US broadcasters threaten boycott of Olympics clichés

As activists urge the US Olympic team to boycott the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, a group of US broadcasters are threatening to send China– and the rest of the world– a message the only way they know how: by boycotting their favorite Olympics clichés.

Bob Costas, NBC’s anchor for the channel’s Olympics coverage, is demanding change in China’s controversial relationship with Tibet. Said Costas: “If China remains unwilling to grant Tibet its independence, I will boycott the use of phrases like ‘For so-and-so, making it here is a dream come true,’ and ‘This is what the Olympics are all about.'”

Other announcers at NBC have followed Costas’ lead, threatening to eliminate from their repertoire well-worn statements like, “There are no losers here today,” and “This is a David versus Goliath matchup.”

Veteran play-by-play man Dick Enberg, who will be covering tennis and basketball at the Beijing Games, believes the threatened boycott is a unique opportunity for broadcasters to make a difference on a global scale. “If I refuse to say that an athlete is an inspiration ‘on and off the court,'” said Enberg, “it’s not really the Olympics.”

Chinese president Hu Jintao was visibly shaken when he first received news of the proposed boycott yesterday afternoon. The president reportedly said through an interpreter: “I simply must hear Mr. Costas declare that a person has ‘overcome a lot of adversity’ and is ‘on top of the world.'”

The Chinese president was then reportedly overheard telling a top aide, “Set up talks with Tibet immediately.”