NY Mag – Attempting to silence one’s critics online almost always results in a massive magnification of their complaints. Today’s example comes via the British journalist Guy Adams, who spent hours on Friday bashing NBC’s delayed stateside coverage of the Olympics as “disgusting money-grabbing” by “total buffoons.” In one tweet from his rant, Adams wrote, “The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven’t started yet is Gary Zenkel. Tell him what u think! Email: Gary.firstname.lastname@example.org.” Soon after, Adams found his account had been suspended — “for posting an individual’s private information such as private email address,” as Twitter later informed him. Whether the address in question was actually private is arguable, but the shaky application of the rule is only undermined by the fact that Twitter and NBC have a strategic partnership for the Games.
It’s rare that you get a controversy like this that’s so cut-and-dried. 99% of the time you can make a decent argument either way, but not this time. This is one of those rarest of occasions where both sides are absolutely in the wrong. Obviously NBC and Twitter have decided to take a deep breath, count to three, and shove their heads up their own asses over nothing. So some slapdick British journalist decided to Tweet a network exec’s corporate email address. So what? It’s obviously not like the guy Twit out you’re home phone number or address of your kids’ daycare or released a sex tape of Savannah Guthrie. If he’d just ignored the silly bastard, Gary Zenkel probably would’ve gotten 20 emails and the whole thing would be forgotten by now. But instead, NBC and Twitter turned some obscure critic into a martyr. Smart move.
But that doesn’t mean I think Guy Adams is right by any means. With so many legit reasons to rip NBC (John McEnroe interviewing people for one), I don’t get this beef about tape-delaying some of the events. Honestly, who cares? I’ve waited four years to get the results of Women’s Pairs Badminton, what’s another couple of hours. The Olympics aren’t a sporting event; they’re a TV show. Something to It’s not like say, March Madness when you’ve got a dog in the fight and you need to know who won right away. Unless that’s your kid competing in Team Handball, you flip on the Olympics whenever you’re in front of the TV as an alternative to watching sitcom reruns or “Wipeout.” Guy Adams can call NBC “disgusting money-grabbers,” but they paid more for the broadcast rights than the whole British Isle is worth, so they’ve got the right to show what they want when they want. Let him buy the goddamn rights, then he can put stuff on at 9 in the morning when no one’s watching. The ironic thing is all that money didn’t buy NBC thicker skin. @JerryThornton1