I got to experience yet another interesting difference between America and Canada, regarding their news broadcasting. The closing ceremonies for the Olympics in Athens were on all day yesterday. The Canadian network ran theirs in the afternoon. They focused on the performances...the awesome music, the dancing, the costumes, the art of the show. Every song & dance number was broadcast in its entirety, and there were titles indicating who every singer was. The commentators didn't say much, just occasionally gave brief backgrounds on the various singers and groups, explaining the context of their popularity in Greece, or whatever country they hailed from. They explained where the children who lit the torches came from, and how they got to be chosen for the ceremony.
Later in the evening, we got to see NBC's coverage of the same event. Where should I start? The camera would not stay on the singers or performances for more than 5 seconds...they focused more on the crowds of athletes on the floor, mugging for the camera. Everytime the stage performances would get interesting, they would switch to an interview with one of the American medal winners, who all looked bored and pissed off that the reporter was wasting their time instead of letting them enjoy the ceremony. They would ask all of them the same questions....'how did you feel winning that medal?' 'what has this experience been like?' Who cares????? What are they going to say, 'it sucked' on National TV? GASP! How un-American!
Whenever they DID switch back to the actual ceremony, the commentators would not shut up! And the comments they made were inane...'wow the crowd is sure going mad!'...'look at the Canadians flying their colors'.....'these singers sure have a lot of energy'......'there's the flame going back up'.....(and after the flame was extinguished)...'just like that!'
For the Canadian broadcast, I felt like I was there in the stadium with everyone else...watching NBC, it felt like watching 'Moulin Rouge' with an audio commentary by Joan Rivers and Bob Saget.