I watched the NBC-TV coverage of the International Olympics' opening ceremonies on Friday evening, just like millions of others. But I had to cringe often.
Don't get me wrong. I thought the ceremonies were great, original, and well done. But all through it I had to listen to the constant dribble jabber of no less than three commentators ... Meredith Viera, Bob Costas, and Matt Lauer. I mean dribble. Irritating dribble.
There is no class act here with American network personalities. They talk down at me. They describe everything as if I and the rest of their audience are stupid. They try to plant their own opinion in our heads instead of just giving us the facts and let us draw our own opinions.
United States TV personalities feel like they have to talk all the time -- the dreaded fear of "dead airtime." Sorry, it isn't radio, it is television. There is plenty of time to let an event play out as it happens, instead of someone talking in my ear above the sounds of the event saying that this is the portion of the ceremonies that are the most moving. Well, that sure let it be less moving.
Why can't our TV personalities get their heads out of their asses (THEY think their heads are high in the clouds) and have the class that commentators in Great Britain have? The British personalities treat their viewers with dignity and only provide important background information on the event and let the viewers enjoy it as it unfolds.
I first got a taste of the British TV's class act during the funeral services and march for Princess Diana. I saw two versions ... that feeding from NBC in the United States, and the BBC telecast that was picked up by a U.S. cable channel and rebroadcast. What a difference. The BBC version was classy, solemn, informative, and let the unfolding events be absorbed by their viewers as it should be, with commentators giving just brief background information -- and never conversation between commentators. On the same event coverage on our side of the pond, the anchors and reporters where constantly talking and, what is so irritating, they were talking back and forth to each other, forcing the viewer to take a back seat and overhear the gossip.
C'mon, U.S. "journalists." Do your viewers a real service by keeping your comments and opinions to yourselves and give us background facts to help absorb what is going on.