Open Thread: NBC's Bob Costas Manages to Offend Britons, Disappoint Israelis with Coverage of Opening Ceremonies

Not only did NBC's Bob Costas fail to honor the slain 1972 Israeli Olympians with a moment of silence when he had the opportunity as he covered Friday's Opening Ceremonies at the London Olympics, but Costas has offended Britons with his decision to air a Michael Phelps interview rather than televise a tribute to the victims of the July 7, 2005 terrorist attacks in London.

The Daily Mail of London has the story (excerpted below the page break):


NBC's Bob Costas noted a controversy over honouring Israeli athletes killed at the Olympics 40 years ago during his coverage of the opening ceremony but stopped short of offering his own protest.

The International Olympic Committee had declined a request to hold a moment of silence during the ceremony to acknowledge the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches killed by Palestinian gunmen in Munich in 1972.

Costas called that decision insensitive during an interview this month and indicated he would call for his own moment of silence when Israeli athletes marched into the Olympic Stadium on Friday.

[...]

As the athletes marched in Friday, Costas said that IOC President Jacques Rogge led a moment of silence for the late Israelis this week before about 100 people at the Athlete's Village.

'Still, for many, tonight with the world watching is the true time and place to remember those who were lost and how and why they died,' Costas said.

After a five-second pause, NBC cut to a commercial.

[...]

Britons are also fuming that tributes to victims of the 7/7 attacks were combined in a general memorial, and not given their own moment of silence.

[...]

...[T]he song was edited out of NBC's coverage in favour of a bland Ryan Seacrest interview with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, it was reported onDeadspin.com.

Twitter very quickly became awash with comments demanding to know why the broadcaster had chosen that moment to break away from proceedings.

NB Staff
NB Staff