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Saturday Night Card Game (NBC gets an itsy, bitsy taste of its own medicine)

Saturday Night Card Game (NBC gets an itsy, bitsy taste of its own medicine)

NBC is being accused of racism because it ran a promo for a new series featuring a monkey after a segment in which Bob Costas talked about Gabby Douglas’ Gold Medal in gymnastics.

Here’s the clip:

The reaction on Twitter was fierce.  Buzzfeed has numerous tweets, like these:

Association is not causation. That a commercial about a monkey show ran after an announcer talked about a black person does not show that the commercial was run in order to draw inappropriate comparisons.

NBC, needless to say, says it was just a coincidence with no bad intent.

And most of the media covering the racism claims played it pretty neutral, giving NBC the benefit of the doubt.  AP headlined the controversy as “Poorly Timed Ad.”

I’d like to feel sorry for NBC for coming under such a plainly false accusation of racial intent.  Except it’s what NBC does to others all the time, including when dealing with Mitt Romney:

MSNBC now is almost all race card all the time:

Now NBC knows how it feels, for just a relative nano-second.


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Racism? Not really. NBC certainly did not intend it. It was a mistake. But comedy embarrassment gold, yes, NBC certainly skewered itself. Bob Costas gets be clowned by his own mistake. Better screen those commercials better next time!

I wish as a matter of karma it was Andrea Mitchell who got caught doing this. That would be better than ice cream.

    bobby b in reply to EBL. | August 4, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    It would be good, certainly.

    I’d be willing to stipulate to “very, very good.”

    But, “better than ice cream” good?

    I’m still not even sure if sex is better than ice cream.

Isn’t it really a comment on the racial fixation of those who took exception?

On the subject of Gabby, quite a few are embarrassed that…

1. she is an out-spoken Christian, and

2. her dad is a proud member of the U.S. Air Force.

What a world…what a world…

    WarEagle82 in reply to Ragspierre. | August 4, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I was thinking the same thing. Some folks are just looking to take offense. Now, if they had run an ad for the “KKK” it would be a different thing.

    How long after a story must one not run commercials using certain words or images? Seriously? One minute? Fifteen minutes? An hour? What are the rules? Are the rules the same for lefties and conservatives? Oh, sorry. What was I thinking…

      Ragspierre in reply to WarEagle82. | August 4, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      War, this whole ambit is outside my kin.

      When I see that talented, beautiful, vivacious young lady, I cannot imagine associating her with a simian on a commercial.

      I can happily say…

        I agree Rags. But the money was doing gymnastics, so any excuse for outrage. That said, NBC brings this sort of thing down on itself the rest of the year with the real monkeys over at MSNBC. Who knew MS stood for Monkey Simian?

          Ragspierre in reply to EBL. | August 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm

          Monied Simian I think is perfectly apt. I’ve never seen Ed Schultz without being struck by that appellation…

          WarEagle82 in reply to EBL. | August 4, 2012 at 7:45 pm

          Frankly, that is a terribly insulting thing to monkeys everywhere…

        WarEagle82 in reply to Ragspierre. | August 4, 2012 at 7:27 pm

        It is really strange. When I first saw the news and her picture, the first thought was “what a wonderfully talented you lady.” It took a bunch of race-obsessed idiots to inject “race.”

        If you think about “race” all day, every day, then you will see “race” everywhere. But normal folks aren’t that way…

          Yeah, I agree, WE. About the third day I glimpsed her there was a scene with the rest of her team whilst they stylishly marched off the floor. OMG, I thought, that delightful young lady is “black”. Who knew?

          But then I don’t see “race” everywhere I look, even though I have a black grandson. Just not doing my part, I guess.

      bobby b in reply to WarEagle82. | August 4, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      “Some folks are just looking to take offense.”
      – – –

      Dissent in this one instance.

      I saw the commentary, quickly followed by the ad, and I just cringed for the pain that I had no doubt the TV people were feeling exactly right then.

      I never doubted the unintentionality of the screwup, but these TV people get paid a ton of money in order to perform at a high level exactly those tasks that this “oops” moment reveals they’ve not been doing so well at all.

      But – and here’s the thing, for me at least – the networks will rake any conservative who made such a stumblebum showing over the coals for as long as they can – gotta hate that vile Rightist racism! – and their entire narrative will begin with the assumption that a gaffe was suffered when someone revealed their truly racist mind.

      So, scroom.


    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Ragspierre. | August 4, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Actually the truth is less wonderful.

    Her parents owe her former gym Excalibur tens of thousands of dollars for advanced & time consuming training given free on the understanding hat when she broke thro to national ranks & received a stipend -thay would be repaid.

    Instead her mother hawked her to WOGA -home of the 04 & 08 champions (Texas ) but the coaches felt it would be unfair to take her in .

    Then her Mum shopped her to Chows (iowa )-the home of Shaun Johnson – who accepted her.18 months ago. Luckily for Mrs Douglas a local Christian family took her in for free plus home school her.

    Also her parents have been married & divorced twice to each other.

    Good luck to her & hopefully she does not end up like Dominique Moceanu who had to divorce her parents at 17 to get her money.

    It might be tougher out there than in the gym & that is pretty full on.

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | August 4, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      Chows accepted her because some of the other 13 year ols who had transfered to his program had been done in . Gabby was fresh talented & uninjured from a gym which had produced strong black girls eg Randy Stagebery in 08.

      It generally happens when a gym produces one who just misses out they might have another coming up. Gabby was that for Excalibur. (Virginia Beach ).

      How do I know all this from 8000 miles away? Contacts.

And if Fox News had done that . . . ?

Well, we know what the outcome of THAT would’ve been, don’t we?

Most of the comments were reasonable except for the first guy claiming that that sort of thing is why he doesn’t stand for the national anthem???? I don’t think he realizes that NBC does not represent the Government of the United States.

Of course, I can understand WHY he would think that.

A bitter little taste of their race-baiting medicine, eh?

Henry Hawkins | August 4, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Symptom, not disease. NBC, like the rest of the legacy networks, is hyper-PC and the ad wasn’t meant to be racist, unless they have some rogue, closet KKK-er among their production staff. It’s the reaction that is the story – Obama, the left, and the media have driven racial divisiveness and hypersensitivity to a fever pitch in just three years, to the point where if a thing can at all be taken for racism, it *will* be taken as racism.

I suppose that I might feel mildly sympathetic towards NBC in this particular situation … if they hadn’t recently got caught with their heavy hands in the cookie jar when they edited the Zimmerman arrest tape and then issued a half-assed apology.

Instead, I feel a distinct twinge of … schadenfreude.

How sad for this young lady to have had this happen on the biggest day of her young life. NBC is bad enough, but that people automatically consider a monkey racist is disturbing. My first experience with this term was years ago in a work environment where American born blacks referred to an African born co-worker as a “monkey”. Since then, I always considered this a racist term used in this manner. When Howard Cossell used the term, blacks accused him of racism. Yet, it was they who used that term, not whites. Most had never heard it used as a racist term prior to that. So a term they adopted as a racist slur against a true African is now somehow a racist term against all blacks. That’s why I try not to let this crap bother me anymore.

    janitor in reply to gasper. | August 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    It’s become ridiculous. I was standing recently in a group of people with one of my sons at an affair, and complained about having to wear monkey suits. Fresh from his latest Army sensitivity training, he took me aside to berate my choice of words, because there was a black honoree in the group.

    And no one can be gay anymore.

    I want my language back.

      gasper in reply to janitor. | August 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      I was in the Air Force when the then new “Human Relations” courses began in the 1960’s. They were needed, no doubt about that, but they were poorly planned and delivered, and ultimately created more animosity than harmony. That spirit has pretty much continued to this day. There’s a thin line between pride and arrogance.

      gasper in reply to janitor. | August 4, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      Just for reference, the term monkey suit is derived from the suit an organ grinder’s monkey used to wear. The origin goes back to 1820-1830, long before this current term was used, I am sure. The organ grinder monkey is a Cebus, and is classified as a New World Primate. There is no racism associated with it. The next time you use the term be sure to clarify it’s a New World Monkey Suit. Let me know if that works.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | August 4, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Even Sigmund Freud, the kook who saw imaginary symbols and coded meaning in just about everything, acknowledged that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

LukeHandCool | August 4, 2012 at 7:15 pm


It’s like the whole NBC team cried out, “I call shotgun!” just before Adam Smith entered the Chick-fil-A drive-thru.

Geesh. That was so obviously a male French monkey.

Last Sunday CNN played “Stupid Girls” as the intro music for a segment about Sarah Palin:

CNN made ‘poor choice’ with ‘Stupid Girls’ Palin intro

    Yeah, but that’s something they can get away with because they only have three viewers that day, and two were like you – just watching to make sure they don’t overstate something – so no harm was done.

Some Seattle type liberals were discussing this incident here this morning. I played dumb (A role I have no problem with) and told them I didn’t understand what was going on that I didn’t see the connection.

It was a riot listening to them try to explain the relationship without breaking every PC rule in the New Seattle Book of Liberalism. At the end, I just said, “Oh, I never noticed any connection” and left.

TrooperJohnSmith | August 4, 2012 at 8:07 pm

The NBC brand has fallen mightily.

Poor Chet Huntley and David Brinkley must be spinning like two lathes right now.

So, who is the babe at the end of the commercial?

BannedbytheGuardian | August 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm

In no way connected to a monkey but the sport has been looking for a new black girl .

There are a few out there & they are more explosive exponents of technique.

Most often they are too big . Gabby is just at the right time still little & with exceptionally long arms.

They do resemble a monkey’s more than a classic ballet trained gymnast so it is not racist at all. Talent spotters do look for long arms & short legs.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | August 4, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Haha. the dislikes. Too unPC for you ? Just because she is black. sheesh.

    Everything said is true for gymnastics -which is her sport.

    3 of the 4 women’s apparatus (vault bars floor) require long arm levers .

    5 of the 6 mens events.

    Re the athletic vs ballet technique -take some freeze framed shots to your local ballet teacher & the Pole Vault coach. The former would be horrified the latter thriiled.

I’m trying to watch ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ and they keep showing Elizabeth Warren commercials during every break!

Isn’t Andrea Mitchell herself a living and breathing “Dog Whistle” of a person because every time she opens her mouth, she spews something not otherwise recognizable as human speech.

Well, we know it wasn’t intended, as NBC stands for “Nothing But (politically) Correct.” And when ads are sold for mega-events like the Olympics, advertisers pay a premium to be the first commercial in a break, so it isn’t as if the Traffic Manager (who ensures all the ads play as sold) could have shuffled it out even if they realized the potential reaction.

But they need to be hammered for it, hard. It’s the only way they will ever figure out it’s the way they treat others’ innocent mistakes.

I don’t think that the reaction to this was racist at all. After the report about her, seeing a commercial involving a gymnast suggested to me that she might be in it. That caused me to be shocked to see that the gymnast was not even a person but a monkey. I found that disconcerting, especially because of the similarity in color between them, which for a fraction of a second delayed my realization that the gymnast was not her.
It is hard for me to believe that this segue from her to a monkey was intentional on the part of NBC, and they were intending to suggest that she is somehow more like a monkey than they are. On the other hand, they have a special interest in keeping racism alive in this country and this could be one little contribution toward doing so.

Only the Leftists would take offense at something so inane. Only the Leftists think blacks and monkeys are synomonous. Check out the history of the Democratic Party.

Let’s just put it out there. They want to rewrite history because their history is damnable.

I wouldn’t put the story and the promo together or take offense.

I don’t care about color, race, sex, nationality or religion.

I only care about who will stand up against a government run amok.

But the Lefties got to keep making noise to cover their history and divide Americans.

All that said, NBC sucks and on November 6 they’ll be little wimpering crybabies wondering what the hell happened.

    currently in reply to currently. | August 5, 2012 at 6:05 am

    The horror! I misspelled synonymous.

    While I’m editing, might as well say that on November 7 the media will start spouting that Obama lost because we’re a bunch of racists.

    It will be fun for a couple weeks.

    But, then we’ll need to get rid of Boehner and McConnell as our leaders in congress, so the fun won’t last very long.

People watch the Olympics?

who knew? i remember the butchery of of the 1972 Games that no one will talk about, and i remember the wonderful time here in LA when we all ignored the stupid Games and traffic was light and the greedy scum who push this guavno were disappointed…

now please to be going to the dung heap of history where you belong.

you have won a gold in the “no one intelligent cares” field.

American Express on Line 3.

They say your Race Card™ is overdrawn.



NC Mountain Girl | August 5, 2012 at 8:14 am

Ir was sloppy beyond words. Consider that this was an in house ad promoting a new NBC series and that NBC has used tape delay coverage to place the most popular events such as women’s gymnastics in the prime time well. They don’t even have the excuse of live coverage and a paying customer who required an ad run in a given time slot.

CPT. Charles | August 5, 2012 at 9:00 am

Good gravy! Is anybody the control room paying attention to the content flow?

Or is it just a bunch of interns pushing the buttons there?

IIRC Adam Baldwin called it on Twitter, “If the first thing you think of when you see a monkey is a black person, you might be racist.”

[…] Night Card Game (NBC gets an itsy, bitsy taste of its own medicine) Saturday Night Card Game (NBC gets an itsy, bitsy taste of its own medicine) Posted by William A. Jacobson Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 6:00pm NBC is […]

Go, Gabby! Go away NBC.

ConserveLiberty | August 5, 2012 at 12:38 pm

We’re all missing the point. The problem is Costas diminishing her victory, starting by saying, “The barriers have long been down, but . . .,” thus proving they aren’t yet down.

Without Costas the commercial would have been meaningless. And since the entire Olympics show is edited and scripted “packages” some producer screwed the pooch big-time.

I know whereof I speak – my daughter is a network news producer (different network).

NBC deserves every bit of this because they put on Bob Costas’ ridiculous racist pandering in the first place. If they are going to be so exquisitely conscious of the race of a particular gymnast, they are going to be held to the same standard in their advertising.

They want to get credit for the racial bona fides when they celebrate Gabby Douglas, but still be able to say it was an accident when the next commercial airs. If you are going to plant in the Race Card Garden, you’re going to be responsible for the weeds, too.

What an utterly stupid faux “controversy.” That commercial was run throughout the Olympic broadcasts; and, if I am not mistaken, almost every gymnast has a light skin-color. It was a parody of gymnastics, period.

Who, exactly, does the commercial mock? If anything, it denigrates the dignity of simian derivatives. Douglas, as we know, does not share their faith or acknowledge their articles of faith.

[…] UPDATE: “I’d like to feel sorry for NBC for coming under such a plainly false accusation of racial i… […]

Alan K. Henderson | August 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm

If the word “racist” were a currency, I’d short it against the Euro.

[…] Re “Monkeygate” — What should be obvious that the accusation is stupid is because the monkey was shown doing […]