Winter Olympics: ‘Shameless,’ former NBC host says of the Video games returning to Beijing

“The IOC deserves the entire disdain and disgust that comes their manner for going again to China but once more,” Costas mentioned on CNN’s “Dependable Sources” Sunday.

Costas referenced the 2008 Beijing Summer time Olympics and the 2015 Winter Video games in Sochi, Russia as examples of the Worldwide Olympic Committee’s seeming disregard for the prevalence of human rights abuses when deciding on host nations. However now, there is a “better understanding of the whole lot that China represents,” he mentioned.

“They’re shameless about these items,” Costas mentioned of the IOC.

Journalists will face a singular problem through the Beijing video games — balancing politics and sports activities, CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter mentioned, including that there are lots of unknowns by way of censorship and the way free worldwide journalists might be with regards to reporting on occasions in and across the video games.
“Some journalists heading to Beijing are taking precautions like bringing burner telephones and laptops,” Stelter mentioned, referencing an earlier Washington Publish story.
There may be some huge cash on the road — NBCUniversal has a $12 billion contract to broadcast the Olympics by 2023. And each NBC and ESPN introduced this week they won’t be sending their standard contingent of reporters and producers to the Video games because of Covid issues.

NBC beforehand introduced it could embrace geopolitical context throughout its Beijing protection, however that its focus might be on the athletes.

“We’re going to be specializing in telling the tales of Staff USA and masking the competitors,” Molly Solomon, govt producer and president of NBC Olympics Manufacturing, mentioned throughout a presentation to reporters Wednesday. “However the world, as everyone knows, is a extremely difficult place proper now. And we perceive that there is some tough points relating to the host nation.”

Costas, acknowledging his respect for the challenges his former colleagues will face in Beijing, described Olympics reporting as a type of “quasi journalism.” That is as a result of NBC pays an enormous rights payment together with the manufacturing prices, placing the community in a considerably promotional place for the Video games. He added that masking the Olympics is not merely a information occasion, but additionally an essential “cultural panorama” and “journey log” of the host nation, features that could possibly be drastically decreased due to Covid and the potential for fixed monitoring by Chinese language authorities.

“It is a centerpiece of your entire community technique at a time the place the whole lot is fractionalized,” Costas mentioned.

Throughout the fanfare of the Video games, Stelter requested how viewers ought to count on the geopolitical context to be lined.

“I’d anticipate … [NBC] will acknowledge the problems originally,” Costas mentioned, “after which tackle them provided that one thing particular that can not be ignored occurs through the course of the Video games.”

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