Jon Stewart and other comedians have turned the coverage of the 2012 Olympic games into a source of criticism and jokes. As the official American broadcaster of the 2012 London games, NBC has made significant mistakes and gaffs, repeatedly announcing the winners of events before they decide to broadcast them. This has been blamed on their decision to wait until primetime to broadcast tape-delays of some of the more popular events. However, NBC also has decided to broadcast spoilers throughout the dayÂ—a choice that has frustrated millions of viewers and brought down the ire of both fans and the media.
But it is not only NBC that has been the subject of jokes and ridicule, it is the entire media's coverage. NBC is not the only news outlet that has decided to run spoilers announcing the winners of events, all the media outlets have done it. On Thursday night's Daily Show, both CNN and FOX News were mocked for providing ineffective spoiler alerts and then revealing the results of certain events. FOX News, in particular, told viewers to mute their television if they did not want to hear the results, but then ran the results across the scrolling news at the bottom of the screen for all to see.
NBC has also ruined a number of major events by revealing the results before airing the event. On Monday evening, only moments before the broadcast of a very popular swimming event, NBC ran a promo for the Today show with the results of the event about to be aired. Millions of fans were disappointed and NBC became the subject of both scorn and derision.
It is apparent to anyone who has watched the coverage provided by NBC that the network is not what it once was. NBC might have, in the past, been a beacon of excellence in journalistic coverage, but it appears that it has been taken over by a group of children who do not know the first thing about television. The many mistakes, gaffes, and even the decision to run tape-delays demonstrates the bad decision making processes that have gone into the coverage of such an important occasion.
But why would Jon Stewart and other comedians rip the other networks, they are not responsible for the way NBC decided to cover the games and are not under any obligation to set their news policies to match the foolish coverage of a competing network. It is not the fault of either CNN or FOX News for announcing the winners of events; it is the fault of NBC for deciding to withhold broadcasting popular events until primetime. It is that poorly thought-out decision, made by NBC executives, that has created a chaotic situation for the American public. NBC should be ashamed of the below-par coverage of the 2012 London Olympic games; the American people deserve better.