Wednesday, February 15, 2006

USAToday: NBC Chooses to Keep the Faith Out of Olympics — For Now

(Hat tip: Amy Welborn)

It seems I'm not the only one who has noticed that NBC hasn't said squat about the Shroud of Turin during their coverage of the Turin Winter Olympic Games:
Should NBC get a gold medal for political correctness for its coverage of the Torino Olympics?

The only flag-waving seen during coverage has been by U.S. athletes. NBC announcers and reporters are forbidden from using words like "we," "us" or "our" when referring to the U.S. team. Those American flag pins so prominent on the lapels of broadcasters after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks are absent.

And, over five days of coverage so far, NBC (with the exception of Today) has yet to mention the Shroud of Turin. Whether you venerate the Shroud as the actual burial cloth of a crucified Jesus of Nazareth or dismiss it as a clever medieval forgery, it's odd NBC has ignored one of world's most mysterious, and controversial, religious artifacts.

With rioting continuing in some Muslim countries over Danish cartoons portraying the Prophet Mohammed, Catholic League President Bill Donohue believes a "hypocritical" NBC is deliberately avoiding religion. "If you asked the average American to name something about Turin, Italy, they'd name the Shroud," Donohue said. "It's like having the Olympics in Fort Knox and not mentioning gold."

David Neal, executive producer of NBC's Olympic coverage, said the network trains its talent at seminars to be consistently fair, neutral and objective. "We are here to document the Olympics; we're not here to be cheerleaders," Neal said Tuesday from Torino. Coincidentally, NBC is routinely accused of pushing U.S. propaganda. "Every two years," Neal said, "some columnist will write NBC is being jingoistic."

As for the Shroud, NBC is working on a feature, Neal added. The reason it hasn't aired yet is simple, Neal said. The network is cutting back on features to concentrate on event action. Stay tuned.

(emphasis added)
My Comments:
Bill Donohue stole my quote. Sorta. Just the other day I made the following observation:
"That would be a little like holding the Olympics in Salt Lake City and never mentioning the Mormons."
Bill, if you're reading, how about voting for this blog in the 2006 Catholic Blog Awards?

Other Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Mention of Shroud Absent From Turin Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Holy or Hoax, Shroud Still a Draw


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