24 February 2006

NBC and Journalistic Integrity

So, there has been some controversy regarding doping at the Olympics, in particular, the Austrian biathlon/cross-country ski teams. I have not seen NBC mention this at all on their Olympic broadcasts. NBC has a history of not reporting negative news. During the Thanksgiving Day Parade last November, they did not report that a balloon had hit a lampost and caused an injury. Although I cannot be absolutely sure that NBC has failed to report this, if they did not, they are violating, once again, the public trust. While reporting on the Olympics, NBC has an obligation to report on the bad things that happen at the Olympics, not all the good things. NBC should not have its head in a bubble.
As a side note, I do not have much sympathy for athletes who complain that they are getting jail sentences for doping. I imagine Italy has a fair judicial system, so they will get a fair trial. Doping is cheating. Period. If the enhanced penalties deter an athlete from cheating, then that's a good thing, as far as I'm concerned. Although I am not an expert on Italian doping law, I imagine that accidentally cheating would not get you prosecuted. (Under Olympic rules, if you have an illegal substance in you, you can get in trouble regardless of how it got there, even if you did not know that a drug you were taking contained it)
Besides, as they say, when in Rome (or I suppose in this case Torino)....

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