Former NBC journalist, and host of 12 Olympic Games, Bob Costas made his feelings very clear about the upcoming Beijing Games and specifically the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to stage the Games in China a second time.
Speaking to CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday, Costas said, “The IOC deserves all of the disdain and disgust that comes their way for going back to China yet again.”
“They (the IOC) are shameless about this stuff,” Costas said.
The 28-time Emmy award winner singled out the Beijing 2008 and Sochi 2014 Games as examples of the IOC’s disregard towards basic human rights when selecting host cities for the Olympics. “There is a greater understanding of everything China represents.”
NBC-TV, the exclusive broadcaster of the Olympics in the United States has said they won’t shy away from political topics during the Beijing Games, but insisted the main focus will be on the competition and not human rights or diplomatic boycotts.
“We are going to be focusing on telling the stories of Team USA and covering the athletes,” said Molly Solomon the executive producers and president of NBC Olympic Production.
“The world, as we all know, is a really complicated place right now. We understand there are some difficult issues regarding the host nation.”
During the CNN interview Costas admitted covering the Olympics is a unique challenge for NBC because the network pays so much for the rights to broadcast the Games, they become more a cheerleader for the Olympics.
“It’s the centerpiece of the entire network strategy. I would anticipate NBC will acknowledge the issues at the beginning, and then address them only if something specific happens that can’t be ignored.”