There was an NFL game on NBC last night, and it was a doozy. The San Francisco 49ers were ahead of the New England Patriots 31-3 at one point on the Pats’ home turf before New England went on a tear, rallying for 28 unanswered points to tie the game at 31-all before the Niners pulled away again for a wild 41-34 win.
But there was something else going on behind the scenes early on while that game was going on. There was a memorial service happening in Newtown, Connecticut, for the victims of Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. President Obama spoke during the service. NBC broke away from the football game to broadcast Obama’s speech.
I’ve been in and around the media for the better part of my life now. I know how decisions can be made when it comes to making a decision to interrupt the broadcast of a football game to show a presidential speech instead. And I feel very comfortable — without having spoken to anyone at NBC — in saying that the President of the United States is not the one making the call on whether a major television network should show his speech or a football game.
I feel very comfortable in saying that NBC itself made the decision, based on the mood of a nation after 27 people were shot dead in Newtown with 20 of them being under the age of 8.
That fact didn’t seem to be factored in by a bunch of people who saw fit to take to the Twitter social media stream during the interruption of the broadcast and vent their anger over the fact that their viewing on that particular channel had been cut.
Their venting wasn’t pretty. And it was captured for all to see — identities and all — at the site Deadspin.com. Some of it was racist. Pretty much all of it contained vulgarities directed at the President, seeming to think that it was his call that NBC interrupted the first quarter of the broadcast to show the speech.
Don’t say you haven’t been warned if you decide to click on the link below to see for yourself.
Yeah, it’s a free country and people are free to speak their minds and all. That also leaves people free to feel the brunt of a backlash when their true colors show for all the world to see. If you want to know what I mean, try getting into Twitter, look up the IDs of the people who vented their anger about the interruption, look at their accounts (if you can) and see the responses they got.
Yeah, it’s a free country. And may that banner ever wave.
- Seriously? Football is more Important than the Newtown Tradegy? I got to say something on that. (smcclintonjr.wordpress.com)
- Patriots Will Honor Newtown, Conn. Victims on Sunday Night Football With Helmet Decal, Flares (nesn.com)
- Obama’s Newtown speech: a nation’s grief, a father’s sympathy (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Sandy Hook shooting: NFL honors lives lost during tragedy (wjla.com)
- Sandy Hook victims honored by NFL in Week 15 (m.si.com)