Fast Breaks
The tape-delayed element of NBC’s coverage caused some collateral social-media damage when Guy Adams, a reporter for the London Independent, had his Twitter account cancelled. Adams was relentlessly bashing NBC for its hubris, though what caused Twitter to shutter his account was supposedly his Tweet giving the email address of an NBC exec. Never mind that all NBC employees use first name.last as an e-handle, which five minutes of Googling would reveal (go ahead and drop a line to Bob Costas and tell him what you think of his hosting). But the ban was an obvious attempt by Twitter to curry favor with NBC, with whom it is partnering for an Olympic Tweetfest from London.

Shortly after Twitter and NBC realized the uproar was simply martyring Adams, his account was restored. The silliness did reinforce that NBC isn’t programming to the Twitter crowd—obviously, anyone attempting to avoid live results throughout the day should not be on Twitter. But the sheer size of the prime-time ratings also suggests that plenty of people tuned in despite knowing the results, which certainly makes sense—pictures being worth a thousand words and all that.

Journalistically, NBC may be failing, but it’s also reaping large rewards from those failures.

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Robert Weintraub is the author of The House That Ruth Built. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and Slate, and a television writer/producer based in Atlanta.