14 August 2004

Quit pretending you’re “live”

One reason I wish I had access to the CBC is a Plan 9 moment from NBC’s coverage of the opening ceremonies last night: Tom Brokaw is in the studio (with a backdrop of the lit Acropolis). He’s there to reassure us that the Olympics are “safe” and leads into a report from someone at the Olympic stadium for further details. Now it’s daytime, but everyone is behaving as if his report and Brokaw’s intro are at the same time. Ed Wood would be proud. (This report is especially silly, since the opening ceremonies were already complete by the time of the US broadcast; no one here is wondering whether there was any terrorist activity, since the event already happened. Why bother?)

In further foolishness, the coverage of the opening ceremonies pretends to be live for US audiences as well. NBC runs commercials over the very cool and not at all cheesy opening dramatization rather than “pausing” the coverage for a break. Why, NBC? WHY?! It’s not live coverage—quit pretending it is.

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