07.25.12

Dear Ink Stained Numbskulls : Bob Costas Sees Right Thru Your Manufactured Outrage

Posted in olympics, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 10:30 pm by

If you Google the phrase, “plausibly live”, you’re not greeted with an image of a demonically drooling Phil Mushnick, but that’s of little consolation to NBC Sports’ diminutive bundle of self-importance eloquence, Bob Costas. Speaking to a conference call of sports media reporters 3 days prior to anchoring the Comcast / General Electric joint venture’s coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Costas showed little patience for those critical of NBC’s penchant for replaying major events via tape delay during prime time. From the Salt Lake Tribune’s Scott D. Pierce :

“I understand … people’s demand for information immediately,” Costas said in a conference call with reporters. “I also understand that it’s a lot easier if you’re writing for newspaper X to say with righteous indignation, ‘This is some sort of outrage.’ And yet if that person swapped jobs that day with [NBC Sports executives], they would either do exactly the same thing, or they would be fired and then taken to a sanitarium.”

“The newspaper has not invested billions of dollars in rights fees and production fees,” he said. “And it’s a simple, straightforward business decision that now has been modified, I think, in an enlightened way to allow for the changes in the way people consume information.”

He’s still clearly ticked off about allegations that NBC misrepresented taped events as live — which he put down the occasional slip of the lip. Anything that makes it sound that way will be inadvertent because “in thousands of utterances, once or twice, accidentally, has the wrong tense been used.”

“We try to be very, very vigilant about that. We do not say, ‘Michael Phelps now goes to the line in pursuit of gold medal number 15.’ We say, ‘He went to the pool in pursuit of gold medal number 15.’ There is no attempt to deceive.”

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