Video: NBC’s not going to whitewash Putin in its Olympics coverage, is it?

posted at 2:41 pm on February 7, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via the Daily Caller, a subplot worth following as the Games begin. No way, no how, no chance will NBC whitewash Russia’s treatment of gays; the network has more to fear from activists back home if it looks the other way at that than it does from Putin by zeroing in it. Expect multiple interstitial segments on the subject. (It’s even mentioned in the ostensible Putin “highlight reel” below, in fact.) What about the rest of his record, though — endemic corruption, sponsorship of the Assad war machine, protection for Iran’s nuclear ambitions at the UN, and assorted acts of general thuggishness? Ignoring him entirely and focusing on the events isn’t an option, and not just because, since Munich at least, Olympics coverage has always had a politics/news component built into it. These are “Putin’s Games” to an extent rarely achieved by other foreign leaders in hosting past Olympics. He dominates his country in a way that individual members of other authoritarian regimes, like China’s, seldom do. And he spent more money — lots more — than anyone else in history to make Sochi a testament to Russia’s, i.e. his, greatness.

The theme of these Games is simple: this is Putin’s pop-culture reassertion of Russia, a worldwide media-saturated insistence on its modern power and capacities, all done with a flash and a reach that no diplomatic summit could ever match. Dissident Russian voices such as Alexei Navalny, Masha Gessen, and the members of Pussy Riot all call these “Putin’s Games”; they talk of a pharaoh intent on building, and displaying, his pyramids. In fact, minus the tone of derision, when you talk to Russian officials close to Putin, the explanation for his motives is not so different. The level of risk may be greater than anyone quite imagined in 2007, but Putin wants to show that his country is capable of doing more than sucking oil and gas out of the ground and building a new Dubai in Russia. Putin, obviously, is no democrat. Not remotely. He is not interested in the contemporary requirements of human rights. He is not interested in empowering a real legislature or ceding true independence to the courts. Democracy is not his interest. Stability and development—those are his themes, first and last. And Putin regards any and all attempts from the West, from human-rights organizations, and from the press to call him to account on nearly any issue as acts of anti-Russian self-righteousness and hypocrisy. That is how he sees the world and his critics. He doesn’t hide it. He performs his contempt. That is part of the hard-man persona.

You can’t ignore him but you can whitewash him, especially if you’re worried that too much criticism might lead to problems with access that NBC’s counting on for its broadcasts. And the Syria bit below is, in fact, a whitewash: The reason Assad was in a position to use chemical weapons in the first place was because Putin, along with his friends in Tehran, has helped prop him up for the past three years. The WMD disarmament deal he brokered was a sham from the start, too. Assad isn’t disarming, just like we all knew he wouldn’t, but our dopey president had to play along once he realized there was no support in the U.S. for a attack on Syria to enforce his “red line.” Six months after that fiasco, Putin’s alleged peacemaking in the country now involves ignoring the fact that his close ally is dropping barrel bombs on Syrian cities. Maybe NBC will get to all of this in due time — the opening ceremony is happening as I write this but hasn’t even aired in the U.S. yet — but as I say, it’s a subplot worth following.

In lieu of an exit question, note the symbolism at the big opener in keeping with Putin’s theme of a return to Russian “greatness”:


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Of course not, Putin is mean to NBC’s boyfriend. That must not stand.

HumpBot Salvation on February 7, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Is Bob Costas trying to be today’s Walter Duranty?

You can’t ignore him but you can whitewash him, especially if you’re worried that too much criticism might lead to problems with access that NBC’s counting on for its broadcasts….

CNN surrendered its ethics and integrity re Saddam / Iraq…. so it’s no surprise that NBC News & NBC Sports will do the same. (Frankly, NBC’s News Division has no ethics or integrity left at this point.)

As far as I am concerned, the Sochi 2014 Olympics are just the modern day version of the Berlin 1936 Olympics.

Athos on February 7, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Embracing their Commie nostalgia or pander to the Gay mafia.

Quite the dilemma for NBC.

Norwegian on February 7, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Pink eye, right? I was hoping someone finally socked this jackass in the face.
Surrender monkey should stay with his commie overlords.

HillC Liver Spot on February 7, 2014 at 2:49 PM

The hammer and sickle:

A tear fell down Putin’s cheek when he saw that.

I threw up in my mouth.

WisRich on February 7, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Nice job you have there, Bob Costas. Be a shame if anything were to happen to you it.

rbj on February 7, 2014 at 2:50 PM

If we are really lucky, a Chechen Widow will give Bob Costas a Blow Job.

Wallythedog on February 7, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Putin is a genuine thug.

DisneyFan on February 7, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Yawn. So, why doesn’t obama’s state-run media whine about muslim countries’ treatment of gays (which usually includes being tortured, then gang-raped, then beheaded, and then gang-raped again) – which is much, MUCH worse than anything Putin has ever done?

Pork-Chop on February 7, 2014 at 2:55 PM

I have no doubt that nbc will be mentioning teh ghey every few seconds.

Blake on February 7, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Putin’s kind of the Jerry Jones of the Sochi Olympics — overshadowing the athletes, throwing ridiculous amounts of money at things with little to show for it and not going away any time soon.

NBC no doubt had to do the opening puff piece in advance and didn’t want to get on Vlad’s bad side even before the opening ceremonies, but odds are they won’t touch him until they can find a gay rights story peg to wrap their overall criticism around, because they want to make sure they have the proper allies back them up back home (i.e. — criticizing Putin for spending money that’s desperately needed elsewhere in Russia or on Vlad’s continued stirring of the pot in Iran and Syria will not be subjects on NBC’s radar for the next two weeks, because if they got any backing from back home, it would be from the wrong types of people in their ideological universe).

jon1979 on February 7, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Embracing their Commie nostalgia or pander to the Gay mafia.

Quite the dilemma for NBC.

Norwegian on February 7, 2014 at 2:48 PM

That is their biggest problem. Sometimes there will be actual sports coverage.

TerryW on February 7, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Olympics coverage has always had a politics/news component built into it.

The last winter Olympics was in Vancouver, Canada. I don’t recall that being particularly political.

Was it?

kim roy on February 7, 2014 at 3:07 PM

The WMD disarmament deal he brokered was a sham from the start, too. Assad isn’t disarming, just like we all knew he wouldn’t, but our dopey president had to play along once he realized there was no support in the U.S. for a attack on Syria to enforce his “red line.”

Wholly disagree with the sentiment of that statement. This president had absolutely no intention of military intervention in Syria. Obama’s “red line” talk was just blather; he was hoping other nations would put enough pressure on Assad not to use them so he could go back to campaigning for healthcare reform.

Non-support in the US was evident when he made the “red line” statement and has never waivered outside of the John Graham wing of the GOP.

BKeyser on February 7, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Edward Snowden is lighting the final torch and opening the games!
You heard it here first!

Gonna sit back and enjoy this tonight with my bong.

LeftoCenter on February 7, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Chicago Thuggery gets *ss handed to them by KGB *ss Kickers Sumpins!!
(sarc)

canopfor on February 7, 2014 at 3:13 PM

The last winter Olympics was in Vancouver, Canada. I don’t recall that being particularly political.

Was it?

kim roy on February 7, 2014 at 3:07 PM

All I really remember about the Vancouver Olympics is that it was unseasonably warm in Vancouver.

iceybloop on February 7, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Putin is a genuine thug.

DisneyFan on February 7, 2014 at 2:52 PM

True – but at this point I think I’d rather have him in the WH running this country versus what we have now….

dentarthurdent on February 7, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Heads-Up:

The White House, Washington, DC, US
1m
Editor’s note: NBC News is reporting the White House is on lockdown; a Secret Service official says a person attempted to climb fence. We’re watching for additional confirmation – Stephanie

canopfor on February 7, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Who cares about Putin. They whitewash Obama 24X7X365.

VorDaj on February 7, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Sharks gotta swim, buzzards gotta fly. NBC gotta be NBC.

No Truce With Kings on February 7, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Bob Costas has ‘Pink-Eye’ – somebody fart on his pillow – or is he washing his face with Sochi water?

jake-the-goose on February 7, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Billie Jean King
34s
Billie Jean King’s mother, Betty Moffitt, dies; King did not attend Olympic opening ceremony due to mother’s health – @AP
read more on usatoday.com

canopfor on February 7, 2014 at 3:15 PM

The hammer and sickle:

A tear fell down Putin’s cheek when he saw that.

WisRich on February 7, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Probably made him sad for America as it made him think of Obama.

VorDaj on February 7, 2014 at 3:19 PM

dropping barrel bombs
=======================

First explicit pictures of massive barrel bomb dropped on rebel zones
in Syria
Published on Jan 31, 2014

Credit: DaryaRevlution. Media activists in Daraya, southern Damascus, have been posting dramatic videos of massive barrel bombs being dropped from helicopters on the rebel-held city over the past few weeks. The massive improvised armaments are well documented and are made from barrels packed with explosives. This video is described as showing a strike on January 31, and captures the ordnance being dropped from a helicopter.
==========

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if_NwiZFcQw

canopfor on February 7, 2014 at 3:21 PM

I tried to watch some of it, but when Costas went into his love poem to “Vlad the Peacemaker,” I had to shut it off.

The little twerp with all the plastic surgery is annoying at best, but now in his old age (who is that hairpiece fooling anyway?) he is getting into making political commentary at sporting events.

Remember his little tirade against the name “Redskins?” Costas had been covering NFL football for 30 freaking years and never saw anything offensive about it, but suddenly some rich Indian tribe uses some casino money to complain and it’s offensive to him?

NBC has become completely worthless.

Adjoran on February 7, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Embracing their Commie nostalgia or pander to the Gay mafia.

Quite the dilemma for NBC.

Norwegian on February 7, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Don’t forget they are killing stray dogs, that has a few liberal types up in arms also….

ledbylight on February 7, 2014 at 3:23 PM

I enjoyed watching the lithe girls in skates being tossed in the air last night. DanMa’am was a skater back in the day. That said, our intention is to turn it to another channel every time we see an Obamacare commercial.

DanMan on February 7, 2014 at 3:24 PM

What about the rest of his record, though — endemic corruption, sponsorship of the Assad war machine, protection for Iran’s nuclear ambitions at the UN, and assorted acts of general thuggishness?

Are we talking about Putin or Obama here?

Kataklysmic on February 7, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Putin’s kind of the Jerry Jones of the Sochi Olympics — overshadowing the athletes, throwing ridiculous amounts of money at things with little to show for it and not going away any time soon.

jon1979 on February 7, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Awesome! All we need is the fire marshal forcing them to put tarps over temporary seating, and we’re there, man.

Ward Cleaver on February 7, 2014 at 3:31 PM

NBC and the media is going to drag Putin for one reason. He screwed up their hotel rooms. Its on.

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 3:35 PM

What about the rest of his record, though — endemic corruption, sponsorship of the Assad war machine, protection for Iran’s nuclear ambitions at the UN, and assorted acts of general thuggishness?
Are we talking about Putin or Obama here?

Kataklysmic on February 7, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Had the exact same thought.

natasha333 on February 7, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Bob Costas has ‘Pink-Eye’ – somebody fart on his pillow – or is he washing his face with Sochi water?

jake-the-goose on February 7, 2014 at 3:15 PM

I was kinda shocked last night – he’s looking very old.

Ward Cleaver on February 7, 2014 at 3:37 PM

NBC and the media is going to drag Putin for one reason. He screwed up their hotel rooms. Its on.

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 3:35 PM

That’s good! Why can’t you be like this more often?

kim roy on February 7, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Bob Costas is saving his fire for real evils like the 2nd amendment and the name ‘Redskins.’

Clark1 on February 7, 2014 at 3:40 PM

I was kinda shocked last night – he’s looking very old.

Ward Cleaver on February 7, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Maybe having to state the stupid and propagandize has finally taken its toll.

kim roy on February 7, 2014 at 3:42 PM

That’s good! Why can’t you be like this more often?

kim roy on February 7, 2014 at 3:39 PM

I’m always “like that” but no one here appreciates my shade when I direct it at conservatives….

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 3:43 PM

2 for 22… and Basketball is his Game! 37 in Bowling… and lost Chicago the Olympics! Not much of Sports Guy. I’m glad he is proud of his grades.

Innercat on February 7, 2014 at 12:28 PM

And I’d bet his real grades are no better than his sports scores.
Choom gang boy was one of those “just don’t give a shiite” potheads who only got through school, especially Haaahvaaaahd by way of affirmative action. Athletes and academic nerds alike all look like “tough guys” to a pothead slouch.

dentarthurdent on February 7, 2014 at 3:48 PM

What about the rest of his record, though — endemic corruption,

Granted.

sponsorship of the Assad war machine,

As long as they are driving over Al-Qaeda sympathizers then good for Putin.

Better question is why Obama is supplying weapons to Al-Qaeda terrorists?

protection for Iran’s nuclear ambitions at the UN,

Muscling in on Obama’s territory is kinda mean but not much to get excited about.

and assorted acts of general thuggishness?

A radical pro-communist group desecrates a church, gets thrown in jail for it and we should weep for them?

sharrukin on February 7, 2014 at 3:49 PM

I tried to watch some of it, but when Costas went into his love poem to “Vlad the Peacemaker,” I had to shut it off.
Adjoran on February 7, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Did he at least wipe the white stuff off his chin?

dentarthurdent on February 7, 2014 at 3:52 PM

NBC and the media is going to drag Putin for one reason. He screwed up their hotel rooms. Its on.

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 3:35 PM

I read somewhere that this shady character went to Harvard. With this level of grammar, it doesn’t look like he stayed very long.

HillC Liver Spot on February 7, 2014 at 3:52 PM

I’m always “like that” but no one here appreciates my shade when I direct it at conservatives….

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 3:43 PM

That’s because you usually just use OFA talking points and the standard race card.
This one was a good thoughtful and humorous comment.
More please….

dentarthurdent on February 7, 2014 at 3:55 PM

I’m always “like that” but no one here appreciates my shade when I direct it at conservatives….

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Please stop saying that Trayvon Martin is the next Emmett Till.

sentinelrules on February 7, 2014 at 3:55 PM

They go the Hagiographic route with Vlad f*cking Putin, but the name of the Washington football team is the great moral imperative of our time?

Well done NBC, you’ve surpassed yourselves. No easy feat.

Lamont Cranston on February 7, 2014 at 5:14 PM

I’m always “like that” but no one here appreciates my shade when I direct it at conservatives….

libfreeordie on February 7, 2014 at 3:43 PM

It would be fine if you directed it on things that make sense, like the GOPe has no backbone, but you defend a death cult.

Let’s face it, liberalism is a death cult. They advocate activities that cause death and pain. They try to marginalize self-responsibility and self-sufficiency.

That’s not shade, that’s insanity. And that’s why you get no respect here.

That was nice, snark, tho.

kim roy on February 7, 2014 at 5:20 PM

I would like my Olympics without the extra side helping of g*ay propaganda… but NBC fails to provide that… time and time again.

glidingone on February 7, 2014 at 5:25 PM

NBC’s not going to whitewash Putin in its Olympics coverage, is it?

Of course it is – anything to advance the communist cause.

redguy on February 7, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Sochi will be in ruins soon enough:

Sarajevo Olympics Ruins

http://www.pinterest.com/kellerfox/sarajevo-olympics-ruins/

redguy on February 7, 2014 at 6:05 PM

I never watch the crap NBC puts on during the typical Olympic coverage they provide anyway. Just give me the sports events. Any one surprised Costas/NBC is doing what they are doing? Not here.

TfromV on February 7, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Costas ended up juggling Putin’s yarbles in his hands, on his chin, and in his mouth.

Murphy9 on February 7, 2014 at 11:00 PM

Sochi will be in ruins soon enough:

Sarajevo Olympics Ruins

http://www.pinterest.com/kellerfox/sarajevo-olympics-ruins/

redguy on February 7, 2014 at 6:05 PM

I love photoessays of ruins and abandoned sites. These are pretty awesome!

Murphy9 on February 7, 2014 at 11:01 PM

It’s hard to take Costas seriously when he fumbles the redskins non-issue.

If it’s NBC itself that wanted to make a point, then nobody cares what NBC executives think.

Drop dead, NBC. Cover the sports action, or get out.

virgo on February 8, 2014 at 1:00 AM