Tag: ABC

The first Olympic broadcast on U.S. television lasted only 28 minutes

AUTHOR’S NOTE #1: This blog post contains a video that is in the public domain due to said video being an official work of the United States federal government.

AUTHOR’S NOTE #2: For the purposes of this blog post, “Games of the Olympiad” refer to the Summer Olympics.

Starting Wednesday, August 3 at 9:30 A.M. CDT (10:30 A.M. EDT), NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will air a round-robin stage women’s soccer match between Sweden and South Africa in the women’s soccer tournament at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. NBCSN’s broadcast of the first event of this year’s Olympics kicks off a whopping 6,755 hours of combined television and internet livestream coverage (schedule here) across several broadcast and cable/satellite networks that are part of the Comcast-owned NBCUniversal media conglomerate and the NBC Olympics website. Since Rio is only two hours ahead of U.S. Central Daylight Time during the month of August (due to Rio being south of the equator, Rio observes daylight savings time from mid-October to mid-February, not in August), much, but not all, of NBC’s Olympic coverage in 2016 will air live. NBC Olympic television coverage will air in English on NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, MSNBC, USA, Bravo, Golf Channel, NBC Olympic 4K, NBC Olympic Soccer Channel, and NBC Olympic Basketball Channel, and in Spanish on Univision and NBC Universo.

However, NBCUniversal’s extensive coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics pales in comparison to the minimal U.S. television coverage that the 1952 Summer Olympics received. However, what little television coverage that American viewers saw of the Helsinki Olympics of 1952 was, to my knowledge, the very first time the Olympics was broadcast on American television in any form.

The first time the Olympic Games were broadcast on American television was a 28 minute broadcast (not counting any commercials that may have aired on the television broadcast) of a documentary about the Games of the XV Olympiad in Helsinki, Finland in 1952, which officially opened on July 19, 1952 and officially closed on August 3 of the same year. Back then, there was no high-definition coverage, there was no digital television coverage, there was no color television coverage, there was no live coverage of the Games, there was no Spanish-language coverage, there was no coverage of Olympic events during the Games, and there wasn’t even television coverage of the Games during the year in which they were held! Instead, American television viewers saw a documentary, produced by the U.S. Army as part of the television documentary series The Big Picture, circa early 1954 (exact air date is lost to time, although the episode in question was the fifth episode following a Christmas-themed episode dated 1953), approximately one and a half years after the closing ceremony of the Helsinki Olympics! The production was a black-and-white documentary, with English-language narration provided by members of the U.S. Army Signal Corps (USASC), of highlights of the Helsinki Olympics. The highlights focused mainly on members of the U.S. Armed Forces who were competing for Team USA in the Helsinki Olympics.

According to Central Illinois television historian and WCCU-TV weather anchor Doug Quick, The Big Picture was aired across the ABC network, although some broadcast stations that either were affiliated with other networks or were independent broadcast stations aired the program as a syndicated program as well. It’s not clear which stations, or even how many stations, aired episode TV-250 of The Big Picture, which is the episode containing the documentary about the Helsinki Olympics.

You can watch the full documentary of the Games of the XV Olympiad here:


Donald Trump steals photo from Cincinnati TV station in desperate attempt to appeal to black voters

With very little support among black voters in hypothetical general election matchups against either Democratic presidential candidate, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has resorted to stealing photos of black people in an attempt to make it look like he has more black support than he actually has:

Donald Trump stole a photo from an online news article on the website of WCPO-TV, the ABC affiliate in Cincinnati, Ohio. That is extremely unethical use of social media, and it proves that fraud and deception are Trump’s modus operandi.

An article about this subject by ThinkProgress is available here.

Game Show Review: 500 Questions

ABC has aired the first episode of a seven-part game show miniseries called 500 Questions, in which a single contestant tries to answer 500 trivia questions correctly for cash. Six more episodes are scheduled to air over most ABC affiliates; the next episode is scheduled to air tonight at 8 P.M. Eastern/7 P.M. Central, with the remaining episodes scheduled to air this coming Friday and Monday through Thursday next week. Check your local listings for air dates and times.

The show’s gameplay involves a single contestant, a challenger, and trivia questions. A single game consists of 10 rounds, with a total of 50 questions per round. In each round, ten categories of questions are used, with five questions per category. Should the contestant complete all ten rounds by answering 500 questions, the contestant wins the game. Should, at any point in the game, the contestant give three consecutive incorrect answers, the game ends, the contestant is eliminated, and the challenger becomes the new contestant. Should the contestant answer the 50th question in a round correctly, the challenger is eliminated and is replaced by a new challenger. Usually, the contestant picks which category will be used for a particular question, with one exception: When the contestant has given two consecutive incorrect answers, the challenger picks the category. The host of the show is Richard Quest, who hosts a business news program on CNN International and occasionally appears on some programs on the U.S. version of CNN.

There are four different types of question formats that are used on 500 Questions:

  • Regular – For regular questions, the contestant has ten seconds to give a single correct answer to a trivia question. Should the contestant’s first answer be correct, the contestant banks $1,000, except for the 25th and (presumably) 50th questions of each round, where the contestant wins $5,000 that is his/hers to keep, no matter what. Should the contestant give the correct answer within the ten-second time limit, the contestant is credited with a correct answer, but doesn’t bank any money. Should the contestant fail to give the correct answer within ten seconds, the contestant is credited with a wrong answer.
  • Battle – For battle questions, the contestant and the challenger go back and forth providing answers to a question with multiple correct answers. When it’s his or her turn, each player has five seconds to give a correct answer. Should all of the correct answers be given, or should the challenger give a wrong answer, the contestant is credited with a correct answer and banks $1,000. Should the contestant either give a wrong answer or fail to give an answer within five seconds on his/her turn, the contestant is credited with a wrong answer.
  • Top 10 – For top 10 questions, either the contestant or the challenger has to provide five correct answers to a question, with a 15-second time limit and a maximum of ten answer attempts. The contestant can either play the question or pass the question to the challenger. Should the contestant opt to play the question gives five correct answers without running out of time or answer attempts, the contestant is credited with a correct answer and banks $1,000. Should the contestant opt to pass the question, and the challenger runs out of time or answer attempts before giving five correct answers, the contestant is credited with a correct answer and banks $1,000. Should the contestant play the question and run out of time or answer attempts before giving five correct answers, the contestant is credited with a wrong answer. Should the contestant pass the question, and the challenger gives five correct answers without running out of time or answer attempts, the contestant is credited with a wrong answer.
  • Triple Threat – For triple threat questions, the contestant has to provide three correct answers to a question, with a ten-second time limit. Should the contestant give three correct answers within the 10-second time limit, the contestant banks $3,000 and is credited with a correct answer. Should the contestant run out of time before giving three correct answers, the contestant is credited with a wrong answer.

Since the contestant on the first episode didn’t reach the 50th question before the end of the episode, I don’t know if the contestant wins the money he/she has banked for giving a correct answer on the 50th question and starts winning money for each question after the 50th question, or if the contestant wins the money he/she has banked for a correct answer on the 50th question of each round.

Below the line break is my review of 500 Questions.


The format of the show is going to receive low marks from me, for one simple reason: There’s only seven scheduled episodes, and the contestant on the first episode isn’t currently on track to answer 500 questions before the end of the seventh episode. In fact, the first of ten rounds was still in progress at the end of the first episode! However, there are a couple of good things about the show’s format: First, the questions are difficult, as one would expect from a primetime quiz show, but not ridiculously difficult. Second, there’s no lifelines or multiple choice answers to make things easier for the contestant. I’ll give the format a 4 on a scale of 0 to 10.


The host of the show is Richard Quest, who, to my knowledge, has no prior experience hosting a game show and has spent most, if not all, of his broadcasting career in cable news. However, Quest is a surprisingly good game show host, having not made any mistakes that I noticed on the first episode and having conducted himself in an engaging, professional manner. One issue I do have with Quest is that he’s not that great at explaining the rules of the game, although he didn’t explain anything incorrectly on the first episode that I noticed. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Quest is considered as a possible host of the syndicated game show Jeopardy! when Alex Trebek decides to retire, probably in 2018. I’ll give Quest a 8 on a scale of 0 to 10.


The show’s set is very dark, even by the standards of a primetime quiz show, although I didn’t have any difficulty reading most of the graphics that were displayed in the studio. The only studio graphics that I had trouble reading were the category labels, as the font for them is too crunched down for me to see without my eyeglasses. I’ll give the show’s set a 5 on a scale of 0 to 10.


On a scale of 0 to 30, 500 Questions earns a score of 17. While the show’s format is overly long and is filmed in a very dark studio, the show’s host and questions with just the right difficulty make it worth the seven episodes the series is scheduled for.

Aaron Camp, Executive Producer

If I were the executive producer of this show, I would completely reformat the show, rename the show, and hope that the show would get at least a 13-week run on a major network, probably in primetime. Here’s how I would format the show:

  • The show would be renamed 50 Questions.
  • Money banked would be won for every tenth question answered correctly.
  • Battle questions and top 10 questions would be worth $2,000.
  • Ten consecutive correct answers by the contestant would eliminate the challenger.
  • Who Wants to be a Millionaire?-style fast finger segment, but with typed answers instead of multiple-choice answers, would be used to select contestants and challengers.
  • 50 questions answered correctly without three consecutive wrong answers would result in the contestant winning the game.
  • The set would be nowhere near as dark.
  • The grand prize for winning the game would consist of, in addition to the money won by correct answers during the game, a jackpot consisting of a luxury or sports car, a few other nice prizes (such as trips, boats, trailers, rooms of furniture, full set of kitchen appliances, etc.), and a very large amount of cash, with any unearned cash that was banked being added to the jackpot each time a contestant fails to outright win the game.

While I don’t think that 500 Questions is going to last more than the seven episodes it’s currently scheduled for, it’s an interesting game show.

The New York City media is a textbook example of how the corporate media encourages racism in America

The local news media in the New York City television market, the largest local television market in the entire country, is a textbook example of how the local television newscasts in this country encourage racism in America.

Color of Change, an organization noted for its progressive and civil rights advocacy, published this infographic to their Twitter page. The infographic makes these two main points:

  1. While 51% of the people arrested by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for murder, assault, and/or theft are black, a whopping 75% of the people that local television newscasts in the New York City market broadcast as being responsible for murder, assault, and/or theft are black.
  2. The fact that the local television newscasts in the New York City market broadcast instances of black people being responsible for crimes at a considerably higher percentage than the percentage of black people who are arrested by the NYPD for crimes cause many non-black viewers in the New York City area to develop hatred towards black people and drive a stereotype that all black people are criminals that should be avoided at all costs, which is an absolutely false stereotype.

You can view the full report on how local television newscasts in the New York City media market encourage racism in the New York City area here. The report studied local newscasts on four New York City local TV stations: WCBS-TV, WNBC-TV, WNYW-TV, and WABC-TV.

As a resident of the Champaign-Springfield television market in Illinois, I can attest that the local TV stations around here also broadcast instances of black people being accused of crimes at a far higher rate than the percentage of black people in the area covered by the Champaign-Springfield television market. In fact, the fact that local TV stations across the country tend to report instances of black people being accused of crimes at a far higher rate than the percentage of black people in the local television markets they serve is, more than likely, a nationwide problem that is dividing this country along racial lines.

Corporate media launches racist attack against Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges because she pointed at black guy

KSTP-TV, the Hubbard Broadcasting-owned ABC affiliate in Minneapolis, Minnesota, ran a racist smear piece against Minneapolis, Minnesota Mayor Betsy Hodges on one of their local newscasts earlier this week because she was filmed pointing at Navell Gordon, a black community activist affiliated with a group called Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, during a get-out-the-vote (GOTV) effort in Minneapolis for the this year’s November elections.

KSTP has been the subject of frequent criticism since they ran that racist piece, in fact, the Twitter hashtag #pointergate has been trending non-stop on Twitter since not long after KSTP aired and published the piece. KSTP deserves to be criticized over this, in my opinion. This smear attack against Hodges is clearly racist, since KSTP wouldn’t have aired such a piece if the person she was pointing at was a white person like me.

KSTP responded to the criticism over their racist piece by claiming that they aired and published the piece because the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) asked them to do so. Given that most police officers in this country are more interested in hunting down black people than actually protecting and serving their communities these days, it’s even worse that KSTP admitted to being a public relations shop for the police department of Minnesota’s largest city.

It’s bad enough that there are tons of right-wing Republican politicians who launch Willie Horton-style attacks against Democratic candidates for public office. It’s even worse that the corporate media is doing the Willie Horton-style attacks against Democratic elected officials themselves. These kind of pieces by the corporate media do nothing but stir up racial tensions in this country.

Betsy Hodges is not a gangbanger, and for KSTP to effectively claim that she is amounts to nothing more than a racist attack against her. It’s about damn time that the corporate media got called out on their race-baiting and right-wing bias in a big way!