Shaun WhiteLatest News and Opinion
Posted Saturday 2/17/18 at 1:46AM EST
Olympic broadcasters need to have personality, zero chill and the ability to know when to shut up
Those are just three of the five things that make Olympic broadcasters great, according to Jen Chaney. The other two are expertise and the ability to match the mood of an event. Here is Chaney on the broadcasting quality of knowing when to shut up: "This matters because you can avoid saying things on live television that you’ll need to apologize for later, but even more importantly, it’s also a way to let a moment breathe. During Shaun White’s final gold-medal-winning halfpipe run earlier this week, the Todds (snowboarding commentators Todd Harris and Todd Richards) stopped talking as White prepared to go for his medal, letting the moment and the tension speak for itself. They did the same thing while White waited for his score to be announced. A good Olympics broadcaster can read a moment and understand when the best thing he or she can do is just get out of the way."
- Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir have elevated NBC's Winter Olympics with their chemistry and frank analysis
- Watch a German's figure skater's Game of Thrones-themed routine
- NBC's streaming of the Winter Olympics has been frustrating
- Snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis deserved the redemption narrative NBC gave to Shaun White
- Olympians should get their medals immediately after the event
Posted Thursday 2/15/18 at 4:30AM EST
Mike Tirico hasn't done anything memorable as the new Olympics host, and NBC "must be thrilled"
"Why does Mike Tirico exist?" asks Willa Paskin. NBC had an opportunity to reimagine its Olympics coverage when replacing Bob Costas. Instead, the network "has essentially reupholstered that old chair," says Paskin, noting that picking Tirico was a way of making sure it didn't shake up a format that has proven successful. The only interesting thing so far, she points out, was Tirico's interview with Shaun White, since both have been accused of sexual harassment in the past. "Tirico has promised to be less political than Costas, and he’s done nothing in his first week on set to suggest he’ll rock the Olympics boat," says Paskin. "If Costas was a shishito pepper—nine times out of 10, not spicy at all!—then Tirico is a banana pepper—maybe after a few days in vinegar he’d sort of make your mouth tingle. Tirico has ably stepped into the job of host by doing nothing memorable, all while emitting a faint whiff of being perfectly pleasant."
- Tirico addressed the Florida school shooting: “It’s in the thoughts of every American over here, half a world away in South Korea"
- NBC seemed to be afraid of the optics of Tirico asking White about sexual harassment
- NBC appears to have decided that it won't touch on sexual misconduct during the Olympics
- NBC commentator Bode Miller apologizes after "joking" that skier Anna Veith's marriage was to blame for her poor performance
- NBC hasn't done a good job explaining Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski's roles as commentators
- In praise of Weir and Lipinski: They are less sentimental and more in tune with Olympians than other commentators
Posted Wednesday 2/14/18 at 2:16AM EST
NBC turned its Winter Olympics snowboarding coverage into the Shaun White show
The now three-time Winter Olympics gold medalist is "a scintillating performer, and a remarkably clutch one," says Josh Levin and Justin Peters. But NBC tried to portray him with a "bogus" "triumph-over-adversity tale" that failed to mention the sexual assault lawsuit he settled and his unpopularity with fellow snowboarders. "NBC’s coverage of White demonstrates it’s incapable of acknowledging that the greatest athletes can sometimes be the biggest jerks," says Levin and Peters. "The network likes to portray its American Olympic heroes as cuddly, wholesome, and likable, even when they’re nothing of the sort. As a storyline, 'Shaun White: Greatest Snowboarder Ever' pales in comparison to 'Shaun White: Greatest Snowboarder Ever and a Super Nice Guy.' NBC needed us to want White to win—to see his victory as an unambiguous triumph."
Posted Tuesday 2/13/18 at 1:51PM EST
Why hasn't NBC mentioned the sexual harassment allegations against Shaun White?
The two-time Winter Olympics gold medalist snowboarder has had a "road to redemption" storyline" in Pyeongchang, but there has been no mention so far of the sexual harassment allegations leveled against him by his band's former drummer. According to Slate, "NBC declined to answer a series of questions about whether it was aware of the allegations against White, whether the network planned to mention the allegations or settlement on air, or whether it would ask White about the claims in an interview."