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Did NBC snub gay diver?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by MTM, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. MTM

    MTM Well-Known Member

    The following is from outsports.com, whose editor was on with Dan Patrick this a.m. bemoaning the fact NBC did not mention that an Olympic gold medalist diver is openly gay.
    He wasn't pushing for an "Up Close and Personal" report, but said even a slight mention would have been appropriate.
    Would it have been? It wasn't mentioned that Michael Phelps is "openly straight." On the other hand, NBC did show shots of spouses or boy/girlfriends in the stands and didn't show the diver's partner.


    NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel has issued an apology for his reporting team not mentioning on air that gold-medal diver Matthew Mitcham is gay and has a partner:

    “We regret that we missed the opportunity to tell Matthew Mitcham’s story. We apologize for this unintentional omission.”

    The statement comes after an NBC spokesperson defended the network’s decision not to mention it.

    Zenkel’s response was pretty short and sweet, but is this case closed? They blew it and acknowledged such (after, as I said, defending the decision).

    Does Zenkel mean what he says? We’ll see. Couldn’t they make good by doing a story on Mitcham on one of their news or talk shows? That would ceratinly show a deep acknowledgment that they messed up.

    The real test will come the next time they’re faced with such an opportunity. Do the commentators mention next time that the athlete they’re reporting on is gay? And now, at what point does NBC or any other media company feel the responsibility to mention someone’s sexuality? I can’t imagine that the softball or soccer commentators mentioned the sexual orientation of lesbian players out there (there were three out American lesbians between the two sports). But on the flip side, I haven’t heard anyone getting up in arms about it. I wonder why.
  2. partain

    partain Member

    As someone who watched the Olympics with his 2-year-old son, I'd prefer they didn't discuss anyone's sexual exploits on the telecasts.

    That being said, everyone over age 10 who watched the diving could tell the guy is gay.
  3. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Is showing his partner any different than showing the families of other athletes? It isn't, and being gay isn't just about sex. To think that is to show a fairly deep level of ignorance.
  4. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Pretend some of us didn't watch... how?
  5. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    I watched, and I couldn't. I mean he seemed pretty much like the rest of the divers, although he was a bit bulkier.
  6. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    If they were showing relatives and/or partners of divers except his contingent, I think the apology was in order. I don't think they should have made any big deal or said anything more beyond "here is his mother, father, partner, etc." though because it doesn't matter.

    And your statement by being able to tell by looking is quite humorous, partain.
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you were paying close attention.
  8. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    It was the 'I Heart Greg Louganis' tattoo he had on the small of his back.

    Then again, the fact he was from Australia might have had added a little something to do with the US stations not turning him into a feature story.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Uh, yeah. I didn't see a lot of relatives of Chinese medal winners, that I recall.
  10. KG

    KG Active Member

    They wouldn't have to go into any deep details about his sex life. All they had to do was show his partner in the stands and say this is so and so, his partner. There were some mentions of spouses and parents of athletes from other countries, just not their life stories.
  11. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    They also discussed the love life of Guo Jingjing, the female Chinese diver, in detail.
  12. partain

    partain Member

    Didn't see that piece, and wouldn't have wanted to. I just wanted to watch sports with my son -- who at 2 years old enjoyed imitating whatever he saw on the screen. He was jumping off chairs during the diving, doing his own version of flips during gymnastics and batting around a beach ball during the volleyball (both indoor and beach). Why mess up a good thing with a lot of talk about things that the rest of us don't need to know in the first place?
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