Last night’s opening ceremony at the Sochi Olympics was painful to watch. Apart from familiar Russian songs, admittedly impressive visual effects, and great dancing, I wasn’t too impressed watching the Putin-orchestrated display. Gotta love the hammer and sickle motif-among many things-being front and center during last night’s proceedings! (Not.) If anything, the opening ceremony brought back memories of the pain the Soviet Union inflicted on my family, in Europe, and across the globe.
What irritates me (and should alarm you) about present-day Russia is its leaders’ aspirations to recreate a Sovietesque Union, its rampant cronyism, its disregard for free speech, and its refusal to condemn past crimes committed by their predecessors. I’m grateful my ancestral homeland was the first Baltic Republic to break away from the former Soviet Union.
Even more alarming than the ceremony was NBC’s commentary humanizing Soviet communism as a “pivotal experiment”:
Newsbusters has more on it:
NBC whitewashed Russia’s communist legacy in the lead segment of its Friday broadcast of the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage narrated the network’s lionization of the largest country by land mass: “Russia overwhelms. Russia mystifies. Russia transcends. Through every stage of its story, it’s resisted any notion of limitation. Through every re-invention, only redoubling its desire to cast a towering presence.”
However, Dinklage continued with a glorification of the Marxist-Leninist totalitarian state that slaughtered tens of millions of people between 1917 and 1991: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
(h/t Hot Air)
PETER DINKLAGE (voice-over): The empire that ascended to affirm a colossal footprint; the revolution that birthed one of modern history’s pivotal experiments. But if politics has long shaped our sense of who they are, it’s passion that endures….
[Right Scoop first brought this to my attention.]
Many people rightfully lashed out at NBC for singing praises of Russia’s “glory days.”
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) chastised NBC for ignoring Soviet crimes:
The Joint Baltic American National Committee – a group that promotes independence in countries formerly occupied by the Soviet Union – equally lambasted the Pravda wannabe for the ignoring horrors and deaths caused by Soviet communism:
Other Twitter users also took NBC to task for downplaying the horrors of the Soviet Union.
Late last night, I called on NBC to apologize for dishonoring the victims of global communism.
Who’s going to hold NBC accountable? I know I will. Will you?
The Sochi Olympics’ shortcomings shouldn’t be treated lightly. When making fun of Putin and mediocre conditions inset in modern-day Russia, remember the pain and misery the former Soviet Union wrought. Be thankful our relatively free market country is superior, cleaner, and intact.
USA! USA! USA!