While eagerly watching Bode Miller and the men’s downhill Olympic race two days ago, I was treated to an unbelievably vapid interlude by Mary Carillo on the Polar Bears of Churchill, Manitoba, which she showed to Bob Costas. The whole time I was waiting for someone to take this great opportunity to talk about climate change in front of a massive audience. After all, with the bears, there’s really obvious stuff going on. Carillo was talking about how the Polar Bears wait for the ice to show up, and how they can then hunt seals, and what a great event that is when the ice shows up … and there were polar bear researchers and scientists being interviewed. Wonder what they are studying? And I waited, and waited … and there was the cool ice buggy, and there was a cute bear … and then it was over. Back to the studio with Bob.
And they bantered and then it seems to be ending and Bob Costas says: “The bears are endangered, though, right?” Or something like that. And I am there thinking: “Ah, ok, well played Bob.” And Mary Carillo said: “Yes but they come into town and wander around.” And the piece ended.
Once I was able to get control of myself after having a series of small seizures, I was pleased to get back to the snowcross races, where the slushy surface spun a couple of guys entirely around, and out of the race. Just like the polar bears.
God forbid we should inconvenience the viewing audience with discussion of gigantic issues of global import, particularly something so unbelievably relevant to the winter games. No, as a network, we can’t put people in an awkward situation!
But the polar bears? Yeah, we can do that to the polar bears.