Does Matt Drudge want three NBC reporters exiled to Siberia? A call for Vladmir Putin to arrest three NBC reporters who are covering the Winter Olympics was made by Drudge Report founder and political news legend, Matt Drudge, on Friday. Drudge tweeted, "Putin should arrest Lauer, Remnick and Vieira for disruption and disgrace while Russia put on a spectacular opening ceremony!!"
Somehow, Matt's idea that Russia's Putin would be mad at NBC is bewildering. That's because many think that NBC is trying to do all by themselves what President Obama has never managed -- push the reset button with Russia that Obama promised.
NBC's three hosts included Meredith Vieira, who according to the New York Times (NYT), was chosen "to add some charisma to Matt Lauer’s coverage of the opening ceremony." To add "intellectual heft" New Yorker editor David Remnick, author of “Lenin’s Tomb,” was NBC's choice. Although the NYT article didn't quite label Matt Lauer as an abysmally non-charismatic, non-intellectual NBC host, the author did point out that the “Today" show, for so long "No. 1, is now steadily beaten by “Good Morning America” on ABC."
No matter how carefully the network tried to pad the NBC team with intellect and charisma, the context of Drudge's shocking tweet appeared against the background of the hash tag, "#NBCfail." The damning hash tag has intermittently trended on Twitter since the beginning of the NBC coverage of the Russian Winter Olympics opening.
Arguably, the tag has some political leanings pointing to NBC as a "biased network" that gives rotten coverage with empty comments sooo intellectual that Meredith suggested viewers "Google it," if they didn't understand. If that comment was an example of Vieira's brand of charisma in action, please know an apology is on the way.
Currently, the most significant "fail" of NBC, is directed towards an inexplicable bit of selective editing. Amid volatile political issues of American news coverage focusing on Russia's anti-gay laws, IOC president Thomas Bach strongly came out against "any form of discrimination" in favor of tolerance in his opening statement.
Unfortunately, NBC viewers weren't allowed to hear that statement because the network scrubbed it. It's illogical to think that Putin would be angry at NBC for squashing the spotlight on his controversial gay rights policies; their move was more of a wink, wink, nod, nod, favor.
In fact, NBC's editing job is seen by many viewers as supportive of Putin's anti-gay policies, an example of blatant "NBC suck-uppery." Twitter member, Dan Twohig complained, "I expect bad coverage from @NBCOlympics but essentially conspiring with Putin? This is beyond unacceptable." Agreed Yo, "NBC does Pravda proud, censors replay for American audience." What's not for Putin to love?
There has also been some outrage over an NBC reference to decades of Soviet communism as a "pivotal experiment." The response, again, was that NBC was in bed with Putin. The Twitchy Team remarked, "Wow. There’s downplaying, and then there’s downplaying. Did Putin get to personally edit NBC’s scripts?"
Mouth-dropping speculation that editing and choice of terminology has positioned NBC as "Putin's friendly propaganda network" would hardly provide a reason for Putin to arrest "Lauer, Remnick and Vieira for disruption and disgrace." Quite the contrary, Putin should be hugging NBC harder than viewers think they are hugging Putin. However, it's undeniable that the NBC furor is a distraction from what Putin clearly hopes to be a shining moment in Sochi for Russia.
Perhaps there is another reason, something anti-Putin that Matt Drudge has observed which has escaped most viewers. Who knows why Drudge thought it possible that Putin would think NBC was disrupting his show? As often is the case, Drudge has left another cryptic tweet, dangling, to be interpreted at will. The last time he did this, he almost incited fears an economic crash was imminent.
Currently Drudge Report coverage of Russia's Winter Olympics is extensive and ongoing. However, the headline banner in all caps, "IRAN WARSHIPS SENT TO USA BORDERS," may cause NBC, Putin, and the world to blink.