Sports

By Noel Sheppard | August 17, 2012 | 5:07 PM EDT

NBC's Tonight Show host Jay Leno asked gold medalist Ryan Lochte what some would consider a rather personal question Thursday evening.

"I know somebody in the Olympics was a virgin. Was that you?” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Clay Waters | August 17, 2012 | 1:32 PM EDT

Former reporter turned New York Times columnist Timothy Egan's hostile anti-Mitt Romney column on Thursday had a peculiar omission. Egan insulted the likely Republican nominee by calling him an "Olympic" caliber flip-flopper, yet somehow managed not once to mention Romney's successful management as chief executive officer of the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

In focus groups, he’s described as a tin man, a shell, an empty suit, vacuous, a multimillionaire in mom jeans. And that’s from supporters.

By Noel Sheppard | August 15, 2012 | 12:20 AM EDT

CNN's Piers Morgan got caught Tuesday evening behaving like a dirty old man.

After shamelessly flirting with Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. women's soccer goalie Hope Solo, the sixteen years his junior guest eventually asked, "You're telling me you watched our final because I'm hot?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Charlie Daniels | August 14, 2012 | 4:08 PM EDT

I can't speak for anybody else but my wife and myself have been immersed in the Summer Olympic games from London the last few days.

Of course the athleticism has been incredible, the best planet earth has to offer and whether seasoned veteran or rookie they gave it their all, even the athletes who came to the games knowing that their chances of winning a medal were about as likely as growing wings, left nothing on the field of competition with the exception of a couple of shameful examples of jockeying for position by intentionally losing a preliminary match.

By Clay Waters | August 14, 2012 | 2:13 PM EDT

A Tuesday story from London-based New York Times reporter Alan Cowell on London's successful staging of the 2012 Olympics had this aside blaming last year's riots on societal "greed."

The Games took place almost exactly a year after riots and looting spread from London to other British cities, shocking the country with a vision of a society whose greed had produced an underclass fueled by violence, envy and alienation.

By Clay Waters | August 6, 2012 | 3:07 PM EDT

New York Times sports reporter Jere Longman doesn't approve of a certain Olympic female track and field athlete. His piece on the front of Sunday's sports section, "For Lolo Jones, Everything Is Image," rubbed in the fact that Jones hasn't won an Olympic medal, casts doubt on whether she will do so on Wednesday, and sneeringly claimed that Jones "will be whatever anyone wants her to be -- vixen, virgin, victim -- to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses." Even worse: She's a Christian and fan of Tim Tebow.

A photo caption read: "Lolo Jones has received more attention than any other American track and field athlete based on what some have called a cynical marketing strategy that is long on hyperbole and short on achievement."

By Noel Sheppard | August 6, 2012 | 9:21 AM EDT

American culture took another huge step down Sunday.

During prime time coverage of the Summer Olympics, Ragú premiered a spaghetti sauce commercial featuring a young boy walking in on his parents having sex (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):

By Tim Graham | August 5, 2012 | 8:35 PM EDT

Anna Holmes, until recently a Style section writer for The Washington Post wrote a piece for Yahoo News called "The White World of Sports." She began by attacking NBC host Bob Costas and his "man-child hairdo" (?) for not sounding more like Al Sharpton when Gabby Douglas won the all-around  Olympic gold in gymnastics.

"You know, it's a happy measure of how far we've come that it doesn't seem all that remarkable, but still it's noteworthy, Gabby Douglas is, as it happens, the first African-American to win the women's all-around in gymnastics," Costas proclaimed. "The barriers have long since been down, but sometimes there can be an imaginary barrier, based on how one might see oneself." Holmes hated that:

By Noel Sheppard | August 5, 2012 | 12:36 PM EDT

Gabby Douglas just captured America's hearts with a stirring victory as women's gymnastics all-around gold medalist at the Summer Olympics in London.

Despite this, George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week Sunday actually botched her name calling her Gabby Daniels (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tim Graham | August 3, 2012 | 11:34 PM EDT

Why does Salon.com hate the Olympics so? After Wednesday’s David Sirota piece decrying (a la Chris Hayes) how “infantile displays of hyper-patriotism” like chanting “USA” for the home team give him jingoistic hives about aiding the military-industrial complex, a Friday article asked “Did God help Gabrielle Douglas win? The gold medalist is a teenager of deep faith and gratitude -- and that can be a little unnerving.”

Writer Mary Elizabeth Williams found it creepy that any athlete would credit Jesus after a victory, and wrote of how she agreed with a colleague that “I would like her more if she were not so, so, so into Jesus.”

By Ken Shepherd | August 2, 2012 | 10:19 PM EDT

Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Times's Politifact unit assigned a "mostly false" label to a July 31 blog post by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) which argued that American athletes winning medals in the London Olympic Games would pay hefty taxes as a result of their success. For example, a gold medal winner could pay up to nearly $9,000 for each gold medal victory.

Today, ATR Tax Policy Director Ryan Ellis issued a strong critique of Politifact's analysis and unfair conclusion, explaining how it is fundamentally flawed (portions bolded and underlined reflect my emphasis):

By Ken Shepherd | August 1, 2012 | 12:10 PM EDT

"Even at the Olympics, athletes in the sport of shooting face questions about gun violence." That's the digital edition headline for Washington Post reporter Katherine Boyle's August 1 story about the "stigma" that American Olympic shooters face for participating in a sport that "requires a machine that, when used maliciously, can kill people."

But as Boyle herself makes clear in her story, American Olympians who compete in shooting don't "face questions about gun violence" from fellow Olympians. From the last two paragraphs of her Style section front-pager [entitled in the print edition, "Shooting: Athletes battle for titles -- and to dispel the stigma of gun violence":