The Media's Most Outrageous Olympic Outbursts: Ashamed of the U.S.A.

Sports fans checking in on coverage of Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia might want to brace themselves for unexpected outbursts of liberal preaching from reporters covering the games. Over the years the MRC has documented lefty reporters and writers using the games to celebrate socialist policies, bash expressions of patriotism and even work in jabs against Republicans.

In the spirit of the games, the most outrageous journalists are competing with each other in three events for the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Today's competition: The "Stop Waving That American Flag, It's Embarrassing!" Event. Click the Read More button to see who takes home the gold! Will it be Katie Couric and Matt Lauer? Bryant Gumbel? Or will there be a stunning upset? 

Click here to see day one results.

The “Stop Waving That American Flag, It’s Embarrassing!” Event

 

Iron Curtain Ridicule (runner-up)

“Yet the star-making machinery is oddly out of touch, with huge streaks of lingering Cold War mentality and sexism. The American swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg is one of the most appealing personalities, low-key and modest. One of the many features about him born in Odessa, moved to California began, ‘He’s known life behind the Iron Curtain and in the land of opportunity.’
When is the last time you heard the term ‘Iron Curtain’ used with a straight face?”
New York Times television critic Caryn James, September 27, 2000 review of Olympic coverage.

 

Today Show Hosts Worry that U.S. Patriotism Could Mar Games

 


Matt Lauer: “You are expecting a greater wave of patriotism here in the United States, in this particular time, than other countries have shown when they’ve hosted the games.”
Lloyd Ward, U.S. Olympic Committee President: “I certainly expect the stands to be rocking. I expect the flags to be flying. And you know, the expression of patriotism is fine for any country that hosts the Olympics. We want to express our nationalism as a part of the world's community and I expect to see that.”
Lauer: “But we have to also be careful and draw a line not to let our patriotism get in the way of the games in general.”
— Exchange on NBC’s Today show, February 7, 2002.

“Obviously, the opening ceremony, the games themselves will be very patriotic in feel. And yet sometimes the international community can interpret that as arrogant nationalism. Obviously, you’ve gotta balance those two things. Are you all, clearly you’re mindful of that. How are you, how are you going to do that?”
—  NBC’s Katie Couric questioning Salt Lake Olympic Committee Creative Director Scott Givens on Today, Feb. 8, 2002.


Awful “Nationalistic” Medal Counts

 


Jane Clayson: “To see Jimmy Shea last night kissing that gold medal, it was really, his story is such an emotional highlight of these Olympic games.”
Bryant Gumbel: “Yeah, but I liked what he said. He said that, you know, they shouldn’t be keeping a medal count, that this is not about nationalistic efforts, this is about individuals and medal counts don’t mean anything. Love that!”
Exchange on CBS’s Early Show, February 21, 2002.

 


Liberal Radio Host: It Pains Me to Chant “U.S.A!”

 

 “As I’ve grown older, I find my ‘U.S.A.!’-chanting reflex increasingly interrupted by pangs of discomfort, and not because I’m ashamed of our country or our Olympians....Missed in the ensuing red-white-and-blue hoopla, of course, is the fact that we are not so exceptional outside the Olympic village....We are not gold, silver or even bronze medalists when it comes to healthcare; sadly, we are 39th for infant mortality, 43rd for female mortality, 42nd for adult male mortal-ity....If we do stand atop a dais anywhere other than at a sporting event, it is for military spending, carbon emissions and incarceration rates.”
— Colorado radio host David Sirota in an August 1, 2012 piece for Salon.com, “Don’t chant ‘U.S.A.!’ It’s liberal Americans’ Olympic dilemma: How do they root for their countrymen without being jingoistic?”

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.