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NBC skips tribute piece in Olympics Opening Ceremony


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#1 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 02:56 PM

If you didn't already read about the controversy, you didn't get to see a moving piece in the Opening Ceremonies so you could watch a taped Ryan Seacrest interview with Michael Phelps.

Things like this make me angry, so I won't comment further. Here's access to the BBC video of that segment, at least until NBC suits get huffy and block it as it might take a buck away.

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#2 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 03:25 PM

Perhaps NBC underestimated the value of that segment to their American audience. As an edited presentation the minutes needed to air the Michael Phelps piece could have been taken from anywhere in the broadcast (they could have skipped more countries during the parade of nations or the gymnast interviews at the beginning of the show) but I suppose in NBC's wisdom they thought we might care more about what they aired than what they didn't.

As it was part of the opening ceremony (although not specifically a remembrance of 7/7) it probably should have aired ... but it seemed to be something aimed at the British audience remembering people who had died before the games, regardless of how they died.

#3 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 04:16 PM

A clear case of corporate censorship involving perceived political overtones that NBC wished to avoid. Disgusting and un-American. But then, what mega-corporation ever has American interests held over its own narrow, predatory capitalist agendas? It was by far the best and most powerful segment in the entire Opening Ceremony. Props to Danny Boyle for the courage to bring this to the world. The world minus America that is.

Edited by Maruuk, 28 July 2012 - 04:23 PM.


#4 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 05:36 PM

OK, I can't let this go by.

:rant:
I recognize that NBC doesn't give a crap about the Brits, but the combination of...
  • airing Bob Costa's fit over not having a moment of silence for the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches 50 years ago then
  • not airing the British memorial which included pictures flashed up on big screens around the Olympic Stadium of the faces of spectators' loved ones who have passed away, including at least some if not all of the 52 victims of 7/7
...reflects on all Americans, reinforcing an image of ignorant disregard for others.

For those who don't remember (which apparently includes most folks at NBC) from Wikipedia:

On the morning of Thursday, 7 July 2005, four Islamist home-grown terrorists detonated four bombs, three in quick succession aboard London Underground trains across the city and, later, a fourth on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square. Fifty-two civilians and the four bombers were killed in the attacks, and over 700 more were injured. The attack happened 24 hours after the city was selected to host the 2012 Summer Olympics.

To say that this bit of insensitivity angered some Brits is an understatement.

Of course some were already angered because the memorial wasn't limited to 7/7 victims, so the Brits have their own nitwits.

But American television coverage (yes, it's viewed as American, not "NBCian") then became the headline in UK news and the US Blog on the Guardian site felt compelled to run a story NBC's opening ceremony mess: the top six cringeworthy moments. In that we discover among other things that:

  • NBC co-host Meredith Vieira failed to do her homework and thus did not recognise the importance of the inventor of the world wide web. "If you haven't heard of him, we haven't either," she said. "Google him," joked co-host Matt Lauer.
  • Most nations have their unfortunate figures from history that it is best not to mention at events like Olympics opening ceremonies. So it is with Uganda and former dictator Idi Amin. Sadly no one told NBC host Bob Costas who cracked out an Amin reference at the sight of the Ugandan team.
  • For those overseas it might not be the best known moment of British history but the arrival of the Windrush in 1948 was also cut. The Windrush brought the first major wave of West Indian immigrants to Britain and, given the heavy multicultural leaning of the entire ceremony, its omission from the NBC broadcast left a hole.

Because of the nitwits at NBC, the issue on the twitverse in Britain rapidly became one of we American's think the only important deaths in the war on terror were the deaths in one attack on the U.S. (which resulted in a huge outpouring of sympathy in Britain) and those 11 Israelis deaths 50 40 years ago.

To me, NBC management and staff behavior was rude and ignorant well beyond acceptable.
:rant:

Edited by phrelin, 28 July 2012 - 11:21 PM.
Correct the numerical error

"In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
"Always poke the bears. They sleep too much for their own good."

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#5 OFFLINE   Karen

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 06:39 PM

It was embarrassing. You can be sure that if the British left out a memorial to 9/11, we wold have been outraged too. I can't believe how very stupid and insensitive NBC is...

#6 OFFLINE   trh

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 06:42 PM

To me, NBC management and staff behavior was rude and ignorant well beyond acceptable.


+1

"Unprofessional" also comes to mind with many of the comments they made last night.

#7 OFFLINE   tampa8

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 06:46 PM

Great posts from all of you, though I take exception to the 50 years ago post about the Israeli deaths, 40 years ago. It is relevant since it happened during this same event, the Olympics.

Edited by tampa8, 28 July 2012 - 06:51 PM.


#8 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 06:54 PM

Another reason I quit watching this.

It got way too political. None of this stuff should be mentioned at all.
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#9 OFFLINE   renbutler

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 06:55 PM

But then, what mega-corporation ever has American interests held over its own narrow, predatory capitalist agendas?


Lots of them.

But you get big-time props for the most careless blanket statement I've seen yet today...

:nono2:

#10 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 07:05 PM

Another reason I quit watching this.


+1

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#11 OFFLINE   Hoosier205

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 08:49 PM

A clear case of corporate censorship involving perceived political overtones that NBC wished to avoid. Disgusting and un-American. But then, what mega-corporation ever has American interests held over its own narrow, predatory capitalist agendas? It was by far the best and most powerful segment in the entire Opening Ceremony. Props to Danny Boyle for the courage to bring this to the world. The world minus America that is.


It was stupid for them to omit it, but you've gone full tin foil/black helicopters with your conspiracy theory.
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#12 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 10:05 PM

Oh right, it was "just a coincidence" that NBC precisely, to the second, blacked out the one potentially controversial segment in the most-watched part of the entire Olympics with some old, canned regurgitated crap. Remarkable! Such bad luck for us! Bad go of it, old boy! Better luck next time!

PT Barnum, where are you when we need you?

#13 OFFLINE   Hoosier205

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 10:20 PM

Oh right, it was "just a coincidence" that NBC precisely, to the second, blacked out the one potentially controversial segment in the most-watched part of the entire Olympics with some old, canned regurgitated crap. Remarkable! Such bad luck for us! Bad go of it, old boy! Better luck next time!

PT Barnum, where are you when we need you?


It was controversial to omit it. However, there was nothing at all controversial about the segment itself.
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#14 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 10:34 PM

NBC could have just as easily skipped the 7/7 tribute and gone straight from the torch traveling on the Thames to the athlete's parade.

When NBC started the Phelps segment they showed the stadium changing from flags in the audience to a "Welcome" banner, cut to a shot of the Americans walking toward the station and introduced the interview. When NBC came back from the break after Phelps they showed the same stadium shot with Welcome spelled out in the crowd and then Greece entered. The dancers from the tribute segment were running off the stage.

The Phelps segment including introduction and wrap up leading to the next break was three minutes. The tribute was six minutes. Something else would needed to be cut to fit in the tribute. The two hours of people walking in could have been more compressed.

From the British rebuke posted above it seems that more segments of the opening were also cut. Perhaps NBC went with the things that they believed most of their audience would understand.

#15 OFFLINE   Hoosier205

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 10:39 PM

NBC could have just as easily skipped the 7/7 tribute and gone straight from the torch traveling on the Thames to the athlete's parade.

When NBC started the Phelps segment they showed the stadium changing from flags in the audience to a "Welcome" banner, cut to a shot of the Americans walking toward the station and introduced the interview. When NBC came back from the break after Phelps they showed the same stadium shot with Welcome spelled out in the crowd and then Greece entered. The dancers from the tribute segment were running off the stage.

The Phelps segment including introduction and wrap up leading to the next break was three minutes. The tribute was six minutes. Something else would needed to be cut to fit in the tribute. The two hours of people walking in could have been more compressed.

From the British rebuke posted above it seems that more segments of the opening were also cut. Perhaps NBC went with the things that they believed most of their audience would understand.


Just watch the 3D broadcast and you can see exactly what was cut from the NBC 2D broadcast.
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#16 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 10:59 PM

Just watch the 3D broadcast and you can see exactly what was cut from the NBC 2D broadcast.

Odd. I've read complaints about how messed up the 3D broadcast was as well ... with commercials cutting in and Sir Paul's song chopped off?

#17 OFFLINE   pablo

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 11:14 PM

I don't understand why important events like this can't be shown commercial-free. Or why anything needed to be cut or compressed (like the Parade of Nations) if it wasn't live anyway.

#18 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 11:19 PM

Great posts from all of you, though I take exception to the 50 years ago post about the Israeli deaths, 40 years ago. It is relevant since it happened during this same event, the Olympics.

When you get to be my age, it seems like everything occurred over 50 years ago. But it was indeed foolish of me not to instantly recognize 50 years is not a multiple of 4. :o

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#19 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 11:30 PM

I don't understand why important events like this can't be shown commercial-free. Or why anything needed to be cut or compressed (like the Parade of Nations) if it wasn't live anyway.

BBC's coverage was nearly four hours ... NBC's was 4:30. With the typical commercial load NBC's coverage would have been six hours.

Starting national prime time 30 minutes early on a Friday afternoon helped fit what they did in before midnight. NBC would have had to start earlier to fit it all in by 1am. That is a long time to ask an audience to sit and watch to get to the lighting and Sir Paul.

Asking for it to be aired commercial free ... the ratings are too high. When a network has that many people watching they need to try to sell them something. Selling ads helps pay for the program. The BBC can do commercial free as they are paid for by the government via taxes.

#20 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 11:40 PM

Then let PBS have the rights :)

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