The Olympics are here, and with that tradition comes another, more tedious, one: journalists squeezing “controversial” storylines out of humdrum events. Let’s hope we have left the Bode Miller media blitz behind (as Bode was left in the dust in his first race) and the Michelle Kwanzapalooza can finally be put to rest.
So, we turn to the “flying tomato” — U.S. snowboarder and gold medalist in the halfpipe competition, Shaun White. (He’s got red hair, hence the moniker.) Deadspin tears snowboarding down a notch, writing, “[W]e’re sorry — we still don’t believe halfpiping, or whatever the progressive verb is, is a real Olympic sport. We are not denying the athleticism required to become a master at it, nor the entertainment qualities inherent in watching it on television. It has become our favorite Winter X Game. But that’s what it is, and that’s all it is … No disrespect to the Flying Tomato, of course.” None taken, we’re sure.
But of course, what would the blogosphere’s coverage of the Olympics be without some mindless accusations of media bias thrown in for good measure? The Tennessee Guerilla Women are angry over NBC’s “embarrassingly infantile” coverage of the games, which, they claim, is too patriotic, or jingoistic, or something, for their progressive palates. NBC’s coverage, they say, exemplifies “the sort of attitude that is widely loathed when encountered in humans, yet when it comes to the national persona, bloated arrogance is perfectly acceptable. The doctrine of national conceit is taught even in our schools under the guise of patriotism.
“So tune in to NBC’s Olympic coverage,” they advise, “if you want to look through the chest-beating lens of insufferable braggart America, the only damn country that matters because ‘we’ are superior, don’t you know?”
Hate to break it to you ladies, but a little knowledge sometimes goes a long way. NBC is actually an American network, catering to an American audience, so will tend to focus on American athletes. (Still, we’re sure, say, the French network broadcasting the games in France isn’t giving their own athletes any preferential coverage at all. That’d be, well, a ratings winner. And what for-profit enterprise wants that?)
And if you didn’t think that someone on the other side of the ideological aisle didn’t see that same broadcast, and come to the opposite conclusion, then you really need to start reading more blogs. The Gay Patriot was unhappy over NBC’s Brian Williams “spouting MSM/Democrat talking points” during the opening ceremonies. “I really expected to hear,” the patriot writes, “‘And here comes the folks from Japan. You know, Bob, the United States turned oppressor to the poor Japanese by invading that nation following the slaughter of hundreds of thousands with the American atomic bomb.’”
But there’s yet more “liberal” conspiracies being hidden in NBC’s agenda, according to the Patriot (who seems a little prickly over his Olympic coverage). Apparently, since NBC is calling the Olympic city “Torino” instead of “Turin,” the network is purposefully hiding the fact that the town houses the famous “Shroud of Turin,” allegedly an imprint of Jesus’ body after he was crucified. “God help NBC if they even hint to remind people of the Christian faith during the Olympic coverage. After all, they are also complicit in removing more and more references to ‘Christmas’ each year as well.”
It doesn’t occur to the Patriot that Italians — overwhelmingly Christian Italians at that — also happen to call Torino “Torino.” But when the media is so brazenly bashing Christianity, matters of linguistics are best left alone.
Speaking of sports, anybody hear something about the vice president’s little quail hunting accident? Mental Flush isn’t happy with the VP, mainly because he thinks the accident will give the anti-gun lobby some ammo. He writes, “Thanks Dick. Thanks for boosting the anti-gun movement ahead five years.” The solution? “Everyone go out and buy guns today. Who knows how long we’ll be able to do that. Especially since the Vice President of the United States ‘can’t even handle your average Wal-Mart purchased shotgun.’”