It didn’t take long for NBC to offer up all of its credibility in payment to Vladimir Putin in exchange for the television rights to the Sochi Olympics, did it? In its intro to the opening ceremonies — in which Putin’s Russia trotted out a gigantic hammer and sicle to celebrate its nation — NBC called perhaps the bloodiest and most oppressive tyrannies in human history “one of modern history’s pivotal experiments” (via Twitchy):

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

A pivotal experiment? Perhaps … in mass murder, subjugation, and paranoia. This “experiment” lasted more than 70 years and it was so “unsuccessful” that its satellites tried repeatedly to depart from it, resulting in brutal crackdowns from Moscow. The West didn’t lift a finger when Russians sent tanks into Hungary in 1956 to put down an end to that part of the “experiment,” nor did they do much in 1968 when the Czechs wanted to call the experiment a failure. Communism was an evil, tyrannical system of both government and economics, not an “experiment” in a lab somewhere. In this case, all the rats ran the experiment.

If there was a gold medal in selling out, NBC won it yesterday.

Update: In case you missed this, be sure to read Fr. Marcel Guarnizo’s essay in the Green Room on the incompatibility of socialism and communism with Christianity. His opening goes directly to the point:

There has been much discussion in recent weeks over the debt of Christianity to—and its compatibility with —the ideas and praxis of the socialist revolution, and even of communism. Many, even in the Catholic Church, believe that we share some of the ideals of the socialist revolution because it seems to them that communism, socialism and Christianity are for the poor. In addition to this most unfortunate error, the opposite fallacy has also been made popular in the minds of many, namely that capitalists and advocates of a free market economy, hate the poor.

But the historical record of communism tells an entirely different story.  I have worked with the countries of the former Soviet Union for over 20 years, and I have seen what communism does to populations and nations. The scourge of the socialist revolution around the world gave us 6 million people killed by artificial famines in Ukraine and, as documented by The Black Book of Communism, 20 million victims in the U.S.S.R., 65 million in China, a million in Vietnam, 2 million in North Korea, another 2 million in Cambodia, a million more in the rest of Eastern Europe, 150,000 in Latin America, 1.7 million in Africa, 1.5 million in Afghanistan and through the international Communist movement and related parties about 100,000 more victims in various nations.  This is a body count that reaches to 100 million victims worldwide. Communism completely destroyed the economy, social fabric, and political culture of dozens of nations. It hollowed out the intelligentsia, ruined every economy where the seed of socialism fully “bloomed,” and abrogated fundamental rights and individual freedoms of the nations it subjugated.  Clearly the Judeo-Christian commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” is not among the doctrinal teachings of communism and the socialist revolution. It is hard to believe that the socialist revolution—unlike Nazism—still finds promoters and defenders in the West.

The compatibility of Christianity and its legitimate concern for the poor owes nothing to the violent and inhuman regimes created by the socialist revolution. No system in human history has produced more poverty and misery than communism.

But it’s just a “pivotal experiment.” Riiiiiight. Also, NBC won the silver medal in selling out:

Russia’s anti-gay laws have been a major focus in the lead-up to the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, and during his address at today’s opening ceremony IOC president Thomas Bach made a strong statement against “any form of discrimination” and in favor of tolerance. Viewers worldwide heard the statement; NBC viewers in the U.S. did not, because the network edited it out.

Update: Even though it’s been in the headlines for an hour or more, I just caught Ed Driscoll’s post on this. Be sure to read it.