NBC's Rah-Rah Coverage of Team USA Nauseates

As anchors fawn, foreign athletes described with 'hoary cliches'
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2010 11:40 AM CST
NBC's Rah-Rah Coverage of Team USA Nauseates
NBC television personality Matt Lauer carries the Olympic flame during the Olympic torch relay.   (AP Photo)

Shaun White may be introducing new tricks during these Games, but NBC’s coverage of him, and Team USA in general, remains an unchanged lesson in "network heavy breathing," writes Alessandra Stanley. “Hyped-up commentators” explain the action “often incomprehensibly,” but once the race is over the cameras are “instantaneously intrusive.” Take Lindsey Vonn’s moment with her husband after her downhill win. Touching, yes, but also like a “convict trying to talk to a visiting spouse.”

NBC’s fawning treatment of US athletes is in stark contrast to the short shrift it gives other athletes. Matt Lauer was “so proud” of Vonn, Stanley writes in the New York Times, “as if he and Meredith Vieira had spent the last 15 years rising at dawn to drive her to training.” Meanwhile, the Chinese are “regimented,” the Austrians “disciplined,” and a German has “a Bavarian mentality.” Heck, Bob Costas had to almost apologize for noting that Holland loves speed skating. (More 2010 Vancouver Olympics stories.)

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