Let it Go, NBC

So it’s no surprise to anyone that the 30th Olympic Games are taking place right now in London.
If it is a surprise, then you must be from another planet.
What may come as a surprise is how truly annoying and ridiculous some of the NBC announcers are.

Actually, when I think about it, I don’t know why I was so surprised in the first place. I have found radio talk show hosts to be annoying for quite some time, and that’s essentially what these people are, as we can’t see their faces while they provide commentary.

But that’s not even the issue here for me.

The issue lies with the fact that NBC just won’t let bygones be bygones. NBC wants to kick a dead horse, they want to rub your face in the mud.

What I’m talking about, of course, is Jordyn Wieber.

Now let me preface this discussion by saying I am a HUGE, ENORMOUS dweller. If there was an award for dwelling on a topic, I would probably be in the running. But nothing will show you how annoying your habits are like seeing the very same habit repeated on television for hours on end.

I found myself shocked, then annoyed, then just downright angry that NBC kept returning to Jordyn Wieber’s upset during their commentary for the gymnastic team finals. I love the gymnastics competition; it might just be my favorite part of the Olympics. But nothing sucks fun out of enjoying a competition like NBC commentators constantly returning to the fact that Jordyn Wieber didn’t place in the All-Around Finals.

Don’t get me wrong, I did understand the true upset and disappointment in this situation. I was sad for Jordyn as she broke down in tears after seeing the results. I understood the disappointment. I GOT IT, NBC. But, in the true journalistic way, the commentators kept returning to this moment while Jordyn and her team were kicking ass at the team finals. I shouldn’t be surprised with this tactic, as I have a journalism background myself. First rule of journalism: Be annoying as you can to get the story.

But this commentary went beyond journalism traditions into the boundaries of true, human emotion. It’s unfortunate that Jordyn’s upset was televised, because NBC has the clip of her breaking down in tears to pull out whenever they want to to remind Jordyn, and everyone else, how crushing of a moment this was for her. They have already exploited this moment, feeding off of it to nearly trump any other good, rewarding moment the other gymnast’s have had. The commentators have spent more time dwelling on Jordyn’s upset than congratulating Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas on their advance to the finals; they nearly spent more time focusing on Jordyn’s upset than giving true, dedicated attention to the USA team as they competed for—and obtained—the Team Gold Medal. In their urgency to remind viewers of Jordyn’s loss, they nearly negated the almost more amazing factor of the night: the USA Gymnast’s Team claiming gold for the first time since 1996.

But I guess that’s the true nature of television, maybe even human nature: the inability to let go. This could be applied to a lot of events that occurred in the last few weeks, which I won’t go into, as I am not politically sound enough to discuss issues of ethics and moral rights, or am I educated enough in tragedy to truly understand the deep loss people feel at the hands of another. But, for all of these situations, the media plays a part in exploiting the worst of it, pushing the positive away until it’s merely an afterthought.

And I do understand the idolization of athletes in our country, Olympians especially. They are placed on the highest of pedestals and, in return, we demand perfection. So maybe that’s why NBC wouldn’t let go. But, in not letting go, they didn’t take much time to pause and simply congratulate Jordyn on a job well done, or her teammates on a job well done. Perfection is a lot to ask of a person, and even the Michael Phelps of this world aren’t able to maintain the viewer’s expected level of performance forever.

If anything, NBC coverage has reminded me to stop being such a dweller and live in the moment instead.
Except you can’t do that for the Olympics unless you watch online…thanks, NBC.
But that’s really another topic for another time.


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