The Media's Most Outrageous Olympic Outbursts: Saluting the Socialists

February 6th, 2014 10:00 AM

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, like when Bryant Gumbel, in 2006, complained that the “paucity” of black athletes “makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention.”

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 “We Salute the Socialist Policies of the Host Nation Event.” Click the Read More button to see who takes home the gold! Will it be Matt Lauer? Harry Smith? Or a surprising dark horse?

The “We Salute the Socialist Policies of the Host Nation” Event


Today Hosts Gush Over Tribute to Britain’s Socialized Health Care (runner-up)



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.”
— NBC Today show co-hosts Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira gush over tribute to Britain’s government-run health care at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, July 27, 2012.


CBS Hosts: We’ve Got “A lot to Learn” from Norway’s Socialist Policies



Paula Zahn: “You may have noticed over the last couple of weeks how many children that the Norwegians have involved in the games and ceremonies of the Olympics. Children and good parenting are a national priority here, so we thought we’d take a look at what it’s like to grow up here. Gretta Berget is on maternity leave after giving birth to her second child, nothing unusual in a country that gives mothers, or fathers, up to a year of paid parental leave...Norway was the first country in the world to appoint a Cabinet level Minister just for children, but then Norwegians have a different take on parenthood. Children here are not only considered yours, but citizens of Norway, with the same rights as grown-ups, the right to free education and free health care, and a right to have their questions and concerns heard by those in power.”
Zahn: “It’s fascinating, though, to see how, how generous the maternity benefits are in this country, and that men can sort of switch roles with their wives and get that forty-two weeks paid leave.”
Harry Smith: “Yeah. Paula, you and I have been talking about, we want to send our kids, we want to, want to move here and put our kids in school here, the kids are, are treated so well, I think we have a lot to learn from these folks.”
Zahn: “I think you’re right.”
Smith: “Yeah.”
— CBS’s Paula Zahn and Harry Smith, touting the liberal policies of host nation Norway at the 1994 Winter Olympics on CBS This Morning, February 24, 1994.

Yearning for “Bold Government Planning” of Chinese Communists

“For Americans watching events unfold on television late last month, the arduous evacuation of New Orleans and the grandeur of the Olympic Games couldn’t have made for a starker contrast. However one feels about its other policies, the Chinese government is clearly not afraid to invest in the future of its cities....This kind of bold government planning died [in the U.S.] long ago, of course, a victim of both the public’s disillusionment with the large-scale Modernist planning strategies of the postwar era and the anti-government campaigns of the Reagan years. The consequences were obvious as soon as Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. And they have been reaffirmed many times since, with the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis and myriad accounts of our country’s crumbling infrastructure.”
New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff in a September 14, 2008 “Week in Review” piece.


Beijng Olympics a Showcase for China's Successful “Communist Way”


Barry Petersen: “From designer clothes to new cars, China is getting rich. Democracies once bragged that theirs was the only way to economic success. China is doing it the communist way. Today, the ambitions of most students are not about changing their country, but changing their lives.”
Unidentified Man: “The younger generation are being channeled. Their energy has been channeled into making money, getting rich.”
Petersen: “Rich, but not free. Religious activist Qua Wei Chi told us last week the police warned him to remain quiet or he might disappear. Sunday, on his way to the church that President Bush attended, he was arrested. As for the games, China has one ambition, win more gold than its athletic and super power arch rival, the United States. And here are some numbers that are not about gold medals. An American polling company asked Americans and Chinese what they thought about the direction of their country. About 23% of Americans said they were satisfied, but an astonishing 86% of Chinese said they’re happy with where their country is going.”
—  Correspondent Barry Petersen on CBS’s Early Show, August 11, 2008.