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California and the West | MIKE DOWNEY

No Medals for NBC's Coverage of the Olympics

September 22, 2000|MIKE DOWNEY

I wrote that since we get the Olympics on TV for free, maybe we should give NBC a break. According to my mail, uh, maybe not.

"Just because it's free, we shouldn't criticize NBC? I never heard of such reasoning. Maybe our opinions could get them to change their ways. After all, if NBC wants people to watch, they're going to have to make their coverage watchable." --Roz Cundell

"The television airwaves are public property. Is it not your responsibility, as a member of the press, to critique the forces that determine our lives?" --Elliot Sperber

"I thought we were watching a world Olympics. Instead, we are viewing a U.S. Olympics. (Only when we might win the gold.) This is not a pretty picture." --Edward Stevens

"I was ashamed to be an American when I heard the manner in which Bob Costas and Katie Couric talked about some of the countries as their athletes came into the Sydney stadium. They talked about Germany's Nazi past and the murder of the Israeli athletes. No wonder the rest of the world calls us "ugly Americans." NBC should start calling itself the National Badmouthing Co." --Leon Ceniceros

"Yes, NBC is free, but that's about all that can be said that's good. I'll follow the policy I had already instituted for daytime programs-- videotape it, watch it later. I have a great VCR that cuts out all the commercials. Wouldn't NBC love to hear my plan?" --Dawn Bean, Santa Ana



"Grab the remote and squeeze the channel button, up or down. Anything else on the next channel is better than the Olympics."

--Carl Mohr

"I almost lost my cookies the other night with that shot of the men's gymnastics team, looking like castoffs from a Calvin Klein photo shoot."

--David Mecey

"I have to mute Tim Daggett's [gymnastics] commentary, because I have an overwhelming urge to strangle him every time he opens his mouth." --Annette Ritchie

"The criticism NBC is receiving is well deserved. Let the 'Today' show do the color and interviews in the morning. Let us see the sporting events in the evening."

--Michele Yepiz, Lemon Grove

"NBC is trying to sell us an inferior product. What's really bad is that [network executive] Dick Ebersol has the nerve to say that according to NBC's polling, nobody really cares and we like the coverage this way. He must think all of us folks at home are stupid. As of today, ratings are down. I wonder why."

--Bill Consolo, El Segundo

"Yes, please, rip NBC. I attended the Olympics in Munich as a very young woman, and also went to Atlanta in 1996. This time, I am watching reruns (of anything). No NBC--No Boring Coverage of only what they want to show us." --Emma Schafer

"Since I am a poor working stiff, the only way to experience the Olympics is on television. I thought I was alone in my deep disappointment of how NBC is covering the Olympics. Simply put, it's a travesty. So please feel free to rip NBC to shreds on my behalf. Pluck at it until that peacock is ready to be placed in a pot and make soup." --Corina Sandru

"NBC is not free. You pay for those ads, every time you buy a product which advertises on that network." --Paul Fretheim, Independence

"I'm glad to know I'm not the only one irritated at those obnoxious profiles that get in the way of the events." --Phil Parrish, Hawthorne

"Is NBC hard of hearing? Surely someone there is aware that viewers (those that are left) are sick of the overly dramatic, highly edited segments. They may still have time to retool a few events, so viewers can enjoy sports instead of soap opera." --G. Berghouse


"My mom played a little sports in her youth. Hitting 90, when she could do little else, watching any live sport on TV was her passion. She'd be toxic with rage, were she alive to see what NBC has done with the Olympics." --Brian Rebbechi, Pomona

"In our 500-channel world, why give the TV rights to one network? It's a shame to force Americans to only watch what NBC deems Olympian." --Joe Ponder

"Wish I could see as much of the Games as I do the commercials--one event, four commercials. --Doris Anderson

"Why can't we have a C-SPAN channel for the Olympics--no commentary, just action?"

--Ron Sanders

"I think NBC should be banned from the Olympics for the next 10 years." --Barbara Harwell

"There's an Olympics going on?" --Gary Durrett


Mike Downey's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Write to: Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. E-mail:

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