NBC Snubs More Than Mitcham’s Sexuality
BY Eric Shaw Quinn
August 28 2008 12:00 AM ET
closing ceremonies special tribute videos aired for these
and many other athletes, but nothing for the young gay
man from Australian who had pulled off a miracle to
win a gold medal -- and did it with grace, style, and
humility under tremendous pressure. While his win as an
openly gay man was history to at least 10% of
NBC’s viewers, Matthew was also the only diver
to beat the Chinese to the Gold in Beijing. His was
the highest-scoring dive in the competition, and he did it
at the last moment with a near-perfect score on one of
the most difficult dives ever attempted at the
Olympics. Somehow, none of his outstanding athletic
performance warranted NBC’s further coverage of
just forget to say that Matthew was gay. NBC systematically
erased him from all coverage, shoved him back in their
closet, and pretended that he didn’t exist.
That’s where I see the true media bigotry.
It is a sad
reminder that even now, with all the progress that
we’ve made, such overt bias still informs the
editorial choices of the mainstream media in this
country. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised in
this atmosphere of subtle prejudice where a black candidate
for president, example to millions, a man who has
personally benefited more from the civil rights
movement than any other in the history of our country,
is himself opposed to equal rights for gay Americans.
I just thought
the Olympics were supposed to be about more -- a time to
put aside our differences, great and petty, to rise to the
occasion and shelve nationalism and bigotry of all
Matthew and nine
other openly gay athletes were there, so I suppose
that’s true of the Olympic Games, just not their
American TV coverage.
Shame on you,
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