10:57 am Aug. 2, 2012
The people running the Olympics coverage at NBC find foreign athletes very boring. Or they think we all do, at least.
I would have figured the story of the 15-year-old Lithuanian who won her country's first-ever swimming medal had some potential, for example, and in precisely that soft-focus way that NBC loves. But the "live" reaction on NBC, on behalf of the second-place-finishing American favorite, was, seriously, "Agh, so close." And then it was on to other things.
Anyway, this is their editorial judgment: I happen to disagree with it. I root for my country but I don't feel NBC needs to instruct me on how to do that, or to cater to my homerism by editing out the rest of the world and then filling in the gaps with human-interest gunk.
But for more people, it seems, the most controversial aspect of NBC's coverage is the very thing that allows the network to present the games as a neatly edited compendium of American victories (and heartbreaking losses) in the first place: the tape delay. There's nothing much left to say about that. "This is a business," they explain. Which, fair enough. And maybe one day a business with more regard for its viewers will take over the franchise.
Anyway, don't let them stop you from enjoying the games. Watch NBC's coverage if it suits you, or if you don't feel like waiting around for it, get the BBC's feed here, via this workaround.
For criticism of the coverage, look at #nbcfail on Twitter or follow The Independent's Los Angeles bureau chief Guy Adams, whose temporarily suspended account is back up and running.