Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Posted by Letters editor
Outrage over time delay
Editor, The Times:
I would like to express my disappointment and anger at the International Olympic Committee for allowing their American broadcast partner NBC to control access to all Olympic coverage [“Outrage flows over NBC coverage,” Travel and Recreation, Feb. 18].
NBC is broadcasting most events live for the Eastern and Central time zones, but waiting three hours to show the tape-delayed coverage to those in the Mountain and Pacific time zones. It is particularly galling to those of us in Seattle — who live less than two hours from Vancouver — to not see all the coverage as it is happening.
Watching any Olympic coverage online is equally frustrating. You have to prove to NBC that you have paid for a cable subscription to access any live streams from Vancouver.
But NBC doesn’t stop there; they negotiated the right to control what foreign Web sites Americans are allowed to access. If you have an American IP address — the unique number that identifies the location of your computer on the Internet — you are prevented from going to the CTV Web site (the Canadian network) and watching any live-streaming video.
One corporation is controlling how Americans get to experience the Olympics and is also controlling what is available on the Internet — the perceived final bastion of media democracy. It makes me realize how important it is to prevent the monopolization of the media. I urge everybody to think about this example of corporate overreach and what it portends for our country.
— Lori L. George, North Bend
Twitter faster than NBC
I am calling on all the major news outlets to voice loudly that the television tape delay in the West is absurd. We are the only part of the world that is unable to view the games live and what is more absurd is that they are being played in our time zone. In this day and age — with up-to-the-minute coverage through sites like Twitter and Facebook — the results are known before they air in the West.
Does NBC not realize that isolating 100 million Americans from live coverage results in lower ratings? NBC has dropped the ball and news organizations with the power to report, especially in the Pacific Northwest, have the responsibility to make this known.
— Tarin Abbott, Pullman
Overcoming the luge tragedy
As a former Seattle resident who now lives in British Columbia, I enjoyed your article about how the death of the [Georgian] luge athlete affected Whistler [“Tragedy puts Whistler in a somber mood,” page one, Feb. 13].
But I have an idea that I have proposed up here to help ease the pain: Name the new Olympic luge course and venue in memory of the 21-year-old Nodar Kumaritashvili. A ceremony could be held before the Games end — maybe during the closing ceremony — so his Georgian teammates and staff could attend. Later, a more formal ceremony could be held involving his family.
This young man died doing what he loved. That is what we should remember in the end.
— Scott W. Larsen, New Westminster, B.C.
Surprise over fan fervor
The reaction of many in the world to what apparently seems to them to be an uncharacteristic shift in attitude and behavior on the part of Canadians in our Olympic celebrations reveals what happens when a comfortable, convenient stereotype appears to no longer have any validity or traction.
We are used to Americans unpacking the usual tedious hockey and “eh” jokes or saying the “Canadians are among the nicest people in the world.” Australians tend to appreciate Canada as nothing more than a convenient skiing stop on their worldwide “Walkabouts” and others see our liberal immigration and refugee laws as an opportunity for exploitation and profit.
So when Canadians demonstrate the kind of assertiveness, open pride and even arrogance that is so commonly displayed by some other nations and their athletes, there arises a kind of curious resentment and backlash. We are not behaving as we should, as we always have or how you expect us to. The stereotype comfort zone has been challenged.
It seems to come as a shock to some other countries that we not only feel as much pride in our culture and achievements as they do, but are also as willing to openly proclaim and display that pride as they are. Among other things, the Olympics are serving as a means of deconstructing the view that others have of us as an “after you, thank you and gosh we are just so satisfied to place third” type of culture. We are declaring, in our own way, that such stereotypical notions of us are no longer convenient or useful.
— Ray Arnold, Richmond, B.C.
Feb 21 - 7:00 AM Sen. Patty Murray plans to reintroduce Wild Olympics bill
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Feb 21 - 7:00 AM President Obama's early childhood education expansion proposal
Feb 21 - 7:00 AM Don't restrict public's right to access information
Feb 20 - 4:00 PM Lake Burien: public, but private