Did NBC Edit Women's Gymnastics To Add Fake Suspense?
Author: Katey Rich
published: 2012-08-02 10:30:19
I watched the Olympic women's gymnastics team competition the morning after it aired, and nearly 24 hours after it actually happened, so I already knew that the U.S. team would be taking home the gold. I was surprised, though, at the lack of suspense at the end, as the Russian women completely fell apart during their floor routines, making it so the Americans basically had to avoid falling on their faces to clinch the gold. NBC ramped up the suspense as best they could, talking up an error made by Aly Raisman in her warm-up, but the result was pretty clear throughout.
Turns out, it was actually even clearer in real life. Deadline has written that NBC cut out a fall from a Russian gymnast that was even more awful than the ones that made it to the air-- a fall that made it all the more clear that the Russians were no competition to the Americans in pursuit of the gold. Now they've talked to NBC Sports's Mark Lazarus, who defends the edit "in the interests of time," and said, correctly, "it was immaterial to the outcome." But for people who are interested in seeing how the entire competition plays out, not just jingoistically watching the Americans, it's frustrating to know that a key element of the Russian team's performance-- and why they were all so devastated in the end-- was totally left in the dark.
There's been no limit to the complaints about NBC's Olympics coverage, from the tape-delayed major events to the unintentional spoilers airing on the network itself to the evergreen complaints about the maudlin montages and Bob Costas interviews. But the Olympics give us all a chance every 2 years to get really, really into a sport we know nothing about, and it's constantly frustrating not to be given the entire picture. I was thrilled to see the women win the gold, even though I already knew the ending-- but it might have been even nicer knowing the entirety of what they were up against.
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