February 13, 2014

"Despite the grim and often overtly political pre-Games coverage of what became known as Putin's Olympics..."

"... the only crises to have occurred in Sochi thus far are Shaun White's failure to medal in the half-pipe and Bob Costas' wicked eye infection." L.A. Times TV critic Mary McNamara skewers journalists.
For weeks, the media preamble to the Games leaned heavily on political criticism: For Russia's anti-gay laws, the expense of the facilities, the unsmiling tyranny of the president, the joylessness of the populace and the shoddiness of the accommodations. (If you want to ensure negative coverage, put journalists in bad hotel rooms.)...

[T]he tone increasingly trended to near hysteria, especially when compared with the months-long Valentine to Britain of two summers ago. Stray Sochi dogs were being rounded up and possibly shot! The American athletes couldn't get their Chobani yogurt!...

Not surprisingly, many thought the grim prophecy fulfilled by the now-infamous Fifth Snowflake Disaster. Early on in the opening ceremony, one of five large illuminated snowflakes refused to turn into an Olympic ring. The show included a young girl successfully suspended hundreds of feet in the air, enormous and flawlessly executed dance numbers, and a stadium floor that miraculously transformed into oceans, countries and Venetian-glass skies. But did you see that malfunctioning snowflake?

19 comments:

Bob Boyd said...

If a Republican was US President the opening ceremony would have been brilliant, the bathrooms would be quaint, Putin would be proclaimed a visionary, the games pronounced a triumph and Costas pink-eye would have been traced to something he likely encountered in a decaying, under-funded American airport before he left.

Clyde said...

In Russia, pink-eye catches you!

Jon said...

Americans bashing Russia over the fifth snowflake fail should remember that last year we couldn't even keep the lights on at the Super Bowl.

mrs. e said...

Well, then there's the selecting a venue that has palm trees at the base. Should have been a tipoff of trouble. It is a shame that the snow is closer to water than firm snow.

Hagar said...

NBC and CBS are still predicting gloom and doom.

MadisonMan said...

I am reminded of the breathless ongoing coverage at CNN two Sundays ago on the Toothpaste Tubes of Doom. So many predictions that never came to fruition.

Renee said...

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116548/only-people-harassing-gays-sochi-are-foreign-journalist

This explains a lot.

Not so paranoid.

carrie said...

I always thought that the negative media coverage was pushed by the Whitehouse and was an attempt to make Sochi a failure as a way to get back at Putin for making Obama look ineffective when dealing with Syria.

carrie said...

I always thought that the negative media coverage was pushed by the Whitehouse and was an attempt to make Sochi a failure as a way to get back at Putin for making Obama look ineffective when dealing with Syria.

Shouting Thomas said...

Heard on Imus this morning:

How many Russian men does it take to screw in a light bulb?

One.

Two men aren't allowed to screw!

Renee said...

Wow Carrie!

I rather not think like that, but maybe.

hombre said...

@Carrie: No pushing necessary. The mediaswine carry Obama's water because they can't help themselves.

Putin vs. Obama = Putin bad, get Putin.

elkh1 said...

"... the only crises to have occurred in Sochi thus far are Shaun White's failure ...and Bob Costas'..." L.A. Times TV critic Mary McNamara skewers journalists.

Wow, the game revolves around Americans, center of the universe.

n.n said...

Russia's so-called "anti-homosexual" laws oppose normalization, not tolerance of men and women who exhibit that behavior. They are not alone in rejecting normalization of dysfunctional behaviors. The French have also rejected its normalization. Perhaps people appreciate the value of normalization and are capable of discerning which behaviors should be normalized, tolerated, and rejected.

carrie:

I would agree with that. After the preemptive, undeclared attack on Libya, Obama probably thought that Syria could also be conquered by a "civil war". Perhaps he thought that international pressure would be sufficient to neutralize Russian obstacles, and that the Syrians would capitulate rather than be murdered in the streets (as was Gaddafi and his regime). This is the only reasonable explanation for journalists introducing politics, including the Obama interview, in what should be an apolitical forum.

Oh, well. The Russians, Syrians, and French seem a bit more independent. Too independent. Fortunately, for Obama and company, they still have Americans to manipulate. For at least 3 more years, anyway.

Then there's Canada, where a father grieves over his brain-dead wife, now buried, and welcoming the birth of their child. While in America, there's a father who is relieved that his brain-dead wife is buried, and that their child was conveniently aborted, lifting the burden of obligation and responsibility.

The Godfather said...

I heard on some news report that Sochi is the only place in Russia that you can grow tea (I mean the plant from which the beverage is made -- camillia sinensis). In the US, the farthest north tea is grown commercially is South Carolina. So should the next US winter Olympics be held in Charleston, SC?

ken in sc said...

The only tea plantation in the US is near Charleston SC.

Brian McKim & Traci Skene said...

We downloaded TunnelBear... it's a VPN app... onto our laptop that's pumped through our television... we've watched very little of NBC's coverage and opted to watch most of our Olympics via the CBC website (with a little of the BBC). NBC's coverage (as always) blows.

kentuckyliz said...

I like the peace dove dance. When they bounced up and down, they really looked like flying doves, from a distance. That was cool.

Pink eye is from not washing your hands after using the bathroom, then rubbing your eyes with cootie infested hands. What has Bob Costas been doing in the men's room?!

kentuckyliz said...

Sochi Tea Trade?!