Olympics-sized goofs: Today promo spoils Franklin race; NBC right to file Twitter complaint

What happened prior to the Missy Franklin race during primetime was a goof of Olympic sized proportions.

From Richard Sandomir of the New York Times:

As viewers waited to see her in the 100-meter backstroke final, NBC carried a promo for the “Today” show that said: “When you’re 17 years old and win your first gold medal, there’s nobody you’d rather share it with. We’re there when Missy Franklin and her parents reunite. A`Today’ exclusive.” The promo showed her holding her gold medal in the backstroke and embracing her parents. The result known—again, this was on tape so news of her victory was available for hours to whoever wanted to check—NBC returned from a commercial break and Dan Hicks said: “Missy Franklin just moments away from her first Olympic final.”

Really, how does this happen at a major network during a major telecast?

NBC said, sorry:

“Clearly that promo should not have aired at that time. We have a process in place and this will not happen again. We apologize to viewers who were watching and didn’t know the result of the race.”


There has been much written about Guy Adams, a British journalist who had been ripping NBC for its coverage of the Olympics. However, NBC believed Lewis crossed the line when he printed the email address for NBC executive Gary Zenkel, telling disgruntled viewers to send complaints to him.

NBC responded by filing a complaint to Twitter, which reacted by suspending Lewis’ account.

Adams responded via email to a British paper:

But I don’t see how I broke them in this case: I didn’t publish a private email address. Just a corporate one, which is widely available to anyone with access to Google, and is identical [in form] to one that all of the tens of thousands of NBC Universal employees share. It’s no more “private” than the address I’m emailing you from right now. Either way, [it’s] quite worrying that NBC, whose parent company are an Olympic sponsor, are apparently trying (and, in this case, succeeding) in shutting down the Twitter accounts of journalists who are critical of their Olympic coverage.

Totally disagree. I don’t think it is that easy to find the address of a top NBC executive. Most people aren’t reporters, and even they have trouble finding email addresses.

I’m a right to privacy person. Zenkel conducts important business with that account. How is he supposed to find essential emails among the potentially thousands of emails he will receive from viewers?

Also, plenty of people are ripping NBC and still have their Twitter accounts. Adams shouldn’t believe he is that important.

Adams would have his account if he didn’t step over the line.



2 thoughts on “Olympics-sized goofs: Today promo spoils Franklin race; NBC right to file Twitter complaint

  1. Totally disagree on the Lewis Twitter suspension. It’s a public email no matter how much effort someone would have to make to find it. Absolute abuse of power by a thin-skinned NBC. And they are butchering these Olympics.

  2. Took one search of “gary zenkel email address” to find a website from 2003 that had it. Didn’t even have to open the page. Had to change the dates to a earlier time because of all the drama. This is a bunch of $h!t.

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