Bob Costas and Katie Couric were intolerable during the Opening Ceremonies. Their comments were irrelevant, flippant, patronizing, and/or factually wrong -- for instance, did you know that Belize is an "island nation" in Latin America? Katie is grating at any hour, but she is really out of her element in a symbolic, history-laden setting like the Opening Ceremonies. NBC also edited out about 20 minutes of the program without telling the audience.
The event coverage hasn't been much better. The commentators usually do a passable job, but the network spin is working against them. The background pieces on the standout athletes are absurdly overproduced. By ham-handedly trying to ratchet up the tension, they detract from the events themselves, which are dramatic enough. Only a few token non-Americans are featured: Ian Thorpe and Svetlana Khorkina are the only ones I recall seeing. The US teams (especially gymnastics and swimming) have been hyped up to the point where anything but solid golds is a disappointment.
The incessant cutting back and forth between events is icing on the cake. We get 10 minutes of one event, then 5 minutes of cheesy, we're-desperate-to-find-an-Olympic-tie-in commercials, 10 minutes of another event, more commercials, a third event, still more commercials, and then if we've been good boys and girls, we might get to see another sliver of the first event. With five or six channels carrying parallel content, you'd think they would have time to present events start-to-finish.
NBC is an embarrassment. Thankfully we get CBC, which has much less spin and hype. I wish the IOC would let C-SPAN cover the games -- Congress is on August recess, so there's not much to displace.
Keynes is dead and we are living in his long run.