The New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley is upset that NBC is focusing too much of its coverage of the 2010 Olympics on American athletes and seems to be (gasp) cheering for the Americans to do well and happy when they win events.
Technology evolves, organizers add new sports — this year it’s ski cross — but NBC’s Olympic reportage, up close and way too personal, never seems to change. And in Vancouver the best exploits of what the network unfailingly refers to as “Team USA” only bring out the worst in network heavy breathing.
At a time when American athletes are amassing record numbers of medals, and NBC is drawing an impressive number of viewers, sports fans couldn’t ask for more fulsome, pro-American coverage — they could ask for a little less. NBC anchors, including those paid by the news division, glom onto the glamour and reflected glory of winsome champions, as per Matt Lauer’s no-boundaries embrace of the skier Lindsey Vonn on “Today” after she won the downhill race. He draped a chocolate gold medal around her neck, gave her flowers (“just because we adore you”) and hugged her tight (“we are so proud of you”) — as if he and Meredith Vieira had spent the last 15 years rising at dawn to drive her to training.
The horror. Athletes who Americans know getting profiled and congratulated on American television during a world event that is supposed to be about national pride.
Meanwhile, not to be outdone, the virulent leftist copycats at Gawker’s Deadspin rewrite Stanley’s article to hate American dominance just that much more.
The U.S. is on its way to perhaps its most successful Olympics ever, “owning the podium” that Canada hoped to keep for itself. A lot of those medals were captured in events that the U.S. was expected to win, so puffing out our chests and trashing talking about how awesome our boys and girls are kind of makes us look like the globe’s equivalent of Yankee fans. Yet, there is one popular sport where America is not the big kid on the block, but since our plucky upstarts are dominating anyway … well, break out the cigars, a-holes! The world community has to pay attention to the United States for once!
Yes, our NHL All-Star team beat another country’s NHL All-Star team in a tough hard-fought non-elimination game that is seriously being compared to the most important international sporting victory in our nation’s history. (Today is the 30th anniversary of America’s loss of perspective.) Canada, the politest country in the hemisphere, is seriously hurting right now and we are perfectly content to push their faces back down into the mud. Why can’t we feel good about ourselves? After a decade of war and financial ruin that we’re pretty much responsible for haven’t we earned it?
So sorry we win things, Deadspin. I guess we should lay down in some of these events to “spread the wealth around” and redistribute victory a little bit. Apparently, minimizing American success is preferable to celebrating it.