Category: UK Connect Created on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 06:33
Guy Adams was just one of tens of thousands venting outrage over NBC’s coverage of the Olympics on Twitter, but the account of the U.S. based journalist from Britain’s The Independent newspaper fell strangely silent on Monday.
Adams was banned from the social network after a complaint from NBC following a series of stinging tweets criticizing the U.S. broadcaster’s coverage of the games — a move that quickly sparked anger from journalists and other pundits.
The Los Angeles correspondent for The Independent was furious when NBC on Friday delayed their broadcast of the Olympic Opening Ceremony until primetime in the U.S., while other networks in other countries, like CTV, offered a live broadcast.
Adams tweeted his criticism of NBC’s decision and was later interviewed about it on a local radio station, he explains in a first-person account on The Independent’s website.
“I have 1000 channels on my TV. Not one will be showing the Olympics opening ceremony live,” Adams had tweeted. “Because NBC are utter, utter bastards.”
He also wrote a short story about NBC’s Olympics coverage, which pointed to factual errors the commentators made during the ceremony.
“Shortly after filing that article, I attempted to check my Twitter account,” Adams writes.
“When I logged on, I was presented with a message saying it had been “suspended.” If I had any questions, I was asked to click on a link and fill in an online form.”
Adams later learned, after corresponding with representatives from Twitter, that the suspension came after he tweeted the corporate email address of NBC’s Olympics President Gary Zenkel. He encouraged anyone else who was upset by NBC’s coverage to complain to Zenkel.
According to Twitter, Adams said, this constituted posting private information.
Journalists and others were quick to attack Twitter over its apparent decision to ban Adams’ critiques, many of whom used the hash tag #nbcfail. Scottish poet Irvine Welsh surmised the ban meant Twitter takes itself too seriously.
Viewers also complained about NBC last week when the network edited out what has been widely interpreted as a six-minute tribute to the victims of the 2005 terror attacks in London from the Opening Ceremony footage. Instead, the network aired a Ryan Seacrest interview with swimmer Michael Phelps.
The coordinated attacks, which killed civilians during morning rush hour on July 7, 2005, took place only one day after the Olympic committee awarded London the summer games.
NBC claimed it didn’t know the dance sequence was a tribute to the terror attacks victims, and said it tailored its editing of the Opening Ceremony to the interests of U.S. viewers.
“I am disappointed,” said Londoner Akram Khan, who choreographed and danced in the segment. “I am really sad that I couldn’t show the work in America, and that really upsets me, because I don’t think it’s any more or less than the other pieces. It brings to mind the question … that maybe it’s too truthful.”
NBC is taking hits for other aspects of its Olympic coverage as well. Hosts Matt Lauer and Bob Costas asked viewers to “Google” inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim-Berners Lee, because they didn’t know who he was.
The American network is tape-delaying events to get them into lucrative prime-time viewing at night. Viewers, therefore, must try to keep themselves in the dark for hours to avoid knowing who’s won the events they might like to watch.
On Saturday, NBC didn’t telecast the much-hyped Michael Phelps-Ryan Lochte 400 IM swim showdown as it happened, but still divulged results to viewers of its Nightly News hours earlier.
NBC says its tape-delayed London opening ceremony was its most-watched summer Games opening ever.
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