On September 11, the world was changed forever as the World Trade Center fell prey to a devastating and cowardly attack that claimed 2752 lives. It was an event that opened Americans' eyes to the dangers of terrorist organizations with eyes on their own homes, shops and neighborhoods. It was an event that brought about powerful, sometimes startling changes in both domestic and foreign policy.
But none of that mattered, NBC claims, when it cut an important part of the Olympic opening ceremony that it says, "was not tailored to US audiences." As the ceremony played out, spectators were invited to join the event, displaying images of loved ones who could not be there to join them, while the touching hymn "Abide with Me," played throughout the Olympic stadium.
"I am disappointed," choreographer and dancer for the lengthy segment Akram Khan reported. "I am really sad."
Unrepentent, NBC spokesman Greg Hughes fired back the statement, "Our program is tailored for the U.S. television audience," showing defiance in the face of rising criticism of NBC coverage of the Olympics, a coverage monopoly that has existed since 1988 and was extended last year until 2020 with a $4.3 billion deal--the largest of its kind in history.
This revelation comes on the heels of myriad complaints that the NBC coverage of the Olympics is abysmal with its inaccuracies and errors, and filled with any number of potential international gaffs that can and have raised hackles the world over.
During the opening ceremonies,and opted to make political light as the parade of nations entered the stadium. Meredith Viera referred to the Queen's entrance as a "money shot." Today, announcers covering the equestrian events referred to the "Hong Kong games in 2008." The Hong Kong Games were the 2008 Paralympics. The Beijing Games were the 2008 Olympics.
But the announcers didn't seem to realize the difference.
While the rest of the world watched a touching and appropriate tribute to terror victims everywhere, US audiences were "treated" to an appropriately awkward interview betweenand Ryan Seacrest. Jon Stewart responded on the Daily Show first by praising the ceremonies, which were conceived by Oscar-winning director , as an “incredible, cheeky at times, poignant spectacle,” but admitted he was infuriated by NBC’s insensitive editing.