Is anyone else somewhat amused by the angst out there about NBC's coverage of the Olympics?
Some folks are complaining not only about the network's decisions on what to show when, which is hardly a new phenomenon, but also some epic fails, like running a promo teasing the fact that swimmer Missy Franklin would be talking about her gold-medal win the next morning on "Today," minutes before showing the tape-delayed event.
NBC also has not come through on its promise to carry events like the opening ceremony live online. The opening ceremonies were shown, in an edited version, later in the day on TV.
I suppose there are some folks, maybe even more than a few, who are able to shut out the world during the day in hopes of watching the prime-time coverage, ignorant to what happened earlier, but it can't be easy. And it seems so contrary to how the world works anymore, it's odd to me that NBC would even play along. I realize they make more money during prime time, but come on.
We are geared toward having a camera and a reporter on the scene for every tree that falls in the forest. Whether the reporter is a professional or a neighbor with an iPhone, we can see live coverage or a recording of everything from girl fights on street corners to car accidents to major wars online within seconds of them occurring.
Avoiding the Olympic spoiler would mean turning off the smartphone and avoiding a computer, which means no Facebook, making sure the radio and television are off and essentially avoiding people all day long. I can't imagine going all day without knowing what my Facebook friends had for lunch or looking at the dozens and dozens of car and cat photos they post.
Why would anyone think news of an Olympic event outcome would hold for several hours? The surprise to me is not that word leaked or that NBC scooped itself. It's that they tried to keep it a secret and show the event in prime time as if it were new news.
It's really an issue of trying to eat our cake and having it too. NBC is working under the old model, and I suspect we'll see a different one for future events.
Leave it to The Onion to add its usual, brilliant mock spin on the controversy.
Their "story" quoted NBC chief digital officer Vivian Schiller as apologizing for not altering the laws of space and time to accommodate viewers' wants.
"On second thought, we really should have considered manipulating the invariant properties of the space-time continuum while we were still in the planning stages of our coverage, and, boy, it sure was silly of us not to."
• • •
Ed Brown, a banjoist and composer with The Cumberland Band from the Sequatchie Valley, won first- and second-place honors for two songs at the Mountain Valley Arts Council's 11th annual Songwriters Competition held last month in Guntersville, Ala.
He won first place for "Many Hearts, One Purpose" in the Inspirational category, and his song "Chattanooga Train" was picked second in the Country/Bluegrass category.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...