes to the rest of the world. Yes, many people are not familiar with Mr. Berners-Lee, but this would have been a moment for them to use their unique position to educate and enlighten. If even 1% of the viewers picked up on that detail, we would have 40k more Americans who are now more well informed about the history of such an influential technology. (based on NBC estimates of 40.7mm viewers)

    Their role should have been to guide viewers through the show, providing insight into context. While as individuals their ignorant blather is an embarrassing representation of American pop culture, I would lay the blame on their production staff for failing to either prepare them with the appropriate level of base research or establish a minimum bar for quality which should have been obvious for an audience and event of that scale.

  21. Jim says:

    TBL or no TBL, my problem with NBC is the quality of the streaming.  The live streams keep pausing.  But then so do the replay streams.  Probably pauses for 10-20 seconds every 3-4 minutes and crashes the browser every 10 minutes.

    • Tribune says:

      The Canadian stream from CTV works quite well once you get it going. It seems to require a small sacrifice to start however. No idea if you will need a Canadian proxy.

  22. Adam Kitching says:

    The Commentators have a guide that has all the information you could ever possibly need to know about the Opening Ceremony. Interesting and concise tidbits to keep the viewers at home informed.

    Here it is:
    http://www.london2012.com/mm/Document/Documents/Publications/01/30/43/40/OPENINGCEREMONYGUIDE_English.pdf

    All he had to say was:
    “At the end of the 20th century, the British scientist Tim Berners-Lee gave the world a gift that would change things every bit as radically as the steam engine – the World Wide Web. This, he said, is for everyone”

    So not only is he ignorant, he’s apparently illiterate as well.

    • LaylaSV says:

      That, “this is for everyone” bit was actually an important point and one that Danny Boyle was clearly trying to emphasize – in everything from including the  construction workers who built the stadium, to the use of real NHS staff to the volunteer cast of thousands.  His opening ceremony was humorous, messy, mad, inclusive and very much “a gift for everyone”- especially when considered in counterpoint to the Beijing Olympics. 

      Using that TB-L quote would have been a rare opening for the NBC commentators to say something useful. Instead, they chose to reassure everyone that they were just as gleefully ignorant as their audience. And make no mistake, it was a choice; thanks to the helpful Olympic guide, the weeks of rehearsals and the time delay, everyone at NBC knew EXACTLY who TB-L was. They just thought ignorance would play better. And that is pretty damning.

  23. Roy Trumbull says:

    Freeze frames, shuddering images, checkerboards, loss of audio sync. All the wonders of digital. Featurettes to avoid showing cool events w/o American athletes. Sports dudes who couldn’t say their own names w/o cue cards. As for pronunciations they just need a sportscaster who has done football in Duluth. If you can pronounce those names you can pronounce anything.

  24. Gina Martin says:

    It’s not that they didn’t know who Berners-Lee was, it was the proudly and aggressively ignorant way they presented their not knowing.  Almost Palin-esque (Sarah, not Michael).  The added commentaries during the athletes’ march about “this country has never won a gold medal either”, and going on about this or that geopolitical situation were not what I consider to be in the spirit of the Olympics.  NBC should never EVER get this gig again.

  25. Kurt says:

    I found the tone that Costas, Lauer and (ugh) Seacrest) used throughout the parade of nations to be completely condescending. For many countries, if they have had any political turmoil in the past  50 years, that is all they talked about. They didn’t talk about the athletes at all. When Uganda came out, they mentioned Idi Amin. Really? Is that all you could find to talk about. How come they didn’t mention Hitler when Germany came out? When Kazakhstan came out, they talked about Borat. My first thought was “Why aren’t they mentioning the great Kazakh cycling team? It is the 2nd most popular sport in the world, next to Football.” Of course Kazakhstan then went on to win the Gold in the Men’s Road Race today. When Denmark came out, Costas snarkily mentioned that they are good at Badminton, his tone suggesting that the sport is not legit, and Denmark isn’t good at any other sports. (basing results on the population of the country, they do way better in the Olympics than the USA does).

    Costas then went on to mention criticism of the IOC for not having a moment of silence for the athletes killed 40 years ago during the Munich games. Ironically, NBC edited out a 5 minute segment of the opening ceremonies dedicated to the victims of the London bombings, which happened right after the announcement of London winning the hosting rights of the 2012 games. NBC opted to show an interview with Michael Phelps instead.

    This isn’t to mention the fact that they didn’t air it live. In a world where anyone on Twitter is going to find out what happened ruining the “surprise” that they were trying to keep. The US was the only country where the ceremonies were not aired live

  26. Doran says:

    I lost any interest I had when NBC cut away from the Sex Pistols to go to commercials. The cluelessness later on about Sir Tim Berners Lee is just another embarrassment for NBC specifically, but also television news generally, which is really not about news at all, but rather some weird ideas regarding entertainment.

  27. Oh jeez, I thought it was bad when the CTV commentator said Tim Berners-Lee invented the Internet.

  28. Goodfella says:

    I don’t know who he is either

  29. Kimmo says:

    I’m surprised how many BB readers give half a shit about the Olympics.

    Bread and circuses while the world burns.

    • Not to mention how bad the ceremony was. It was a grossly over extravagant Eurovision performance. Naff as hell.

    • Wreckrob8 says:

      The ceremony started with Jerusalem and middle England at its self-satisfied and ignorant best. Village fêtes are inclusive and riven with underlying tension.

  30. Palomino says:

    My Mute & Previous Channel buttons work just fine. 

  31. Let’s cut to the chase. Viera and Lauer are idiots. As are most Americans. A huge percentage of American’s don’t believe that evolution is fact. They are so stupid they mistake the common use of “theory” with scientific parlance. We’re a nation of f**king idiots. I weep for our future. 

  32. Frank says:

    Not knowing who Tim Berners-Lee is or later claim “he invented the internet”? You must see it like this: For once, because of a theme you know very well, you can see how news media screw facts. Now imagine how much screwed information is out there about all the things you do not know well enough to recognize it. I can tell you, they screw much more then you suppose, because I see it on EVERY theme I know well. Wrong numbers, wrong connections, wrong conclusions. Journalistic quality in news media is very very low nowadays.

  33. kolos says:

    This is why i spent 10 buxs for one month of vpn, i would had loved to give the bbc those 10 buxs or more  to watch it online but….

  34. loroferoz says:

    “You know what Cooper pairs are? No? You’re kidding. You a journalist or not? The news isn’t all who’s screwing who, you know…”

    Darryl Van Horne, in the novel The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike

  35. Yet another reason to not watch TV. 

  36. Dean Putney says:

    I made this GIF of Tim Berners Lee watching himself at the opening ceremonies: http://cl.ly/image/330P0u3p0x3Y

  37. I had the misfortune to be in the Canary Islands instead of Cornwall during the 1999 eclipse. The only media available was a US news network. These chaps seemed to think it was a sports event and understood nothing of the physics and cultural history of eclipses. They had been supplied with some notes, which led to exchanges like:
    “Some guys used to worship the sun in ancient times!”
    “Wow, really?”

    This latest NBC horror seems to show how unprepared they still are: something so rich with references needed interpretation for Americans, not distraction.

    Luckily you can watch the London Olympics opening ceremony with no commentary on the BBC iPlayer.

  38. RedShirt77 says:

    As much as the NBC crew is sort of a bunch of ignorant morons that babble about things they do not understand…

    Part of the confusion is that most people in america think of the Internet as a DARPA creation, which it was. Most of us use the terms “Internet” and “Web”  pretty much interchangeably.  Technically, they are different things, but when the AL Gore invented the internet jokes are told over and over, nobody responds to say, “No actually some British guy named Tim did that.”

Leave a Reply