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October 24, 2014

Brian Williams ruined Opening Ceremonies

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 11th 2006 2:24PM
brian williams olympicsThe Olympics. An event where athletes from every country in the world gather to compete in sports. It's a time of unity. Of heroes. Of peace. Somebody needs to clue Brian Williams in.

He joined Bob Costas as the commentator for the Opening Ceremonies of the Turino, Italy Olympic games last night. And I almost through threw the remote control through the television set. Williams felt the need to share his news knowledge with the rest of us by mentioning some not-so-happy news events related to specific nations as they paraded into Olympic stadium. Denmark? Williams mentions the cartoon that triggered riots in Muslim nations. China? He talks about human rights and environmental standards. Iran? He says that country's leader has called for the destruction of Israel. I much prefer the interesting factoids about the nations, their Olympic history, and notable Olympians.

His comments were unfair to the athletes of those nations. The news and controversy surrounding certain nations lately are not representative of the athletes who are competing.

**Apparently, the Daily Nightly commenters agree.

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randf

Eeyore does Geography during the Opening Ceremony....

"here's denmark, (sigh) they're responsible for the cartoon that everyone hates. here's iran, they want the bomb (sigh) and are going to destory israel. has anyone seen my tail?"

February 17 2006 at 6:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordon Werner

I wish that NBC would stop interupting the commercials with all those Olympics breaks.

February 13 2006 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob McCarty

As an Air Force public affairs officer, I had the opportunity to meet and work with NBC's Brian Williams in the spring of 1991.

You know him today as host of the NBC Nightly News; back then, however, he was a rising star, working as evening anchor for WCBS, CBSs flagship TV station in New York City.

I was serving as chief of public affairs for the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing at Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta, Georgia. [Note to file: For you trivia buffs, the base is located about 30 minutes down the highway from the site where they filmed the swamp scene in the movie, Deliverance.]

Operation Desert Shield was about to turn into Operation Desert Storm a.k.a., the first Persian Gulf War and Mr. Williams wanted to do an up-close-and-personal story about the folks who would soon be flying their F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft into harms way over the skies of Iraq. The folks at the pentagon sent him to our sleepy little base deep in the heart of South Georgia.

In addition to arranging interviews with fighter pilots and others at the base, we were told to provide Mr. Williams with a ride in the backseat of an F-16. Before anyone rides in the back of a fighter jet, however, he has to have a physical and complete pre-flight training that includes learning how to get out of the jet in the event of an emergency. Part of that training was something we called hang and harness training.

Hang and harness training is just like it sounds. A person hangs from a harness to get an idea of what it feels like to use a parachute. Standing on a platform several feet off the ground, Mr. Williams had a parachute pack strapped on his back and was connected by cables to a mechanical rigging device suspended from the ceiling.

The gear worn by Mr. Williams included two main straps, each of which extended from his shoulder area, down across his chest and under his crotch where they passed by his family jewels one strap on each side and continued up his back side where they connected with the bottom of the parachute sack.

Despite being told more than once by his Air Force instructors that he should tighten those straps until they were very snug, the anchor-man ignored the advice. When the time came for him to jump from the platform to the ground below, simulating the feel of a real jump, the anchormans less-than-snug straps suddenly became snug and in an oh-so-painful way.

These days, I cant even watch him on the NBC Nightly News without thinking back to that painful moment which, by the way, he didnt even mention in his story. Thanks for the memories, Mr. Williams.

February 12 2006 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
k2

He's ignorant. I just flipped away from NBC. It's a sporting event, not political bashing, you moron. This is why most of us (who'd admitted it) got satellite hookup or Tivo-ed away from this sort of satire crap. Thanks for ruining the Olympic, Williams.

February 12 2006 at 12:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
D Gillespie

Bob Costas and Katie Couric were a winning combination at the Salt Lake Olympics. If it ain't broke - don't fix it.

February 11 2006 at 11:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
maryann greenstone

you miss the point...the amazing thing about the olympics is that enemies can suspend animosity and sit together. the one exception in summer when iran refused to let its rep compete against israel. this is not only about athletics.......it is political and hopeful that we can really live together!

February 11 2006 at 11:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kim White

i agree, he stated the things we know and really didn't watch the olympics to hear about...

Geeee but I do miss the east germans and soviets...

February 11 2006 at 10:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kenivc

Yes, but people who bother to tune in to the opening night of the games, have already heard the news on dozens of other outlets throughout the week and on Friday..those folks who do not know what is going on in the world are probably not watching Olympic coverage of any sort.

February 11 2006 at 8:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Abbey

I disagree. Brian Williams seized an opportunity to inform many who pay little or no attention whatsoever to world news events. Too many Americans live in their own bubble. The world at large effects us all.

February 11 2006 at 7:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gary

I 100% agree. B-Will had no business at last night's opening ceremonies. He was dishing out the stuffy negativity at such a rapid clip, I thought I was watching a SNL "Debbie Downer" skit.

February 11 2006 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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