NBC's Lauer and Vieira Gush Over Olympic Tribute to Britain's Government-Run Health Care

Managing to squeeze politics into the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday, NBC hosts Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira cheered a tribute to Britain's government-run National Health Service, with Lauer declaring: "Back in the states...we're locked in this kind of partisan debate over the future of health care in our own country. Here, they feel so strongly about their health care system, they're actually celebrating it as part of the Olympic opening ceremony." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Vieira introduced the portion of the ceremony by touting the vision of event's liberal director: "It is called, "Second to the Right," a reference to J.M. Barrie's children's book Peter Pan. It honors what Danny Boyle considers two of Britain's greatest achievements, children's literature and the National Health Service's publicly-funded health care system."

Moments later, Vieira noted the performers were real-life British doctors and nurses, proclaiming: "This has to be a great moment of pride for them to receive this kind of recognition before a worldwide audience."


Here is a full transcript of the July 27 exchange:

8:33PM ET

(...)

MATT LAUER: But now the next act in this creative process.

MEREDITH VIEIRA: It is called, "Second to the Right," a reference to J.M. Barrie's children's book Peter Pan. It honors what Danny Boyle considers two of Britain's greatest achievements, children's literature and the National Health Service's publicly-funded health care system.

LAUER: Back in the states you might be saying, wait a second, we're locked in this kind of partisan debate over the future of health care in our own country. Here, they feel so strongly about their health care system, they're actually celebrating it as part of the Olympic opening ceremony.

VIEIRA: And these folks that you're seeing here, the doctors and nurses, they really are doctors and nurses from the National Health Service, dedicated their lives to helping others. This has to be a great moment of pride for them to receive this kind of recognition before a worldwide audience.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC